FBI Director Christopher Wray has muddled the White House's official story about the departure of former White House staff secretary Rob Porter. Porter resigned last Wednesday after two of his ex-wives claimed to have suffered years of physical and mental abuse at his hands. The White House initially defended Porter against the allegations and claimed not to have known about them until last week, but Wray called that assertion into question Tuesday during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Wray: "Was the FBI aware of allegations related to Rob Porter and domestic abuse? And if so, when was the White House informed this could affect his security clearance?" The FBI director noted a "limit" to what he could disclose publicly, but said his intelligence agency "submitted a partial report on the investigation … in March" of 2017, and that a background check on Porter was completed by July of last year. He continued: "Soon thereafter we received requests for a follow-up inquiry … and provided that information in November." Wray said that this month the FBI "received some additional information and we passed that on as well," but the investigation officially concluded in January.
FBI Director Wray on Rob Porter background investigation: "We administratively closed the file in January. And then earlier this month we received some additional information and we passed that on as well."
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Wray's statements seem to contradict the White House's story about the FBI background check. As The Wall Street Journal's Rebecca Ballhaus points out, White House spokesperson Raj Shah claimed the background check into Porter was "ongoing" when the allegations came to light. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the same assertion Monday. Kelly O'Meara Morales
Researchers say that with temperatures rising in Canada's high Arctic, hundreds of glaciers are shrinking and many could soon vanish.
They used satellite imagery to study 1,773 glaciers on Ellesmere Island, the most northerly island in the Arctic Archipelago, and found that from 1999 to 2015, 1,353 shrank significantly, and a few disappeared completely. "What we found is a loss of three complete ice shelves," Adrienne White, a glaciologist at the University of Ottawa, told The Guardian. "In terms of glaciers that terminate on land, we've lost three small ice caps." From 1948 to 2016, the annual average temperature in northern Ellesmere Island increased by 6.48 degrees Fahrenheit, one of the fastest rates of anywhere on Earth.
White said none of the glaciers are showing any signs of growing, and when they "break away, all of a sudden there's nothing holding back these ecosystems that have been growing and developing for thousands of years. And they're gone before we even have the chance to study them." Catherine Garcia
During an interview with Fox News' Tucker Carlson that aired Tuesday night, President Trump said he's been thinking about the different ways Russia assisted the United States in the past.
During World War II, "Russia lost 50 million people and helped us win the war," he said. "I was just saying to myself the other day, you know, Russia really helped us. I'm not pro-Russia, pro-anybody, I just want to have this country be safe." He doesn't "want nuclear weapons, even people thinking about it," he added. "Russia and the United States control 90 percent of the nuclear weapons in the world, and getting along with Russia, and not only for that reason, is a good thing, not a bad thing."
Carlson asked Trump if Russia is "our chief adversary," and Trump said they have a "strong military" but their economy is "much smaller than China. I don't even want to use the term 'adversary.' We can all work together, we can do great, everybody can do well, and we can live in peace." Watch more of the interview in the video below. Catherine Garcia
CNN's Chris Cuomo says Trump's 'insistence on covering for himself' has cost the U.S. 'a lot of legitimacy'
President Trump came out on Tuesday with what he called a "clarification" of remarks he made in Helsinki on Monday, but CNN's Chris Cuomo and his giant computer screen weren't buying it.
While standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump had an "epic fail in front of the world," Cuomo said, choosing Putin's "lies over his own country's truth." Trump on Tuesday said he misspoke, and meant to say "I don't know why it wouldn't be" Russia that meddled in the election, rather than "would." Cuomo had the portion of his remarks up on the screen, and ripped apart this explanation, going sentence by sentence.
Trump believes when the 2016 election is attacked, it "delegitimizes his win," Cuomo said, and "if it comes down to what is best for Trump or what is best for you, you're going to lose, and the world saw this yesterday and it was shameful." The most authentic proof of this is found in Trump's prepared remarks from Tuesday. They were typed, but Trump wrote in huge letters on top, "There was no colusion [sic]."
"Why?" Cuomo said. "Even though it has nothing to do with saying it is true that Russia attacked us, it is what he cares about, and you know it's authentic because he misspelled collusion and that is something he does, he misspells words." Trump also crossed out a line about bringing those involved "in that meddling to justice," and that's because "he hates the notion that there could be any sense of justice, fairness under law, that involves punishing him or anyone around him," Cuomo said. "The insistence on covering for himself cost our country a lot of legitimacy in Helsinki." Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
Rep. Martha Roby was victorious Tuesday night, winning the Republican primary runoff in Alabama's 2nd congressional district.
