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  • Russia
(Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump continues to lash out at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in the wake of Monday’s FBI raids targeting his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning, he called the Russia investigation “Fake & Corrupt” and referred to Mueller as the “most conflicted of all,” except for Deputy Atty. Gen. Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel’s work because Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions recused himself.

Trump did not explain why he believes Mueller is conflicted, a charge that could lay the groundwork for attempting to fire him as special counsel. But previously the president has complained that Mueller should be precluded from leading the investigation because, among other reasons, Trump interviewed him as a potential FBI director after firing James B. Comey last year.

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With news that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) won’t seek another term in 2018, Bakersfield Republican Kevin McCarthy is expected to make a bid for the position, assuming Republicans keep their majority.

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  • Congress
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), seen here speaking to reporters recently at the Capitol, has decided not to run for reelection.
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), seen here speaking to reporters recently at the Capitol, has decided not to run for reelection. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) will not seek reelection in November, he told colleagues Wednesday, throwing an already fractious House into tumult and dealing another blow to Republican hopes of holding onto power in Congress.

The announcement comes as Republicans already face serious prospects of losing their majority in the House in this fall’s midterm election. Ryan has been a key fundraiser for Republican candidates, and his decision to call it quits is almost certain to be a demoralizing blow to the party’s candidates and donors. 

The speaker's move came less than three years after he took office as a compromise candidate on the resignation of Ohio Rep. John A. Boehner. His tenure as speaker will have been among the shortest in the past century.

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Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan meets with reporters following a closed-door Republican strategy session on Capitol Hill on March 6.
Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan meets with reporters following a closed-door Republican strategy session on Capitol Hill on March 6. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan will not run for reelection to Congress, he plans to tell colleagues today.

Two people with knowledge of the Wisconsin Republican’s thinking said Ryan has decided against seeking another term. Both sought anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. 

The news will come as another serious and demoralizing blow to GOP hopes of holding the party’s congressional majority in this fall's midterm election.

This image released by the Syria Civil Defense is said to show victims of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held city of Douma.
This image released by the Syria Civil Defense is said to show victims of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held city of Douma. (Associated Press)

After several days of deliberating a response to an alleged Syrian gas attack, President Trump tweeted a promise on Wednesday to attack the country with “nice and new and ‘smart!’” missiles despite Russia’s vow to counter them.

Trump’s tweet was a response to Russian threats to shoot down any missiles headed toward Syria. Russia is allied with the government of Syrian strongman Bashar Assad.

“Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” Trump wrote. “You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!”

President Trump’s pick for his second secretary of State will face his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday, a key test of his mettle and diplomatic skills.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a veteran congressman from Kansas and solid conservative, will testify to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The full Senate must then vote to confirm his nomination. 

Pompeo passed Senate muster last year to become CIA director. But several activist groups are objecting to his past comments that have seemed derogatory toward Muslims and gay people.

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Mick Mulvaney’s overhaul of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is so extensive it now could include revising the agency’s name and discarding its simple, modern logo.

U.S. troops in eastern Syria
U.S. troops in eastern Syria (Associated Press)

A team of international inspectors on Tuesday accepted an invitation from Syria to examine the site of a suspected chemical attack on civilians in a rebel-held enclave outside Damascus.

The U.S. and other world powers suspect Syrian government forces of being behind the attack, which reportedly killed nearly 50 people, including children. They blame Russia for helping Syria.

But both Syria and Russia insist the attack did not happen and that graphic photographs of the victims were staged.