Eliot L Engel

White House’s Mixed Messages to Iran Continue With Sanctions
Economic penalties had been removed under nuclear pact Trump left

U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House July 31, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 11:14 a.m. | The Trump administration reactivated sanctions Monday on Iran in an attempt to further squeeze its stumbling economy, a tough move that is the latest in a volley of mixed signals from Washington.

“Our actions will continue to limit Iran” from obtaining the resources needed to “support its malign behavior” across the Middle East, a senior administration official said Monday. “We are fully committed to rigorously enforcing our sanctions … to ensure they fully change course.”

Democrats Press GOP for Quick Legislative Response on Russia
Several measures in both chambers designed to push back on Putin

Protesters participate in a candlelight vigil in front of the White House Wednesday to protest President Donald Trump in the wake of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Congress could consider several bills in response to concerns about Russian meddling in the upcoming election. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

House and Senate Democrats are pressuring their Republican colleagues to bring to the floor legislation introduced in response to President Donald Trump’s comments — and revisions to those comments — this week on Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Democratic House leaders released a bipartisan package that includes 17 previously introduced bills that would further restrict the White House’s foreign policy and economic options when it comes to Moscow.

State Department Nominees Could Be In For Procedural Headache
Robert Menendez warns of making life difficult if questions go unanswered

Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., left, and ranking member Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., attend a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on the nominations of Brian J. Bulatao and Denise Natali for State Department positions on July 18, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey has made a thinly veiled threat against pending State nominations if the Trump administration is not more responsive to questions about their interactions and agreements with foreign leaders.

“If the administration is unwilling to consult with this committee in a meaningful fashion on vital national security issues, then we must consider all appropriate responses with regards to nominees before this committee,” the Foreign Relations ranking member said at a Wednesday hearing.

Paul Ryan Avoids Criticizing Trump as Helsinki Fallout Continues
Speaker attempts to send message about Russia to world without attacking president

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., faced questions about President Donald Trump's Helsinki summit at the GOP leadership press conference on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Tuesday attempted to send a clear message about Russia following President Donald Trump’s Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was missing one thing — a direct rebuke of the president’s statements and actions.

“Let me be really clear,” Ryan said as a reporter asked the first of several consecutive questions about Russia during a GOP leadership press conference Tuesday. “Let me try and be as clear as I can to the world and the country: We stand by our NATO allies and all those countries who are facing Russia aggression.”

Trump Should Cancel Putin Summit Over Indictments, Democrats Say
Schumer: ‘Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other Democrats called on the president to skip his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats pounced on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of a dozen Russian military officers for their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, with some saying Monday’s Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit should be canceled.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

Mueller Indicts 12 Russians for DNC, Clinton Campaign Hacking
Special counsel again targets leading Russian intel agency

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein conducts a news conference Friday at the Department of Justice announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who alleges they interfered in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:23 p.m. | The Justice Department’s special counsel announced Friday the indictments of a dozen Russian military officers involved in Moscow’s effort to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. And a senior Democratic lawmaker reacted swiftly by accusing President Donald Trump of “dangerous distortions” about the operation.

The indictment accuses the Russians of being heavily involved in hacking computer networks of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign organization. The military officers allegedly broke into those systems — and others in the United States — to plant malicious software, steal emails and nab other documents. To conceal their efforts, Rosenstein said, the Russians used networks “around the world” and paid for that access with Cryptocurrency.

Photos of the Week: Kavanaugh Hits the Hill and Strzok Strikes Back at House
The week of July 9 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Make-A-Wish recipient and “U.S. Senator For a Day” Thomas Stephenson and Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., ride the Senate Subway on Tuesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s almost the middle of July, but there’s no summer slowdown on Capitol Hill. The president’s Supreme Court pick was in the Capitol on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as senators consider his nomination to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

But the joint committee in the House that heard testimony from Peter Strzok on Thursday possibly stole the show for this week on the Hill as sparks flew between members and the FBI agent Peter Strzok.

Analysis: Trump’s NATO Antics Suggest UK Visit Could Get Cheeky
President questions emerging Brexit plans ahead of summit with Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump at a White House press conference in January 2017. They meet again Thursday and Friday in the U.K. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump bombarded a NATO summit in Belgium with threats, undiplomatic rhetoric, confusion-sowing statements and false claims. Get ready, United Kingdom, you’re next. And he arrived with plenty of thoughts about Brexit. 

Trump has defended his unique style, which gives even some Republican lawmakers heartburn, by describing it as “modern-day presidential.” So what happened Wednesday and Thursday morning in Brussels might be labeled “modern-day diplomatic.”

New York’s Yvette Clarke Narrowly Survives Primary Challenge
Brooklyn lawmaker and other New York City Democrats avoid Crowley’s fate

New York Rep. Yvette D. Clarke survived a primary challenge Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Yvette D. Clarke narrowly survived a primary challenge in the 9th District on Tuesday night. 

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Clarke led community organizer Adem Bunkeddeko, 52 percent to 48 percent, when The Associated Press called the race.

Sitting NYC Democrats Under Fire From Their Own
Four Democrats are facing spirited primary challenges — a rarity this cycle

New York Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley is facing a primary challenge for the first time since 2004. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outsize Democratic energy has been directed at unseating Republicans this election cycle, but in New York City, Democrats are taking aim at their own. Four veteran lawmakers are unloading their campaign war chests to fend off intraparty opponents. 

These Democrats aren’t worried about losing their primaries Tuesday. They say they’re simply taking their races seriously. But it’s a new experience for some incumbents, who have rarely faced contested primaries.