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 Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III (Associated Press)

A lawyer linked to Rick Gates and Paul Manafort, two of President Trump’s former campaign aides ensnared in the ongoing Russian probe, has been charged by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III with lying to federal investigators. 

The lawyer, Alex van der Zwaan, previously worked at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a prominent law firm that worked on a controversial report used to defend what was then the pro-Russian government of Ukraine in its prosecution of a political opponent. 

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was an longtime advisor to Ukraine’s Kremlin-allied president at the time, Viktor Yanukovich, who subsequently fled to Russia amid widespread antigovernment protests. Manafort and Gates, his partner and later his deputy on the Trump campaign, have been charged with laundering money earned during their work on Ukraine’s behalf. 

President Trump and Melania Trump with Dr. Igor Nichiporenko at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, Fla.
President Trump and Melania Trump with Dr. Igor Nichiporenko at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, Fla. (Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

More than 6 in 10 Americans fault Congress and President Trump for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, with most Americans continuing to say these incidents are more reflective of problems identifying and addressing mental health issues than inadequate gun laws.

In the poll conducted after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school last week, more than three-quarters — 77% — said they think more effective mental health screening and treatment could have prevented the shooting.

The Post-ABC poll also finds that 58% of adults say stricter gun control laws could have prevented the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, but there is no rise in support for banning assault weapons compared with two years ago and the partisan divide on this policy is as stark as ever. On the issue of whether allowing teachers to carry guns could have deterred the rampage, a proposal that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said is an option for schools, 42% said they agreed.

  • Russia

Special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors have filed a new charge against a man they say lied to federal investigators in the Russia probe.

A charging document filed in federal court in Washington on Tuesday accuses Alex Van Der Zwaan of one charge of making false statements. The information was filed ahead of a plea hearing scheduled for later Tuesday.

The court filing says Van Der Zwaan lied to investigators about his interactions with Rick Gates. Gates, a former Trump campaign aide, was indicted last year on charges of conspiracy to launder money and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

Donald Trump and Mitt Romney in 2012.
Donald Trump and Mitt Romney in 2012. (Julie Jacobson/ Associated Press)

President Trump is endorsing Mitt Romney in Utah's Senate race, another sign that the two Republicans are burying the hatchet after a fraught relationship.

The GOP's presidential nominee in 2012, Romney announced last week he would seek the nomination to replace retiring Sen. Orrin G. Hatch.

In a tweet Monday night, Trump wrote, "He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch, and has my full support and endorsement!"

  • White House
(Getty Images)

The White House said Monday that President Trump was “supportive” of efforts to improve the system of background checks for people who seek to buy guns in the United States.

In a statement, the White House said Trump spoke to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on Friday to discuss a bipartisan bill Cornyn is co-sponsoring that would tighten federal background checks. However, the statement did not expressly say that Trump supported the bill.

The statement follows an emotional outcry from hundreds of students who survived Wednesday’s massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla. Seventeen  students and staff members were killed by a 19-year-old who once attended the school.

  • White House
  • Russia

President Trump has consistently pushed back against the idea of Russia meddling in the election that put him in power, dismissing that claim as a hoax and an affront to the legitimacy of his victory.

Now, he’s suggesting that the federal investigation into Russian interference has distracted the FBI from performing other work.

In a tweet Saturday night, Trump appeared to blame the bureau for failing to prevent a shooting at a South Florida high school that killed 17 people on Wednesday.

McMaster last year with Trump
McMaster last year with Trump (Associated Press)

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday that evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was “now really incontrovertible” following the indictment of 13 Russian individuals and three companies.

Speaking at an international security conference in Munich, Germany, McMaster lent credence to a widening scandal that President Trump has routinely dismissed as a hoax.

"As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain," McMaster said, noting that the United States was becoming "more and more adept at tracing the origins of this espionage and subversion."

Most politicians would have been swallowed up in scandal after new details emerged Friday of an alleged affair — with a Playboy Playmate, no less — that occurred the same weekend of a reported dalliance with a porn star.

Not Donald Trump.

(Associated Press)

In an effort to stem fast-worsening ties, Turkey and the United States agreed Friday to set up a diplomatic working group to defuse a bitter dispute over Kurdish militias operating in Syria.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, ending two days of talks with top Turkish officials, conceded that serious disagreements continue to haunt relations between Turkey and the United States, which are NATO allies. 

“We find ourselves at a bit of a crisis point in the relationship,” Tillerson said at a news conference with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in the capital of Ankara.

  • Russia
Robert Mueller
Robert Mueller (TNS)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced charges against 13 Russians and three Russian companies Friday, accusing them of using stolen identities, fake campaign events and hundreds of social media accounts while spending millions of rubles to interfere in the 2016 presidential election in a secret effort to aid the Trump campaign.

The 37-page indictment, the first charges by Mueller's office accusing Moscow of illegal meddling in the election, says the Internet Research Agency, a Russian firm known for using troll accounts to post on news sites, orchestrated the interference campaign and that its operatives tried to communicate with at least three unnamed Trump campaign officials using fake identities.