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Russia

Updated on July 25 at 9:21 p.m. ET

The multiple investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race will open a new chapter Wednesday when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing about foreign agents operating in the U.S. lobbying on behalf of foreign governments — and what some consider the lax enforcement of the federal law that governs their activities.

Then FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: 'Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.'
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Former FBI Director James Comey is testifying before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence this week, speaking publicly for the first time since he was fired by President Donald Trump nearly a month ago.

On Thursday, June 8, Senators are expected to press Comey on the circumstances surrounding his dismissal as well as the investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election. 

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton argued Wednesday that Russian meddling in the 2016 election in large part cost her the White House, and said she was "leaning" toward believing that President Trump's campaign did, indeed, collude with the Russians.

Updated June 20, 2017, at 2:42 p.m. ET

On Wednesday afternoon, the Justice Department selected Robert Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any links or coordination the Trump campaign had with Russia as part of that country's effort to interfere in last year's presidential election.

"Special Counsel Mueller has agreed to resign from his private law firm in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with firm clients or attorneys," a Justice Department statement noted.

President Donald Trump at speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/SfGqf1

Bill Radke talks to Phil Ewing, NPR's National Security editor, about the latest in the investigation into the Trump campaign's connections to Russia in the 2016 election.  

Updated at 9:15 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to oversee the growing probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to associates of President Trump.

"In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

Updated at 9:10 p.m. ET

President Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to close down the agency's investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn just one day after Flynn was let go, according to two sources close to Comey.

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

Bill Radke talks to Jill Dougherty, a distinguished visiting practitioner at the University of Washington Evans School and former CNN Russia correspondent and Moscow Bureau Chief, about the latest news from the White House regarding how President Trump handled classified information in his meeting with Russian officials. 

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

The absence of former FBI Director James Comey loomed large over the Senate Intelligence Committee's hearing with top U.S. intelligence leaders, but his temporary replacement, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, assured lawmakers he would not bend to pressure from the White House.

"You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution," McCabe said.

The White House says President Trump fired James Comey because of how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Let that sink in for a moment.

The president, who campaigned before crowds that chanted, "Lock her up," is telling the American people that he summarily fired the FBI director, by letter, because he went outside Department of Justice protocols in speaking out about the Clinton investigation months ago.

FLICKR PHOTO/hackNY.org (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bHLu96

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle Times reporter Mike Carter about the case of Roman Seleznev. Seleznev's story reads like spy fiction. He is the illegitimate son of a prominent Russian politician and Putin ally. He grew up in poverty, with an alcoholic mother who died when he was a teenager. Without a mother and abandoned by his powerful father, 17-year-old Seleznev ended up living on the streets.

Seleznev went on to steal and sell hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of credit card numbers, many from businesses here in Washington state. U.S. authorities pursued Seleznev around the globe and finally, they arrested him and brought him to Washington for trial.

He was just convicted and sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET.

FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday defended his decision to tell Congress in October that he was revisiting the bureau's investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said he believed revisiting the investigation just before the election — knowing it could affect the outcome — would be really bad, but that not to do so would be catastrophic for the agency's independence. In retrospect, he said, he still believes he made the right choice.

President Trump just seems to have a thing for strongmen.

He invited the brutal Philippine leader, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House during a "very friendly" phone call Sunday. On Tuesday, Trump has another call — this one with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Bill Radke speaks with Wes Hurley, co-director of the award-winning autobiographical documentary short Little Potato. Hurley explains the hardships of growing up gay in Russia and the mysterious Channel 3 which began broadcasting American films, giving his family hope as they struggled to make it to America. He also discusses the culture shock of moving from Vladivostok to Seattle in the late 90s. 

The tiny Balkan country of Montenegro may be best known for its stunning coastline on the Adriatic sea — and as a setting for the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale.

But in February, news broke that sounded like a twist right out of a 007 thriller.

Montenegro's special prosecutor, Milivoje Katnic, announced that "Russian state bodies" had backed a plot to overthrow the government and kill the prime minister during elections last October.

Flickr Photo/Andreas Eldh (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Kate Starbird about her research on how "false flag" rumors are spread on Twitter after a crisis and how they connect with "alternative" media sources, including Russian-funded media.

Updated at 3:15 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling the missile strike President Trump ordered against Syria on Thursday "an act of aggression against a sovereign state delivered in violation of international law under a far-fetched pretext."

President Trump issued a remarkable statement following a Syrian gas attack U.S. officials say was leveled by that country's leader against his own people.

Some 40 words of the short, 78-word statement blamed former President Barack Obama for inaction.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Russian investigators say an "explosive device" ignited and ripped through a train car as it was traveling in between metro stations in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday afternoon. A second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET Friday

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn is negotiating with the House and Senate intelligence committees to testify about any Trump campaign dealings with Russia — after he is given immunity from prosecution, according to his lawyer.

R
Yuri Maltsev/Reuters

Going into Sunday, no one really knew how many people would show up for the “anti-corruption” rallies across Russia. But show up they did.

Independent estimates say some 60,000 Russians defied strict government, anti-assembly laws in more than 90 cities across Russia — the largest turnout against the Kremlin since mass street protests in 2011. Then as now, hundreds of people were arrested for protesting without permission.

But Sunday’s rally also proved a test of the power of the internet.

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET

President Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner is going to talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his meetings with Russian officials, Senate sources tell NPR.

The committee is looking into Russia's attempt to meddle in last year's presidential election, as well as possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.

A Russian billionaire paid former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort millions of dollars to boost the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press reports. The new allegations arise months after Manafort resigned from the campaign amid concerns over his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian Intelligence Activities.
AP Photo/Cliff Owen

Starting Monday morning, NPR reporters provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/av619h

Bill Radke speaks with Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel about the "gathering storm" around President Trump's attorney general. The Post broke the story that AG Jeff Sessions spoke twice with the Russian ambassador during the presidential campaign, which sounds fishy because Sessions claimed under oath that he didn't have contact with Russian officials.

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will recuse himself from any investigations into possible Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.

"Let me be clear: I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign," Sessions reiterated during an afternoon news conference in response to reports that he had met twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. last year.

"I should not be involved in investigating a campaign I had a role in," Sessions said.

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.

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