The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of Carter Page, an advisor to then-candidate Donald Trump, because the government had reason to believe Page was acting as a Russian agent, the Washington Post has reported.
Page is among the Trump associates under scrutiny as the FBI and congressional committees investigate whether his presidential campaign had ties to Russia's meddling in the 2016 election. Trump has denied any wrongdoing, but the investigations could shadow his presidency for months or even years.
The Post, citing unnamed law enforcement and other U.S. officials, said Tuesday the government surveillance application laid out the basis for believing that Page had knowingly engaged in intelligence activities on Russia's behalf. The newspaper said the application includes contacts Page had with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013.
As top diplomats from Russia and the United States held a testy meeting Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at the Trump administration, saying relations between Washington and Moscow had deteriorated.
"You can say that the level of trust on a working level, especially on the military side, has not improved but most likely worsened," Putin said in a television interview, according to a transcript released by the Kremlin.
His comments reflected the palpable tensions infusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's trip to Moscow, the first to Russia by a Trump administration official.
According to documents released by a Ukrainian lawmaker, Paul Manafort tried to hide payments received from Ukraine's ousted former president through an offshore shell company.
Last August, a handwritten ledger surfaced in Ukraine with dollar amounts and dates next to the name of Paul Manafort, who was then chairman of Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
Ukrainian investigators called it evidence of off-the-books payments from a pro-Russian political party — and part of a larger pattern of corruption under the country's former president. Manafort, who worked for the party as an international political consultant, has publicly questioned the ledger's authenticity.
Now, financial records newly obtained by the Associated Press confirm that at least $1.2 million in payments listed in the ledger next to Manafort's name were actually received by his consulting firm in the United States. They include payments in 2007 and 2009, providing the first evidence that Manafort's firm received at least some money listed in the so-called Black Ledger.
First Lady Melania Trump has accepted an apology and damages from the publisher of the Daily Mail newspaper for reporting rumors about her time as a model, the two parties in the lawsuit said Wednesday.
Trump sued the Daily Mail in Britain and Mail Online in the United States over an August 2016 article, which ran under the headline "Racy photos and troubling questions about his wife's past that could derail Trump."
The first lady's attorneys argued that the report damaged her ability to build businesses based on her status as a well-known figure and "successful businesswoman."
Republicans survived an embarrassing scare and narrowly held on to a Kansas congressional seat Tuesday in a special election that served as a surprising red-state referendum on President Trump.
The single-digit victory for state Treasurer Ron Estes marked a far closer race than Democrats have pulled off in recent years, giving the party bragging rights as it looks to a series of special House elections this year.
Estes trailed in early tallies but then began to build a lead over Democratic civil rights attorney James Thompson, who had sought to translate anti-Trump anger on display at rallies and town halls across the country into a victory in one of the nation’s unlikeliest places.
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis made clear Tuesday that last week’s U.S. cruise missile strike on a Syrian airfield did not mark the start of a new military campaign, but warned that any future use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Assad could draw fresh U.S. retaliation.
"If they use chemical weapons, they are going to pay a very, very stiff price," he told reporters at the Pentagon.
Mattis said he personally reviewed the intelligence and concluded that there was "no doubt” that the Assad government was responsible for the April 4 chemical attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun. But he could not say whether the Russian government played a role in the incident.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to forget about the Holocaust when he compared Adolph Hitler with Syrian President Bashar Assad, saying Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons" during a cringe-worthy televised briefing with reporters on Tuesday. He later clarified his answer.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer appeared to forget about the Holocaust when comparing Hitler with Syrian President Bashar Assad during a cringe-worthy televised briefing with reporters on Tuesday.
“You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons," Spicer said, in an attempt to argue that Russia and other countries that are not standing up to Assad are on the wrong side of history.
Spicer's rendering ignored the horror of the Holocaust, where gas chambers were used as part of a genocide campaign that killed 6 million Jews as well as millions of others including Gypsies and gay people.
You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.
The White House on Tuesday accused Russia of a "coverup" of Syria's chemical attack on its own citizens, but stopped short of saying that the Kremlin knew in advance of last Tuesday's poison-gas attack that killed dozens of Syrian villagers.
Russia has consistently denied that the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad dropped a bomb containing sarin, a banned nerve agent. President Trump responded on Thursday by approving a missile strike on a Syrian air base used to launch the chemical attack.