Russia

Florida Republican members of Congress are calling for former FBI director James Comey to testify about alleged White House interference into its Russia investigation. But Sen. Marco Rubio said people shouldn’t rush to judgment on media reports.

Robert Mueller, who has been appointed to handle the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, took the reins as FBI director a week before the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. That day would influence his entire 12-year run leading the agency.

Mueller oversaw arguably the most significant changes the century-old FBI had gone through, and he received praise from lawmakers from both parties on Wednesday for his commitment to justice.

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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says reports that President Trump gave Russian officials highly classified information make him think "the United States has been developing political schizophrenia."

Republicans in Congress are calling for briefings and pleading for "less drama" at the White House following revelations that President Trump shared classified intelligence with Russia — but most are muted in their criticism of him.

For the leader of Senate Republicans, the biggest concern is that the controversy over Trump's sharing of secrets — with the successor to what Republican President Ronald Reagan once labeled the "evil empire" — is that it's distracting lawmakers from their legislative program.

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.

A video of Russian President Vladimir Putin taking a turn at the ivories in Beijing is currently making the Internet rounds.

President Trump hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Wednesday, one day after firing the man whose agency is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power.

Updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

For months, Democrats in Congress have criticized and questioned FBI Director James Comey about his handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server.

Still, they've met President Trump's surprising Tuesday evening decision to fire Comey with near-universal outrage.

Members of the Senate are hosting the next matinee Monday in the long-running saga over Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election — but even after hours of hearings, there's still much the public doesn't know.

U.S. presidents have a tradition of entering office and expressing hope for improved relations with Russia. With near perfect symmetry, this is matched by a tradition of presidents leaving office amid friction with Moscow.

Sometimes it takes years for optimism to turn to disillusionment. In the case of President Trump, there are warning signs after just a few months.

"If we could get along with Russia, that's a positive thing," Trump said shortly after his inauguration. "It would be great."

After false starts and odd twists in the White House's counternarrative about the potential connections between President Trump's campaign and Russia's electoral meddling, the storyline has settled into a familiar arc: It's all Susan Rice's fault.

FBI Director James Comey has warned that Russia will try once again to influence U.S. elections, possibly as early as next year. To prepare, the federal government has declared elections to be a part of the nation's critical infrastructure that demands special attention.

But the federal government's focus has state and local election officials, who are very protective of how they do things now, extremely nervous.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET

Russian investigators believe a man suspected of carrying out Monday's explosion on a St. Petersburg subway train died in the attack. The death toll has risen to 14 people, but officials say it could have been far worse, as a second, unexploded device was found at a different metro stop.

The device that detonated on the train was set off by a man "whose remains were found in the third car," says the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, which is leading the inquiry.

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.

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