intelligence

Navy’s Top-Dollar Stealth Fighter May Not Go the Distance
New report raises questions about multibillion-dollar program

An F-35C takes off from the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Atlantic Ocean in March. (U.S. Navy photo)

The Navy’s newest fighter jet, the stealthy F-35C, may not have the range it needs to strike enemy targets, the House Armed Services Committee said in a new report, raising troubling questions about whether the multibillion-dollar program is already outpaced by threats.

And critics say the Navy fighter — part of the Joint Strike Fighter initiative, the most expensive weapons program in history — may actually have been out of date years ago.

Analysis: Giuliani Escalates Effort to Erode Legitimacy of Mueller Probe
Trump lawyer attacks Sessions, Comey and casts president as victim of ‘crimes’

Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani prepares to speak at the Conference on Iran earlier this month shortly after being added to President Donald Trump’s legal team. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Former FBI Director James Comey is a “proven liar” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions “didn’t step up” to shut down an “unjustifiable investigation.” Those were just two of the claims made Friday by Rudy Giuliani, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, as he continued an escalating effort to erode the legitimacy of the Justice Department’s Russia probe.

As Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team continue their probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, possible coordination with the Trump-Pence campaign, and whether the president obstructed justice, Giuliani — joined by Trump and others — are executing a strategy intended to raise doubts about the necessity of the investigation, whether Mueller and the FBI are out to get Trump, and the special counsel’s tactics.

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Lead CIA
Bipartisan vote does not follow partisan script

Senators confirmed Gina Haspel to become CIA director before finishing work for the week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After a number of Democratic senators announced they would support President Donald Trump’s choice of Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel to run the agency, she was easily confirmed Thursday afternoon.

In what has become a bit of a regular routine, Senate leaders reached an agreement to expedite votes on a key national security nominee and prevent any threat of a weekend session.

Trump Breaks With New Security Adviser Bolton on North Korea Plan
Records appear to contradict president’s claim that no U.S. official has ever negotiated with China

President Donald Trump, seen here in the White House Rose Garden last week, broke with his national security adviser when talking about North Korea on Thursday.  (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday broke with his national security adviser, denying that his administration is following the U.S. playbook in Libya — which led to the ouster and death of itsleader at the time — as it prepares for talks with North Korea.

“The Libya model is not a model we have at all with North Korea,” the president told reporters. “With [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un, he’d be there, running his country.

No Word From Kim on Canceling Nuke Summit, Trump Says
U.S. president: 'We haven't seen anything. We haven't heard anything.'

President Donald Trump greets Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the White House on Wednesday. The two leaders were scheduled to discuss a range of bilateral issues. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 12:54 p.m. | President Donald Trump on Wednesday said his administration has received no official notification from the North Korean government about canceling a summit with Kim Jong Un over the dictator’s nuclear arms and long-range missile programs.

“We haven't been notified at all, we’ll have to see. We haven’t seen anything. We haven’t heard anything,” the president said. “We will see what happens.

Votes Roll in for Haspel After Expressing Regret Over Enhanced Interrogation
Latest comments seem to be enough to get support from Mark Warner

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has written a new letter about interrogation programs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA is making it even more clear that the program sanctioning harsh interrogations during the George W. Bush administration should not have taken place.

Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the agency, expanded upon her testimony in a letter dated Monday to Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.

Lawmakers Concerned About Trump’s Pledge to Save China’s ZTE
Schumer claims U.S. president’s help would ‘make China great again’

A ZTE-made mobile device. Trump says he will help the Chinese firm avoid collapse. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Members from both parties reacted skeptically Monday to President Donald Trump’s intention to help troubled Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, saying they were concerned he was reversing his pledge to get tough on Beijing.

Trump campaigned, in part, on altering the United States’ trading relationships with the rest of the world, taking a particularly hard line against China and its practices. In 2011, he went so far as to say “China is raping this country.” So a Sunday tweet by the president raised eyebrows when he announced an effort with Chinese President Xi Jinping to “give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast.”

Donnelly Becomes Second Democrat to Support Gina Haspel to Lead the CIA
Indiana senator provides an insurance vote for the Trump nominee

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., announced his support for CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate appears to be moving full speed ahead on confirming Gina Haspel as director of the CIA.

The Intelligence Committee is expected to vote to advance her nomination to the floor during a closed business meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, and a Saturday morning announcement by Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly further reduced the suspense.

Behold the Ever-Shrinking Trump-GOP 2018 Agenda
Sanders lists only an immigration bill on White House’s wish list

President Donald Trump addresses the press before departing the White House for Dallas on May 4. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The White House’s wish list once comprised a sweeping infrastructure measure, overhauling the federal welfare program, another try at tax cuts and an immigration bill. But now, only the final item makes the list with the midterm elections fast approaching.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders essentially drove a dagger through the other items Friday, listing only an immigration bill when asked to lay out the White House’s 2018 legislative agenda.

Administration Denies Notion Jerusalem Embassy Isolates U.S. in Region
Trump to address Monday’s opening ceremony via video, official says

President Donald Trump listens to introductions as he waits to speak to supporters at a rally on Friday in Elkhart, Indiana. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Senior administration officials on Friday dismissed the notion that President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has isolated the United States in the region.

The officials also told reporters on a morning conference call that an ample number of U.S. lawmakers are expected to attend a Monday afternoon event at the Jerusalem facility to mark its official opening. They did not, however, name names.