During what would normally be a time of summer doldrums in Washington D.C., President Trump — following a pomp-filled visit to Paris and a weekend getaway to his New Jersey golf property — returns to the nation's capital roiled by the burgeoning Russia probe, a faltering GOP healthcare plan and sinking opinion polls.
Trump goes back to work after a four-day absence and another news cycle dominated by disclosures stemming from last summer’s meeting of his eldest son, a Kremlin-linked lawyer and at least one other controversial Russian figure.
President Trump and congressional Republicans, despite repeated pledges to preserve sick Americans’ access to health coverage, are poised to scrap this core insurance protection in their campaign to roll back the Affordable Care Act.
Both the House GOP bill that passed in May and the revised Senate GOP bill unveiled last week effectively eliminate the coverage guarantee by allowing health insurers to once again sell skimpier plans and charge more to people with preexisting health conditions who need more-comprehensive coverage.
At the same time, the House and Senate bills dramatically scale back financial aid to low- and moderate-income consumers, and slash funding for Medicaid, the government safety-net plan that has helped millions of sick and poor Americans gain coverage.
President Trump returned Friday from being feted in France to confront new, damaging revelations in the investigation into whether his associates coordinated with Russian efforts to sway the 2016 election, as well as perilous signs in Congress for the Republican healthcare bill that represents one of his major campaign pledges.
Frustrated and unhappy with how his team has handled the response to the steady drip of damaging information, Trump has reportedly decided to hire Ty Cobb, a longtime Washington lawyer, to manage the White House’s political and legal responses to the Russia investigation.
Trump administration lawyers voicing frustration with a federal judge in Hawaii have asked the Supreme Court to intervene again and to allow the government to strictly enforce its temporary foreign travel ban.
The acting U.S. solicitor general said the justices should issue a ruling to clarify the travel ban or, at minimum, block the latest ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii.
"At this point, this court's intervention is both necessary and warranted," Jeffery Wall, the acting Solicitor General, said in an appeal filed Friday evening.
A bill bolstering sanctions on Russia has stalled in Congress amid partisan finger-pointing, leaving lawmakers worried that the inaction could limit their legislative check on the Trump administration.
Top Democratic senators warned administration officials ahead of bilateral talks next week not to give back Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland that were seized amid revelations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Returning the compounds or lifting other sanctions would have required congressional review under legislation approved by the Senate in an overwhelming 98-2 vote last month.
Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer aimed at obtaining derogatory information about Hillary Clinton in June 2016 had another, previously undisclosed participant: a former Soviet military counterintelligence officer.
Rinat Akhmetshin, who received U.S. citizenship and became a Washington lobbyist after emigrating from Russia more than a decade ago, confirmed in an email message Friday that he had joined the meeting with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Veselnitskaya brought a memo to the meeting to present to Trump Jr., Akhmetshin said, adding that he was not aware of the contents.
The Pentagon identified 16 service members, three from Southern California, who were killed this week when their military cargo plane suffered a mid-air failure on a cross-country flight and crashed in a soybean field in rural Mississippi.
The KC-130T aircraft was carrying one Navy sailor, six Marines and nine crew members on a mission from North Carolina to California when it disappeared from air traffic control radar Monday afternoon as it passed over Leflore County, Miss.
Investigators have yet to determine what happened to the plane, which was transporting equipment and personnel from the elite 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, based at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., for pre-deployment training.