Russia

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Rick Perry Falls for Prank Call About Pig Manure

He thought call was from Ukraine PM

(Newser) - Bad news for Rick Perry: The promising new biofuel made from pig manure and home-brewed alcohol he wants to learn more about isn't real—and the person who told him about it wasn't Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman. The energy secretary's 22-minute phone call July 19 with... More »

House Overwhelmingly Passes Russia Sanctions Bill

Could be sent to president before Congress' August recess

(Newser) - The Republican-led House has decisively approved legislation that hits Russia with additional financial sanctions, the AP reports. The new penalties are aimed at rebuking Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria. Lawmakers voted 419-3 to pass the bill, which prevents President... More »

Kushner: Trump Won Because of Message, Not Russia

He reiterates that he did not collude with Russia

(Newser) - With the first of his two days of congressional testimony in the books, Jared Kushner made a rare public statement Monday afternoon to reaffirm his main point: "I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so," he said,... More »

What May Vanish From the Arctic by 2030

Scientists: There could be no more summer ice by then, thanks to climate change

(Newser) - Fancy an Arctic cruise? With climate change melting the planet's sea ice faster than ever, the globe's northern-most points could become a check on the well-traveled tourist's bucket list. That possibility is giving goose bumps to maritime experts who say safety measures are lacking. "It's... More »

White House: Trump Supports Sweeping Russia Sanctions

Press secretary indicates he will sign the measure

(Newser) - The White House has indicated that President Donald Trump would sign a sweeping Russia sanctions measure that requires him to get Congress' permission before lifting or easing the economic penalties against Moscow, the AP reports. The House was scheduled to consider the sanctions package as early as Tuesday, and the... More »

Are Fidget Spinners a Plot Against Russian Government?

Probably not, but don't tell state-run media that

(Newser) - Fidget spinners are the hot new children's toy this year—but maybe they're also an American plot to topple the Russian government? "Those who understand political technologies, they understand very clearly that this simple thing is controlling the masses," the New York Times quotes the editor... More »

Officials: New Info Indicates Sessions Has Been 'Misleading'

Sources tell the 'Washington Post' he spoke to Russian ambassador about campaign

(Newser) - Jeff Sessions has insisted his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 presidential campaign had nothing to do with the campaign—but the ambassador is saying otherwise. Sergey Kislyak told his superiors that during two conversations with Sessions, who was a senator at the time and also serving as... More »

Officials Fear Upcoming Russian War Games Are 'Trojan Horse'

There is concern Russia is trying to maneuver equipment into Belarus

(Newser) - Russia is staging war games in Belarus in September, but US officials and US allies in the area are concerned the country's real aim is to bring military equipment into the country and leave it there. "People are worried this is a Trojan horse. They say, 'We'... More »

Report: Trump Is Asking About the Pardons Process

But Trump attorney says 'pardons are not being discussed'

(Newser) - As special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation continues to simmer, President Trump's legal team is allegedly brainstorming how to throw cold water on it, "people familiar with the effort" tell the Washington Post . Among the strategies reportedly on the table is an attempt to slow or stop... More »

Exxon Fined $2M for Sanctions Breach Under Tillerson

Company says it did nothing wrong

(Newser) - Exxon Mobil Corp. must pay a $2 million fine for showing "reckless disregard" for US sanctions on Russia while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the oil giant's CEO, the Treasury Department said Thursday. Exxon sued the US government to stop the fine. The Treasury said that Exxon... More »

Russian Lawyer Who Met Trump Jr. Ready to 'Clarify the Situation'

Natalia Veselnitskaya says she'd testify before Congress

(Newser) - The Russian lawyer who met with President Trump's eldest son during the 2016 election campaign said Wednesday she's ready to "clarify the situation behind this mass hysteria, but only through lawyers or testifying in the Senate." Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Natalia Veselnitskaya in... More »

8th Attendee of Trump Jr. Meeting Has Been ID'd

Lawyer appears to confirm special investigation is looking into meeting

(Newser) - The eighth—and potentially final—attendee of a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer promising information harmful to Hillary Clinton has been identified as Ike Kaveladze, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 52-year-old was born in the republic of Georgia under the Soviet Union and... More »

Russian Prosecutor Who Sullies Foes Tied to Trump Jr. Meeting

Yuri Chaika an expert at 'kompromat': 'NYT'

(Newser) - It isn't clear what incriminating information on Hillary Clinton, if any, was provided to Donald Trump Jr. during his meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016. What is known, however, is that the man believed to have been the source of the information promised is an expert... More »

Stephen Colbert Skewers Trump on 'Russia Week'

He appears on Russian show, seeks help for his own supposed run in 2020

(Newser) - President Trump will want to avoid Stephen Colbert's show more than ever this week. The CBS host launched "Russia Week" on Monday night following his visit to the country, per the Hollywood Reporter . Colbert will be airing pieces from his trip all week, and his first was on... More »

Russia Orders Disbanding of Jehovah's Witnesses

Government will seize group's Kingdom Halls

(Newser) - "Religious freedom in Russia is over," a spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses lamented Monday after the country's highest court rejected an appeal against an order banning the group . The ruling means that the religious organization will be forced to close almost 400 local chapters and hand all... More »

Reported Attendees at Trump Jr. Meeting Increases to 8

CNN adds translator and family representative to list

(Newser) - The number of people who attended a meeting in which Donald Trump Jr. had been promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton continues to grow. CNN reports there were at least eight people at the June 2016 meeting—two more than previously believed. A source says the unreported attendees were a... More »

Another Russian Attended the Trump Jr. Meeting

Rinat Akhmetshin reportedly worked in Soviet counterintelligence

(Newser) - Another intriguing detail to Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer: We already knew that he, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort were in the room. Now comes word that Veselnitskaya brought along a Russian-born lobbyist described by NBC News as a "former Soviet counterintelligence... More »

US Spies Heard Russians Discussing Trump Aides in 2015

Pre-campaign recordings are again under review

(Newser) - Investigators are re-examining overheard conversations in which Russian government officials discuss dealings with Donald Trump's associates, given confirmation of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer, US officials say. Though the conversations were recorded by US intelligence in early 2015, months before Trump announced his campaign... More »

Trump Jr.: I'd Do Things a 'Little Differently' Now

And he says he didn't tell his father about the meeting

(Newser) - Donald Trump Jr. admitted to Sean Hannity on Tuesday night that he "probably would have done things a little differently" if he had known his meeting with a Russian lawyer claiming to have information on Hillary Clinton would cause such an uproar. It was "pre-Russia fever," the... More »

Sources: Justice Dept. Special Counsel Will Probe Trump Jr.

As part of its broader investigation into alleged Russian meddling, sources say

(Newser) - The Donald Trump Jr. Russia email controversy will, according to a US official who spoke to CNN , be probed by Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigators. The investigators will look into Trump Jr.'s emails with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 US presidential election as part... More »

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