Iran

Russia, China, Iran Aim to Sway Elections, Officials Warn
First came the dire election warning. Minutes later, more Russian meddling charges

Intelligence and homeland security officials are concerned about election meddling — and not just by Russian President Vladimir Putin. China and Iran are also threats. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The Justice Department on Friday charged a Russian woman with election interference just as top U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies warned that Russia, China, and Iran are running influence campaigns seeking to sway American voters in the 2018 midterms and the 2020 presidential campaigns.

“We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” said the statement issued jointly by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security. “These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.”

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Syllabus: the Wrestling Match Over Foreign Policy
What life after Congress looks like for Florida Republican

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., is heading to teach after Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Students at Miami University have some expertise coming their way next semester: retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s legislative accomplishments and her husband Dexter’s background as a decorated Vietnam veteran.

They are teaching a course on Congress and American Foreign Policy during the spring semester at University of Miami, the school announced Monday.

Trump: Missing Saudi Journalist Perhaps Slain by ‘Rogue Killers’
President says he’s dispatching Secretary of State Pompeo to discuss disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

Demonstrators hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest organized by members of the Turkish-Arabic Media Association at the entrance to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last week. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump appears ready to believe the Saudi king’s rejection of charges he had a Washington Post journalist killed, using language almost identical to his statements that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling.

“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen,’” Trump tweeted Monday morning.

Senators Trigger Investigation Into Missing Saudi Journalist Who May Have Been Murdered
Jamal Khashoggi went missing after visiting Saudi consulate in Turkey

Protesters hold posters of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi  at the entrance to Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Monday. Fears are growing over his fate after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Senators on Wednesday triggered a U.S. government investigation into what happened to a prominent missing Saudi journalist, who is suspected to have been murdered last week in Turkey.

The lawmakers said they expect the investigation to look into the actions of the “highest-ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia,” a move that signals lawmakers on both sides of aisle are willing to confront the staunch ally.

There’s Life Beyond the Hill but When Do You Explore It?
Former staffers share why they left

John Jones of Nareit just left his post as a House chief of staff for the private sector. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

John Jones was working on Iran sanctions legislation five years ago, when his boss, New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, turned to Arizona Sen. John McCain and said, “Look, I’m for it, but you have to convince Jones.”

The exchange left Jones “stunned,” he recalled, but also empowered, as the weight of his responsibilities as Schumer’s national security director dawned on him.

Flashback Friday: D’Amato’s Filibuster
15 hours included some singing but didn’t interrupt regular Senate business

Rep. Alfonse M. D’Amato, R-N.Y., was fighting to keep jobs in his state during his 1992 filibuster. (CQ/Roll Call file photo)

On this day in 1992, Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato’s Long Island accent rang through the Senate chamber as part of a 15-hour-and-14-minute filibuster. 

The New York Republican, who said he was was standing up for workers, was pushing for a tax bill amendment that would save jobs in his home state. 

Trump Counterterrorism Plan Drops Obama Climate Change Focus
White House buries strategy under Pence’s tough China address

National security adviser John Bolton rolled out a new counterterrorism plan Thursday. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has approved a new U.S. counterterrorism strategy, but it drops the Obama administration’s treatment of climate change as a driver of violent Islamic extremist groups.

Asked if the Trump plan identifies climate change as a destabilizing force in the Middle East that fuels extremist groups, national security adviser John Bolton replied: “I don’t think climate change is a cause of international terrorism.”

Ryan-Aligned PAC Doubles Down on ‘Terror High’ Hit on Spanberger
New CLF ad targets GOP Rep. Brat’s opponent in Virginia’s 7th District

Congressional Leadership Fund is once again targeting Democrat Abigail Spanberger in a new ad over her brief stint as a substitute teacher at a Saudi-funded school in Virginia more than a decade ago. (Steve Helber/AP file photo)

The super PAC aligned with Speaker Paul D. Ryan is doubling down on its messaging strategy to paint vulnerable Rep. Dave Brat’s Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District as sympathetic to terrorist elements.

In a new ad released Thursday, and shared first with Roll Call, Congressional Leadership Fund once again highlights Democrat Abigail Spanberger’s stint as a substitute teacher at the Saudi-funded Islamic Saudi Academy in Mount Vernon, Virginia, that began in 2002.

Trump Accuses China of Midterm Election Meddling
At UN, with trade standoff as backdrop, president lights into Chinese government

President Donald Trump accused China of meddling in the 2018 elections in a way designed to hurt the GOP. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said China has been trying to interfere in November’s midterm elections “against my administration.”

“They do not want me or us to win because I am the first president ever to challenge China on trade,” he said during remarks at a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York. “We are winning on trade — we are winning on every level.”

Laughing Matter: Trump’s Second Day at UN Is a Wild Ride
World leaders laugh at U.S. president. He later lashes out at Kavanaugh accuser

President Donald Trump attends a United Nations meeting on the global drug problem in New York on Monday. World leaders responded to his boasts about achievements Tuesday with several rounds of laughter. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

World leaders, in a stunning and awkward rebuke, laughed at President Donald Trump on Tuesday. He responded by lashing out at one of the women who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct when both were in college.  

Trump began what was billed by his top aides as a major foreign policy address targeting Iran and setting the stage for new talks with North Korea by touting what he sees as top domestic accomplishments. The United Nations General Assembly hall in New York seemed a strange place for what has become a campaign-trail applause line in front of his “Make America Great Again” gear-sporting supporters. And the world leaders there to hear his message agreed.