She defeated Bobby Bright, a former Democratic congressman who became a Republican and vocal supporter of President Trump. After the Access Hollywood tape came out in October 2016 that showed Trump bragging about assaulting women, Roby said she would not vote for him, and that was used against her by Bright and the other Republican candidates during the campaign. In the June primary, Roby was unable to get more than 50 percent of the vote, and had to face Bright in the runoff election.
Since the election, Roby has praised Trump and visited the White House multiple times, and last month, he tweeted his endorsement of her. With nearly half of all precincts reporting, Roby had 67 percent of the vote, compared to Bright with 33 percent. Catherine Garcia
During a forum on gun control last week in Tucson, a Republican candidate for Arizona's Legislative District 2 stood up and said that he is proof of the importance of, in case of an attack, having a "good guy there with a gun."
Bobby Wilson said that when he was a teenager, he shot and killed a person who came into his room and wanted him dead, The Arizona Republic reports. "You can pass all the laws you want to in this world, and when you've got somebody out there that wants to harm somebody, they're going to do it if you don't stop them," he said.
The person he killed wasn't a burglar or a stranger, but rather his mother, Lavonne. Wilson was 18 and living in Hugo, Oklahoma, when the incident occurred. He said he woke up one morning "to find a rifle in my face," and he ended up having to dodge six bullets. He reached for the gun he kept under his bed, and used that to shoot his mom. The story doesn't end there, though. His younger sister, Judy, was also killed; Wilson said his mother swung her gun and accidentally hit her in the back of the head, killing the 17-year-old.
Wilson told The Arizona Republic there were glass containers in his room filled with gasoline, and when the bullets started to fly, several shattered. When he went to turn on the light, a spark landed on the ground and the house went up in flames. He said it wasn't until he became a lawyer years later did he remember all this, because he had amnesia after the shooting.
Newspaper reports from the time say Wilson confessed to shooting his mother, and when his sister ran at him, he crushed her skull with the rifle. He placed their bodies on a bed, then set the house on fire. He was tried on homicide charges, but after a jury agreed he had amnesia, the judge halted the trial until he could remember what happened. After seven years, Wilson asked for the charges to be dismissed, and a judge agreed. Read more about this bizarre tale at The Arizona Republic. Catherine Garcia
Walter Carr wasn't going to miss his first day of work, even if it meant getting up at midnight and walking 20 miles.
Carr, 20, lives in Homewood, Alabama, and he needed to get to Pelham, where he would start his job with the Bellhops moving company. His car had broken down, and he decided he would walk, so after just four hours of sleep, he set out on his journey. About 10 miles in, Carr had to take a break because his legs hurt, and a police officer pulled over to check on him. After hearing Carr's story, the officer and two others took him to breakfast, and he was dropped off at the home of Jenny Lamey.
When Lamey found out what Carr went through to get to her house, she asked him if he would like to rest, but he declined, and said he wanted to get to work. Carr told Lamey's children that when he was five, his home was destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, and also that after he earns his associate's degree later this year, he's going to start boot camp with the Marines. Lamey decided to start a GoFundMe to raise money for Carr to fix his vehicle, and she also shared his story with Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin, who was so impressed he drove from his home in Chattanooga to visit his "incredible" employee for lunch.
Carr didn't just get to share a meal with his boss, though. The Lamey family, the police officers he met, and his new Bellhops colleagues were waiting for him at a hotel, where Marklin surprised Carr with the keys to the Ford Escape SUV he drove to Alabama. "Walter truly raised the bar," he told ABC News. Carr was shocked, and said he was grateful and happy to have inspired so many people. Catherine Garcia
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was so incensed by President Trump's press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that he called Republican lawmakers and gave them permission to speak out against Trump's comments, three people familiar with the matter told Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman.
Kelly warned Trump that by saying he had no reason to believe Russia would want to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, it made things infinitely worse for him with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Sherman reports, and he also urged him to take back the remarks, which he kind of attempted to do on Tuesday.
Trump himself was surprised by the public's negative reaction to the press conference, but by the time he returned to the United States he was enraged that few people were defending him. "This was the nightmare scenario," one Republican close to the White House told Sherman. Catherine Garcia