Chastising Russia

Thursday, April 13, 2017Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 07.54.45

Good Thursday morning, 
Here are some of the stories making news in Washington and politics today:
— The First Draft Team

Guarding Washington’s Most Powerful

By NICHOLAS FANDOS
The Diplomatic Security Service of the State Department protects Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations. The service also provides protection for visiting foreign dignitaries.

The Diplomatic Security Service of the State Department protects Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations. The service also provides protection for visiting foreign dignitaries. Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

In a city obsessed with the trappings of power, they are the ultimate status symbol: the wire-wearing, black S.U.V.-driving protective crews that come with high-level government service.
So when it came to light last week that the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had ordered the United States Marshals Service to extend a full protective detail to Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, for as much as $1 million a month, many people began to wonder about the protective pecking order in the Trump era.
The answer, given the nature of the job, is difficult to know. Security forces are loath to discuss much about who they protect or what it costs, for fear, they say, of compromising their mission.
But when the billionaire Wilbur L. Ross Jr., the commerce secretary, goes to dinner at a fancy Georgetown restaurant, bodyguards sit nearby. When members of Congress practice in the early mornings in an Alexandria, Va., public park for their Congressional Baseball Game, plainclothes United States Capitol Police are sitting there in a black S.U.V.
The secretary of the Interior Department, who rode a horse to his first day at work, turns to the United States Park Police, better known for patrolling the nation’s national parks, often on horseback. Protecting top government officials, from the president to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, involves a patchwork of more than a dozen federal agencies and offices.
It may be easier to ask who in Washington does not have a protective detail. But it is possible, based on public records, news accounts and interviews with security officials, to sketch the rough outlines.
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U.S. Takes Sharper Tone on Russia’s Role in Syria

By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS AND DAVID E. SANGER

President Trump’s hopes for an alliance faded as he and his administration publicly chastised President Vladimir V. Putin.

 

At Meeting, Putin and Tillerson Find Very Little to Agree On

By DAVID E. SANGER

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said after meeting President Vladimir V. Putin that Russia and the United States needed to “put an end to this steady degradation.”

 

Russia Vetoes U.N. Resolution Condemning Syria Chemical Attack

By SOMINI SENGUPTA

The resolution would have strengthened the ability of investigators to look into the attack that killed dozens of civilians. The United States blames Syria’s president.

 

Trump Reversals Hint at Sway of Wall Street Wing in White House

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

Startling shifts on China and the Export-Import Bank and the possible reappointment of the chairwoman of the Federal Reserve show financiers may be gaining the upper hand over the populists.

 

Trump Undercuts Bannon, Whose Job May Be in Danger

By JEREMY W. PETERS AND MAGGIE HABERMAN

The president said Mr. Bannon was not the chief strategist of his campaign victory, distancing himself from the contentious hard-right adviser who is increasingly isolated in the White House.

 

‘I Screwed Up’: Sean Spicer Apologizes for Holocaust Comments

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

Facing an outcry that included calls for his resignation, Sean Spicer said his remarks, in which he compared Hitler to President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, were “inexcusable.”

 

Manafort Borrowed From Businesses With Trump Ties

By MIKE MCINTIRE

A shell company created by Paul Manafort the same day he left the presidential campaign quickly received $13 million in loans from the businesses.

 

Scott Pruitt Faces Anger From Right Over E.P.A. Finding He Won’t Fight

By CORAL DAVENPORT

Critics charge the agency’s administrator should have challenged a legal finding that underpinned the Obama climate policies, but he refuses to budge.

 

Court Approved Wiretap on Trump Campaign Aide Over Russia Ties

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG AND MATT APUZZO

To get permission to wiretap Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump campaign, last summer, the Justice Department had to show probable cause that he was acting as a Russian agent.

 

Suburban G.O.P. Voters Sour on Party, Raising Republican Fears

By ALEXANDER BURNS AND JONATHAN MARTIN

A narrower-than-expected victory in Kansas and an even tougher contest next week in Georgia are highlighting Republicans’ troubles with affluent white voters.

 

The Republican Won, but Voters Shifted Left in the Kansas Election

By ALICIA PARLAPIANO

Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District shifted 24 points toward Democrats in Tuesday’s special election.

 

Who Is Ron Estes, Kansas’ Newest Congressman?

By JULIE TURKEWITZ

Mr. Estes, the state treasurer and a Republican, won a special election on Tuesday for the seat vacated by Mike Pompeo, now the C.I.A. director.

 

At Fox News, the Murdochs Assess the O’Reilly Damage

By EMILY STEEL AND MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT

Bill O’Reilly has left Fox News for a vacation while his employers decide whether they should force him from the network over sexual harassment accusations.

 
FACT CHECK

Trump Says He Didn’t Meet Bannon Until 2016, but They Met in 2011

By LINDA QIU

The president also repeated falsehoods about Hillary Clinton and contradicted his own earlier positions on Syria and chemical attacks.

 

Choice of Pro-Immigration Economic Adviser Riles Base

By ALAN RAPPEPORT

President Trump selected Kevin Hassett, who believes that immigration spurs economic growth, to lead his Council of Economic Advisers.

 

Why ‘Sorry’ Is Still the Hardest Word to Say

By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM

The representatives of United Airlines and the White House both found themselves grappling with an increasingly common ritual: the public apology.

 

To Detain More Immigrants, Trump Will Speed Border Hiring

By VIVIAN YEE AND RON NIXON

The internal memo also says the administration wants to find space to detain thousands more immigrants and to speed deportation cases.