Momentum grew on Capitol Hill on Tuesday for a full investigation of former national security advisor Michael Flynn's dealings with Russia as lawmakers try to determine whether President Trump or others in the administration sanctioned his activities.
Republicans splintered over whether to aggressively investigate the White House's dealings with Russia, but Democrats are pushing for a independent review to assess whether Flynn, who resigned Monday, was acting alone or at the direction of others.
"Gen. Flynn's resignation is not the end of the story, it is merely the beginning," said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.)
The government's ethics watchdog is recommending that the White House investigate and possibly discipline President Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway.
In a letter made public Tuesday, the Office of Government Ethics wrote to White House attorneys that there's reason to believe that Conway violated the standards of ethical conduct for executive employees by endorsing Ivanka Trump's fashion line during a television interview last week.
The letter notes lawyers for the White House and OGE spoke on Feb. 9 — the day of Conway's interview — and that the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House Oversight Committee asked OGE to follow up.
National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn is out, but many questions remain.
What did President Trump know about Flynn's contacts with a Russian diplomat, and when? What did members of his Cabinet know?
A day after Flynn submitted his resignation, the mainstream media is still scrutinizing Flynn’s conflicting accounts and his admission that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence.
The conservative media, meanwhile, is asking different questions.
Here are some of today’s headlines:
Trump, GOP lawmakers eye 'illegal' leaks in wake of Flynn resignation(Fox News)
It’s all about who is leaking tidbits to the media.
Throughout the presidential campaign and into the first weeks of his presidency, Trump has had a complicated – perhaps vitriolic – relationship with the press.
“The real story here is why are there so many illegal leaks coming out of Washington? Will these leaks be happening as I deal on N.Korea etc?” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
Fox focuses on who is leaking to the press.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) wants the FBI to conduct an assessment of recent media leaks, Fox noted, and went on to quote the congressman: "If, in fact, the press reports are right, someone made the decision to deliberately listen to Gen. Flynn's phone calls and that is, I think, unprecedented, unwarranted and flat-out wrong."
(Americans for Limited Government offered an explanation of its own, suggesting that Flynn's fall was a "coup" orchestrated by "the deep state bureaucratic establishment.")
Jeffrey Lord is one of Trump’s prime advocates on cable news – regularly appearing on CNN to defend the policies of the new administration.
In this piece, Lord, who served as a political director in the Reagan administration, writes that the “liberal media can’t stand the new president — it can’t abide his agenda.” He also assails the media for focusing too much on Trump’s staffers.
“The subject may change. It could be terrorism. Illegal immigration. Obamacare. Ivanka’s brand. Anything. The subject is irrelevant. The game is to zero in on this or that Trump White House staffer and paint them with some form of journalistic radioactivity,” writes Lord.
Al Franken has his own history of using ugly, offensive language(Daily Caller)
U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota is among Trump’s staunchest critics. Over the weekend, the Democratic senator castigated Trump for being “racist” in referring to U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as “Pocahontas.”
Franken is an unabashed progressive, but this piece seeks to highlight some of his past remarks about women and minorities.
“While speaking at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 1996, Franken ridiculed [former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich] with a joke about his daughter’s first menstrual period," the piece notes, referring to a New York Post report on the event.
The piece also highlights comments Franken -- then a writer for NBC's "Saturday Night Live" -- made to Harvard University's student newspaper in 1976 about how one of his skits had been rejected by "some preppies" at the university's Hasty Pudding Club.
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen, in her semiannual report to Congress, on Tuesday painted a largely bright picture of the economy and signaled that the central bank would consider raising interest rates next month.
Most analysts are not looking for a Fed rate hike until June, and Yellen and her colleagues, at their last policy meeting two weeks ago, gave little indication of an imminent move. But with inflation tame and the labor market continuing to expand -- the economy added a strong 227,000 jobs in January -- Yellen hinted at the possibility of a rate increase at the Fed's next policy meeting in mid-March.
The Fed "expects the evolution of the economy to warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate," Yellen told the Senate Banking Committee on the first of two days of hearings, part of congressionally mandated testimony and a report on monetary policy.
Speaker Paul D. Ryan panned calls Tuesday for an independent investigation into Russia after the resignation of President Trump's national security advisor, Michael Flynn, saying the administration will explain what happened.
Ryan said it "was right to ask for his resignation" after disclosures that Flynn, a retired general, misled some in the administration about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. It remains unclear whether Trump asked for Flynn to step down.
Ryan dismissed the need for further investigation. Congress already is investigating Russia's intervention in the November election.
The Kremlin had no official comment Tuesday on Michael Flynn's resignation as President Trump's national security advisor. But unofficially, Russian officials heaped scorn on the United States for the "Russophobia" that, in their view, drove Flynn from office.
"This is a domestic issue of the United States,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov told reporters, declining to comment further on the resignation, which came after reports indicated that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States in December, before Trump took office. Flynn had steadfastly denied having had any such discussion about sanctions.
On Friday, Peskov had said Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak had never discussed the lifting of the sanctions.
Flynn was 24 days into the job when he submitted his resignation letter.
Michael Flynn resigned late Monday as President Trump’s national security advisor, the White House said, following mounting scrutiny over his conflicting accounts of contacts with a Russian diplomat and reports that they were part of a federal investigation.
Flynn’s departure marked another embarrassing setback for an administration just over three weeks old, on a subject that has for months given pause to both Democrats and Republicans — connections between Trump and Russia.