Intelligence

Democrats object to Trump’s threatening Iran over Saudi oil attack
U.S. is ‘locked and loaded’ if Tehran believed to be behind strikes, president warns

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a U.N. Security Council meeting last September. He will be back there, along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, next week. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images file photo)

The United States should not take orders about using military force against Iran even if Saudi Arabia’s government declares Tehran was behind an attack on its oil facilities, congressional Democrats are telling President Donald Trump.

Trump signaled on Sunday evening and again on Monday morning that he is standing by for Saudi officials to sort out just what happened and who launched what U.S. officials said appeared to be armed drone and cruise missile strikes on the Saudi facilities. The attacks are expected to pare Saudi production and drive up oil and gas prices — but Democrats are concerned the incident might compel Trump to launch retaliatory strikes on Iran, which they say would be contrary to American interests.

Debating 2020 Democrats should not ignore our exploding debt
Our nation’s security — and ultimately its freedom — are dependent on its bottom line

Democratic 2020 hopefuls would do well to remember that our growing debt burden could cancel every initiative of the next president, Minge and Penny write. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photos)

OPINION — Twenty current and former Democratic presidential candidates have now debated twice without any discussion of an issue that actively threatens our nation and ideals: our growing debt burden.

Out of 229 questions asked by the moderators, not one was about the national debt. While there are many important passion-arousing causes for candidates to discuss, “boring” fiscal matters, such as our nation’s exploding debt — and the spiraling interest that comes with it — could cancel every initiative of the next president unless she or he has a plan to address it.

As election security risks grow, Congress must get off the sidelines
Some Republican senators argue new legislation is unnecessary. They’re wrong

The work to address threats posed to our voting infrastructure is far from over, Waller writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — Texas got some terrible news last month. Twenty-two municipalities in the Lone Star State were the targets of massive ransomware attacks — a kind of cyber kidnapping. According to the mayor of Keene, “Just about everything we do at city hall was impacted.” The Borger city government wasn’t able to process utility payments — putting residents at risk of losing access to running water or electricity.

If just a few attacks could debilitate almost two dozen cities in Texas, imagine the chaos if several hundred were carried out on our country’s voting infrastructure right before Election Day. To prevent this, Congress must pass legislation that deters future foreign interference in our electoral system.

California sees push on data privacy
Companies and others want exceptions to strict new state law

The California measure is seen as stricter than a similar European privacy law. Above, the state Capitol in Sacramento. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Companies across the country are waging one last battle in Sacramento to carve out a few exemptions before California’s tough data privacy law is approved by the state’s lawmakers, who will adjourn for the year by the end of this week.

Retailers, online advertisers, small businesses and groups representing employers are all seeking either exemptions or amendments to the California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA, which has set the stage for a national debate on how companies should safeguard users’ personal information online.

Retiring lawmakers will face tough market on K Street
‘K Street is not hungering for former members,’ senator-turned-lobbyist Norm Coleman says

In most cases, it’s congressional staff members who K Street really clamors for. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

K Street recruiters are poring over the list of 21, and counting, lawmakers planning to exit Congress, but the lobbying sector may offer a shrinking supply of big-money gigs heading into the 2020 elections. 

As more House members and senators consider making their escape from Capitol Hill, the realities of the K Street economy and the well-worn revolving door will be among their considerations, say insiders at lobbying firms and downtown headhunters.

Rep. Nunes drops lawsuit against constituents who called him 'fake farmer,' goes after 'dark money' groups
California Republican filed another lawsuit alleging racketeering against Fusion GPS, Campaign for Accountability

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., dropped a conspiracy lawsuit against three of his constituents this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Devin Nunes dropped one of his ongoing lawsuits Wednesday — the one against three of his constituents who called him a “fake farmer” and petitioned, unsuccessfully, to remove the designation as “farmer” from his name on the 2018 ballot.

Nunes, a California Republican and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, had alleged that the petition was part of a coordinated campaign between the constituents and “dark money” groups and amounted to “torturous interference” and “civil conspiracy.”

Flashback: Here’s what Comey said about the Trump memos during his 2017 testimony
DOJ watchdog says Comey violated FBI policies, but won't be prosecuted

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 election on June 8, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Trump’s nicknames ranked, as he locks in on 2020 foes and foils
‘His rabid base loves it all,’ Monmouth professor says. Another expert calls them ‘hard to escape’

Supporters of President Donald Trump pose for a picture while waiting to enter his rally at the Williamsport Regional Airport in Montoursville, Pa., on May 20. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | Donald Trump, with a regretful-yet-mischievous smirk, did something rare during a recent campaign tour stop in New Hampshire: He admitted a possible mistake.

“Like, Elizabeth Warren — I did the Pocahontas thing,” Trump told a chuckling-in-unison crowd of supporters in Manchester on Aug. 15. “I hit her really hard and it looked like she was down and out. But that was too long ago. I should’ve waited.”

Democratic challenger taunts congressman as ‘Devin Nunes’ Cow’ hearing starts
‘Devin, if you want to sue someone, sue me,’ Phil Arballo says in digital ad

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is the target of a new digital ad by Democratic challenger Phil Arballo. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A Democratic challenger to Rep. Devin Nunes released a digital ad Friday taunting the California Republican for the string of lawsuits he has launched against his perceived political enemies, including parody Twitter accounts. 

The campaign unveiled the ad to coincide with Nunes reporting to court in his lawsuit against two parody accounts pretending to be his mom and a fictional cow on Twitter, according to a spokesman for Democrat Phil Arballo.

US military bases lack digital security oversight, audit finds
GAO report says most service branches not monitoring digital access to facilities

The Government Accountability Office found that the Army, Navy and Marine Corps do not monitor digital access systems for their facilities. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most military service branches are not monitoring whether or how more than 100 of their installations are using digital security systems to control access to facilities, according to an audit made public Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office’s finding comes nearly 18 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, almost a decade after an armed assailant killed or wounded 45 people at Fort Hood in Texas and nearly six years after a gunman killed or wounded 16 people at the Washington Navy Yard.