Russia

This was to have been the week when President Trump turned his fledgling presidency around, setting a course for success and letting the wind fill its sails at last.

Instead, it became his worst week to date, ending with the ship becalmed and its crew in disarray. After other controversies had spoiled the weather, the Republicans proved unable to muster the votes to pass their repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. The president and Speaker Paul Ryan had to call off the vote scheduled on the floor — not once but twice.

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Oleksandr Synytsia/Reuters 

"An act of state terrorism by Russia."

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko did not mince words about neighboring Russia following the assassination of an outspoken Kremlin critic in Kiev.

Denis Voronenkov, 45, was gunned down in broad daylight in front of a luxury hotel in the center of the city Thursday. He was a former member of the Russian parliament before he renounced his citizenship and emigrated last October to Ukraine where he became a citizen.

The outlook for a key congressional investigation into potential ties between President Trump and Russia's election meddling remained in doubt Thursday, after an unusual, high-profile flap involving its top two members.

A former Russian parliamentarian named Denis Voronenkov, who fled Russia last October and has criticized President Vladimir Putin's government, was killed in Kiev on Thursday, in an apparent assassination that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is reportedly calling "state terrorism."

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

If much of the US was transfixed by the sight on Monday of two of America’s top intelligence officials sitting in Congress, addressing allegations of Russian meddling in the US elections, the Kremlin claimed it had better things to do.

“We have many concerns in the Kremlin and following that [debate] isn’t one of them,” said presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“New information we’re not hearing and doubtfully will hear,” said Peskov, who went on to compare the hearings to a “broken record” being played ad nauseum.

At an hours-long public hearing on Monday, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency is investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and he pushed back against President Trump's allegations that he was wiretapped by former President Barack Obama.

FBI Director James Comey lit the fuse Monday on a political time bomb and no one — including him — knows how long it will take to burn or what kind of damage it may cause when it goes off.

Comey confirmed to members of Congress that his investigators are looking into possible collusion between the campaign that elected President Trump and the Russian government. In fact, he said, the FBI has been doing so since last July.

Associated Press

The NPR Two-Way blog is providing live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.

The live blog will include streaming video of the proceedings, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

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President Trump has developed a consistent tactic when he's criticized: say that someone else is worse.

Updated at 2:40 p.m. ET

The Justice Department has announced charges against four people, including two Russian security officials, over cybercrimes linked to a massive hack of millions of Yahoo user accounts.

President Trump has reportedly offered former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman the job of U.S. ambassador to Russia. Huntsman has been a U.S. ambassador twice before, in Singapore (1992-1993) and China (2009-2011).

Like all ambassadorships, the position requires Senate confirmation — but the diplomatic posting to Moscow was expected to face particular scrutiny in light of ongoing investigations into Russia's attempts to meddle in U.S. politics and reports of repeated contacts between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

Russia's ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, is not known to seek the limelight. He's a mild-mannered diplomat and an arms control expert who came to Washington as ambassador in 2008. But he has been in the news a lot of late, as Trump administration contacts with him come under scrutiny.

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.

Amid escalating anxieties over recent Russian activities, Sweden has approved a plan to reinstitute military conscription beginning next year. The draft, which will pull from both young men and women, will be Sweden's first since 2010, when the country discontinued compulsory service.

The country expects to call up at least 4,000 young people per year for military training, in a bid to erase its deficits in recruitment since the draft ended. The government says it has been recruiting about 2,500 people for military service annually, about 1,500 fewer than it says it needs.

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Donald Trump has used the phrase "enemy of the people" a couple of times.  

In early February, he tweeted it:

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