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Russia

The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.

FBI Director James Comey refused.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu made his way to the Duma, the lower house of parliament, on the eve of Defender of the Fatherland Day. The Feb. 23 national holiday was once known as Soviet Army and Navy Day, and Shoigu, dressed in the uniform of a general, came to boast about the Russian military's latest achievements.

"We tested 162 types of contemporary and modernized weapons in Syria, which showed a high level of effectiveness," Shoigu said. Only 10 weapons systems performed below expectations, he added.

Donald Trump
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9hKraP

Bill Radke talks to former Congressman Jim McDermott and former chairman of the Washington State Republican Party Chris Vance about the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency. They discuss immigration, Russia and the future of the Republican Party.  

Candidate Donald Trump was a big fan of leaks, especially when they targeted Hillary Clinton and reports of her deleted emails.

"Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said last July in Florida. "I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."

President Trump and his inner circle have reached their first crisis with the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, but the crisis extends well beyond one empty chair in one critical moment.

Russian intelligence officials made repeated contact with members of President Trump's campaign staff, according to new reports that cite anonymous U.S. officials. American agencies were concerned about the contacts but haven't seen proof of collusion between the campaign and the Russian security apparatus, the reports say.

Updated at 9:59 a.m. ET Feb. 14

President Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned late Monday night amid allegations he inappropriately talked about U.S. sanctions with a Russian official, and later allegedly misled then-Vice President-elect Pence about the conversations. Flynn spoke with the Russian ambassador in December, before Trump was inaugurated.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. in December included a discussion of U.S. sanctions imposed by then-President Barack Obama, according to new reports that contradict what the White House has said about the matter.

The sanctions included the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats; when they were announced in late December, they drew a notably muted response — and no retaliation — from Moscow.

This has been updated at 10:00 pm ET with Clapper statement

President-elect Donald Trump denounced as "fake news" Wednesday reports that Russia had compromising information about him before the election.

He also acknowledged for the first time that Russia was behind the hacking of emails from the Democratic National Committee, although he seemed to couch it later in the news conference by saying it "could have been others."

Updated 5:30 p.m. ET

The intelligence report on Russia's interference in the U.S. elections concludes that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" that aimed to help President-elect Donald Trump.

K
Rashid Umar Abbasi/Reuters

President Barack Obama evicted the Russians from two vacation homes in the United States — though mansions may be a more fitting term.

Obama is shuttering two vacation homes used by Russian diplomats. Home is an understatement — these compounds are mansions, one in Maryland and one on New York's Long Island.

The Long Island home that will be shut down is called the Upper Brookville House, a grand building on Long Island's Gold Coast.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election.

Russian authorities say that there was no explosion onboard the plane that crashed earlier this week, killing 92, though some prominent officials have yet to rule out terrorism.

In a press conference Thursday, members of a Russian government commission investigating the crash told reporters it could have been one of several factors, but that data from the crash ruled out an explosion.

"After deciphering the first flight recorder we have made a conclusion that there was no explosion onboard," said Lt. Gen. Sergei Bainetov, head of the air force's flight safety division.

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