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CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (EPA)

A former CIA officer has been arrested and charged with illegally retaining classified records, including names and phone numbers of covert CIA assets.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested Monday night after arriving at JFK International Airport. He made an initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in New York, but will face charges in northern Virginia, where the CIA is located.

According to court documents, Lee, a Hong Kong resident, served in the CIA from 1994 to 2007 as a case officer. He worked in a variety of overseas offices and was trained in surveillance detection, recruiting and handling assets and classified material, among other things.

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A group of 22 Democratic state attorneys general, including those from California and New York, filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of tough net neutrality rules for online traffic.

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President Trump registered a perfect score on a cognitive screening test as part of his physical examination taken last week, the White House physician said Tuesday, adding that Trump requested the test to rebut accusations that his mental faculties are declining.

  • White House
  • Congress
The National Security Agency campus at Ft. Meade, Md. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
The National Security Agency campus at Ft. Meade, Md. (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

A bill to continue the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs for five more years advanced Tuesday in the Senate, overcoming objections that it did not do enough to protect Americans’ civil liberties.

Opponents came close to filibustering the measure, which was approved by the House last week. But the Senate’s narrow 60-38 vote puts it on track for final passage this week.

Voting stretched more than an hour as senators lobbied key holdouts in dramatic fashion on the Senate floor.

At a news conference Tuesday, Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, the chief White House doctor, stated that President Trump aced a cognitive screening test as part of his physical examination taken last week.

The test administered, Jackson noted, was the widely used Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a brief written and oral examination covering basic recall exercises, language questions, abstraction and more. 

The president, according to Jackson, received a perfect score of 30. 

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  • White House
  • Congress
  • Immigration

Sen. Cory Booker rebuked Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen as “complicit” Tuesday for failing to recall — or object to — President Trump’s vulgar language about immigrants from Africa and other countries.

“Why is this so important? Why is this so disturbing? Why am I frankly seething with anger?” Booker asked at the Senate Judiciary Hearing.

“We have this incredible nation where we have been taught it doesn’t matter where you’re from. ... It’s about the content of your character,” he said.

(EPA)

The Trump administration said Tuesday it had cut in half a scheduled annual payment to the United Nations relief agency that serves millions of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

A funding cut had been anticipated since Jan. 2, when President Trump complained on Twitter that the United States gives what he described as hundreds of millions dollars a year to the Palestinians, who do not show “respect or appreciation” in return.

After Trump’s tweet, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson put a hold on the annual U.S. payment to UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, while the State Department launched a review. 

President Trump sits and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions
President Trump sits and Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that prevents President Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which currently offers protections from deportation for about 700,000 people who came to the U.S. as children.

But the administration has not asked courts to put the ruling by U.S. District Judge William Alsup on hold while the Supreme Court considers what to do. The effect will be to allow the DACA program to continue while the litigation proceeds.

“Until further notice … the DACA policy will be operated on the terms in place before it was rescinded” by Trump, a spokesperson for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said Tuesday. “We are still accepting applications.”

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Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks on Capitol Hill. (Alex Brand/Associated Press)

A leading Republican senator on immigration urged President Trump to abandon his harsh and profane statements about Africa and some other countries and return to an attempt to get a bipartisan deal to protect young immigrants and boost border security.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who confronted Trump at a White House meeting last Thursday after the president apparently complained of immigrants from “shithole countries,” said Trump may have gotten bad advice from his staff before the meeting.

“This has turned into an s- show and we need to get back to being a great country,” Graham said Tuesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.