The FBI recently sought to question the CIA whistleblower who filed a complaint over President Trump's July 25 Ukraine call — a move that came after a vigorous internal debate within the bureau over how to respond to some of the issues raised by the complaint's allegations and whether they needed to be more thoroughly investigated, according to sources familiar with the matter. An FBI agent in the Washington field office in October reached out to one of the lawyers representing the whistleblower and asked to question the CIA analyst who triggered the congressional inquiry into the president's conduct, one of the sources said. It is unclear what the intended scope of the interview would be or whether the whistleblower's lawyers will agree to it.
Alumni of the Obama administration reacted with disbelief and outrage to a claim from White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham that incoming Trump administration officials found insulting notes left behind for them in their offices. “We came into the White House, I'll tell you something,” said Grisham during a local radio interview Tuesday morning, as reported by CNN's Abby Phillip. In the nearly three years since the presidential transition, no Trump administration officials have mentioned the notes or produced any photos that would support Grisham's charge.
An ammunition dealer who acknowledged selling hundreds of incendiary tracer rounds to the gunman who killed nearly 60 people at a Las Vegas music festival two years ago pleaded guilty on Tuesday to manufacturing bullets without a license. Douglas Haig, 57, of Mesa, Arizona, became the first and only person arrested and charged in connection with the Oct. 1, 2017, massacre, which ended when the gunman, Stephen Paddock, killed himself. Haig told reporters following his arrest last year that none of the surplus military ammunition he sold to Paddock in September 2017 was ever fired during the killing spree, which ranks as the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) brought the fireworks late during U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's public impeachment testimony Wednesday. Maloney drew applause from the audience after he got Sondland to admit that hypothetically President Trump would be the one to benefit from an investigation into his domestic rivals, such as former Vice President Joe Biden. "There we go, that wasn't so hard!" Maloney exclaims, prompting a smattering of applause from public present in the room.
A North Carolina county removed a Confederate statue from a historic courthouse early Wednesday, joining the handful of places around the state where such monuments have come down in recent years despite a law protecting them. Preparations began Tuesday night to carefully dismantle the statue of a soldier outside the historic Chatham County courthouse, where it had stood since 1907, and continued for hours overnight, said county spokeswoman Kara Lusk Dudley. The removal comes months after Winston-Salem officials removed a Confederate statue from land there that had passed into private hands.
A Catholic bishop in China is believed to be on the run from state security after refusing to bring his church under a government-sanctioned religious association. Guo Xijin, 61, has fled the custody of state agents and has gone into hiding, reported Catholic Asia News, a website, and cannot be immediately reached for comment. Mr Guo is part of a group of bishops that many religious and human rights experts feared would be persecuted after the Vatican inked a deal with Beijing last year on the ordaining bishops.
Russia's much-feared Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire is getting a new upgrade and is adding a new long-range supersonic missile called the Kh-32. The upgrade will allow the massive jet to once again hit allied targets across the North Atlantic region just as the Backfire once did during the Cold War. The bomber and its new weapon will be delivered to the Russian Aerospace Forces in October.
The Indian Army plans to buy just 1,800 state-of-the-art sniper rifles and 2.7 million rounds of ammunition -- less than a third of its total requirement -- driven by budgetary constraints and the need to speed up deliveries, people with knowledge of the matter said. The military pruned its original requirement of 5,720 sniper rifles and 10 million rounds of ammunition, which would have cost $140 million, to prioritize spending and advance the purchase of more modern equipment, they said, asking not to be identified as the information isn't public. Indian Army spokesman Aman Anand said he had no comment to offer on the change in procurement plans.
Federal prosecutors are planning to interview an executive with Ukraine's state-owned gas company as part of an ongoing probe into the business dealings of Rudy Giuliani and two of his Soviet-born business associates. A lawyer for Andrew Favorov confirmed Tuesday that he is scheduled to meet voluntarily with the U.S. Justice Department. Favorov is the director of the integrated gas division at Naftogaz, the state-owned gas provider in Ukraine.
Israel said its warplanes carried out a "very intense" attack against Iranian forces and Syrian army targets in Syria Wednesday, in raids a monitoring group reported killed at least 23 people. In a rare confirmation of their operations in Syria, the Israeli army said they had carried out dozens of strikes against the Iranian elite Quds Force and the Syrian military, in response to four rockets fired at Israel a day before. Britain-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said 23 people were killed in the strikes -- 21 fighters and two civilians.
American Airlines admitted Tuesday the powerful fumes that knocked two flight attendants unconscious and forced a flight to make an emergency landing were not caused by spilled soap, as the airline had previously claimed.
