HSEC

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

GRANSEE, GERMANY - AUGUST 18: Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (not pictured) give statements to the media prior to talks at Schloss Meseberg palace, the German government retreat, at Meseberg on August 18, 2018 near Gransee, Germany. The two leaders are meeting to dicuss a variety of issues, including the current international sanctions imposed on Russia, the situation in Syria as well as the situation in eastern Ukraine. (Photo by 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.”

Day After Praising Assault on Reporter, Trump Attacks Democrats As ‘Angry Mob’
Trump posts video message to Twitter saying Democrats are ‘losing it,’ hopes for unity someday

A day after praising a Republican congressman for assaulting a reporter, President Donald Trump posted a video message on Twitter Friday calling Democrats an "angry mob" that is "losing it." (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A day after praising a Republican congressman for assaulting a reporter, President Donald Trump posted a video message on Twitter Friday calling Democrats an “angry mob” that is “losing it.”

“We should be a unified country,” Trump said. “It will happen someday.”

Scalise Defends Trump Joking About Gianforte Assaulting a Reporter
Majority whip says Trump was ‘ribbing’ Gianforte, not asking his supporters to engage in violence

Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., defended President Donald Trump’s support of a congressman’s assault on a reporter as a joke that does not equate to Democrats’ inciting violence against Trump supporters and Republican candidates. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has been on TV, Twitter and writing op-eds criticizing Democrats for inciting violence, but on Friday he defended President Donald Trump’s comments about a congressman’s assault on a reporter as simply a joke.

Last year Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte body slammed Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs after the reporter tried to ask him questions about his views on a GOP health care plan. 

Why Angry Senators Are Ready to Break Up With Saudi Arabia
Podcast, Episode 125

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: U.S. President Donald Trump (R) meets with Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the Oval Office at the White House, March 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Senators are considering several options to punish Saudi Arabia over the suspected murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says CQ foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald. She adds that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have grown frustrated with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He was once seen as a reformer but his crackdown on dissent has tarred his image.

 

‘The Front Runner’ Rolls Into Middleburg Film Festival
Political flick starring Hugh Jackman gets star billing at area event

Director Jason Reitman, left and actor Hugh Jackman attend "The Front Runner" Photo Call at Crosby Street Hotel on September 24, 2018 in New York City. (Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Can’t wait for this weekend’s screening of Hugh Jackman’s latest star turn, “The Front Runner” at the Middleburg Film Festival and subsequent chat with director Jason Reitman? Fret not. Roll Call’s Political Theater Podcast recently discussed the movie, about Colorado Sen. Gary Hart’s short-lived and prophetic presidential run, starring Jackman and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons, with Reitman and co-writers Matt Bai and Jay Carson. 

Have a listen to What ‘The Front Runner’ Says About Today’s Politics

New York Man Arrested for Kavanaugh Confirmation Death Threats
Ronald DeRisi allegedly threatened two senators for their votes on Supreme Court justice

Protesters opposed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh rally at the Supreme Court after a march on October 4, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A 74-year-old Long Island man has been arrested on charges of threatening to injure or kill two senators over their support of confirming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

The allegations against Ronald DeRisi are made in a filing in federal court in New York’s Eastern District.

Word on the Hill: What’s Buzzing on Capitol Hill?
Settling baseball bets, Gabbard’s healing waters, and fishing for bad puns

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

We’re all over Capitol Hill and its surrounding haunts looking for good stories. Some of the best are ones we come across while reporting the big stories.

There is life beyond legislating, and this is the place for those stories. We look for them, but we don’t find them all. We want to know what you see, too.

Ryan Zinke Violated Travel Policy, Interior Watchdog Finds
IG report details family member ride-alongs, $25,000 in vacation security

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke invited family members ride with him in government vehicles, an inspector general reporter found. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Interior Department watchdog found that Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal policy when he let his family members travel with him in government vehicles, although he had reimbursed the department.

A copy of the department’s inspector general report was sent to Congress and was provided to Roll Call by a congressional aide on Thursday.

White House Press Group Chides Trump for ‘Body Slam’ Comment
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ Trump said in support of Rep. Greg Gianforte

Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., waves to constituents at the Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on Aug. 18. Gianforte was convicted of assaulting a reporter last year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The White House Correspondents’ Association has formally criticized President Donald Trump for his comments Thursday evening in Montana promoting the physical assault of a reporter by Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte.

“All Americans should recoil from the president’s praise for a violent assault on a reporter doing his Constitutionally protected job,” WHCA President Olivier Knox said in a statement issued Friday.