Well, that wasn't the start to the day the White House was hoping for. Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who was temporarily brought onto the White House team to deliver "proactive impeachment messaging and other special projects as they arise," per an administration official, stumbled when it came to that very messaging during a CBS interview Wednesday before a major public impeachment hearing. U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland is testifying before Congress, but when Bondi was asked about him she flubbed his title, referring to him as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.
In her reelection video for Cook County State Attorney released Tuesday, Kim Foxx concedes that she mishandled the high-profile prosecution of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. The truth is, I didn't handle it well,” Foxx says in the video. I own that.
The former Louisiana State University student who was found guilty of negligent homicide for the hazing death of 18-year-old Phi Delta Theta pledge Max Gruver was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday. Jurors reportedly took just one hour to convict Matthew Naquin in July. The judge ordered Naquin to write a letter of apology to the Gruver family, and for every year he is on probation he must go to three separate high schools and give a one-hour talk about hazing, according to WVLA-TV.
The disgraced former mayor of Baltimore was charged Wednesday with fraud and tax evasion involving sales of her self-published children's books to non-profits and foundations that did business with the government. An 11-count federal indictment accuses Catherine Pugh of arranging fraudulent sales of her “Healthy Holly” books to schools, libraries and a medical system to enrich herself, promote her political career and fund her run for mayor. “There are many victims in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Hur in announcing the indictment.
Fixes typo) LONDON, Nov 21 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Extinction Rebellion activists pressing for more rapid action on climate change threats on Wednesday entered a third day of a week-long hunger strikes in 27 countries. The strikes, which began Monday, have been in part spearheaded by 20-year-old Giovanni Tamacas, a University of San Diego student, who carried out a solo hunger strike last month in front of the White House. We are hunger striking because we have no choice, he said in a statement, arguing governments and corporations have criminally and catastrophically failed to tackle the climate and ecological emergency .
Elstad Ranch/Flickr Syracuse University's fraternities had their social activities canceled for the rest of the semester after a black student said members of the Alpha Chi Rho fraternity called her the N-word. It was the latest in a series of reported racist and anti-Semitic incidents to sweep the upstate New York campus since November 7. Syracuse University has canceled all fraternity social activities for the rest of the semester after a black student reported a racist attack.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail Thursday to stump in Louisiana for the second time in as many weeks, using a raucous rally to mock two U.S. diplomats who raised questions about his dealings with Ukraine at the center of an impeachment inquiry. A day after a U.S. diplomat told lawmakers his staff overheard the president pressing for a Ukrainian investigation into his rivals – a bombshell revelation the president has denied – Trump was hoping to turn the tide in Louisiana's razor-thin race for governor. Trump has not scheduled any additional rallies through the remainder of the year.
Israel has three weeks to stave off an unprecedented third election after former military chief Benny Gantz failed to muster enough support in parliament to form a government and dislodge legally embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Political newcomer Gantz -- the only politician to present a serious challenge to the prime minister over the past decade -- informed Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Wednesday that, like Netanyahu before him, he couldn't cobble together a governing coalition.
The US aircraft carrier strike group Abraham Lincoln sailed through the key Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday to show Washington's "commitment" to freedom of navigation, the Pentagon said, amid tensions with Tehran. The group's move through the strategic waterway separating Iran and the United Arab Emirates towards the Gulf was scheduled, and unfolded without incident, the US Navy said in a statement. It was the first time a US aircraft carrier group went through the strait since Iran downed a US drone in June in the same area.
Washington D.C.) The Navy has laid the keel for its first new, Flight III DDG 51 surface warfare destroyer armed with improved weapons, advanced sensors and new radar 35-times more sensitive than most current systems, changing attack and defensive options for the surface fleet. Navy Flight III Destroyers have a host of defining new technologies not included in current ships such as more on-board power to accommodate laser weapons, new engines, improved electronics, fast-upgradeable software and a much more powerful radar. The Flight III Destroyers will be able to see and destroy a much wider range of enemy targets at farther distances.
The FBI has opened an investigation into a possible “criminal enterprise” involved in the death of Jeffrey Epstein, according to the Tuesday Congressional testimony of Bureau of Prisons director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer Sawyer announced the inquiry during a line of questioning from Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.). With a case this high profile there has got to be either a major malfunction of the system or criminal enterprise at foot to allow this to happen. So are you looking at both, is the FBI looking at both?
After Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) accused South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of being woefully inexperienced when it comes to national security and foreign policy, Buttigieg fired back by saying he would never have met a "murderous dictator" like she did. In 2017, six years after the start of the Syrian Civil War, Gabbard traveled to the country to meet with its leader, Bashar al-Assad. The United States considers him a war criminal who killed his own citizens, and facing criticism for her trip back home, Gabbard refused to denounce Assad or apologize for the meeting.