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September 13, 2017
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

A trio of Democratic senators from red states joined President Trump for dinner on Tuesday, with the evening's conversation revolving around overhauling the tax code.

The goal of the dinner with Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) was to find common ground on issues like retirement security and keeping jobs in the United States, Politico reports. The three senators did not sign a letter from Democrats that shared their requirements for tax reform, although they haven't said anything that strays too far from the party line, with the exception of Manchin saying he was open to cutting taxes for the rich and corporations. Before the dinner, Manchin told reporters he wasn't sent to Washington to "pick and choose who I want to work with. I was sent here to do the job for my state of West Virginia."

Vice President Mike Pence and three Republican senators — Orrin Hatch (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pa.), and John Thune (S.D.) — also attended the dinner. White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short said Tuesday morning that Trump wants to have bipartisan support for a tax plan, especially after seeing what happened during the GOP's failure to repeal ObamaCare. "We don't feel like we can assume that we can get tax reform done strictly on a partisan basis," he said. Catherine Garcia

9:57 p.m. ET
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British investigators believe that current or former agents of the Russian military intelligence service G.R.U. were likely behind the nerve attack agent that poisoned an ex-spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England, this spring, The New York Times reports.

On Friday, the Department of Justice indicted 12 G.R.U. officers, accusing them of hacking internal documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Three current and former U.S. and British officials told the Times that British intelligence is very close to identifying the people they think carried out the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in March, although they have not entirely ruled out another Russian intelligence agency being involved.

Skripal was in the G.R.U. for nearly 15 years, spending some of the time as a spy for M16, Britain's foreign intelligence service. He was arrested in 2004 and pleaded guilty to espionage, but was released in 2010 as part of a spy swap, moving to England. G.R.U. is known for doling out harsh punishment to traitors, but Russia has denied any involvement in the attack. Catherine Garcia

9:09 p.m. ET
Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Unfortunately for Elon Musk, all the money in the world can't buy you a thicker skin.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO lashed out Sunday on Twitter at a British diver who criticized him for sending a mini-submarine to the cave in Thailand where 12 boys and their soccer coach were trapped for more than a week. Vern Unsworth played a major role in the rescue, and told CNN on Saturday the mini-submarine was "just a PR stunt" with "absolutely no chance" of working.

In now-deleted tweets, Musk said he "never saw this British expat guy," and there was video of the rescue that proved Unsworth wrong. Musk followed up by saying, "You know what, don't bother showing the video. We will make one of the mini-sub/pod going all the way to Cave 5 no problemo. Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it." Unsworth has not yet responded to Musk's attack. Catherine Garcia

1:33 p.m. ET

President Trump claimed on Twitter Sunday he will be subject to criticism by Democrats and the media no matter how positive a result he secures at his Monday summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump also alleged the press has not given adequate attention to North Korea's decision not to conduct new weapons tests for the better part of a year. "[W]hy isn't the Fake News talking about these wonderful facts?" he asked. "Because it is FAKE NEWS!" Alternatively, maybe it is because it is customary to report more on things that do happen than things that don't. Bonnie Kristian

1:05 p.m. ET

France won the 2018 World Cup Sunday, triumphing over Croatia 4-2 in a dramatic, hard-fought match.

The first goal went to France when Croatia scored the first-ever own goal in a World Cup final. Croatia leveled the score half an hour in, only to see France score three more goals in succession.

French player Kylian Mbappe, 19, became the youngest player to score in a World Cup final game since the legendary Pele's two goals scored for Brazil against Sweden at age 17 in 1958.

Croatia came back from the dead with another goal at 69 minutes, bringing the score to 4-2, but proved unable to close that gap before game's end.

Belgium took third place Saturday, and England came in fourth. Qatar hosts the next World Cup in 2022. Bonnie Kristian

12:27 p.m. ET

President Trump promised to ask Russian President Vladimir Putin at their Monday meeting about extradition of the 12 Russian intelligence agents indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe Friday — but Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday said don't bother.

"I think it'd be a moot point. I don't think Russia is sending anyone back over here for trial, the same way we wouldn't send anybody over there for trial," Paul mused on CNN's State of the Union. Americans would be better served, the senator said, if Washington worked to develop stronger security for future votes.

"I think we have to protect ourselves," Paul said. "So, because we waste time saying, 'Well, Putin needs to admit this and apologize' — he's not going to admit that he did it, and we can't take on face value anything they tell us. We have to assume — and if we have proof that they did it, which it sounds like we [do] — we should now spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president," Paul continued. "If the president is involved, by all means put the information forward."

The Kentucky senator noted that the U.S. has a long history of meddling in foreign elections, arguing that though American and Russian actions are not "morally equivalent," the U.S. would do well to remember that past interference in Russia's sphere of influence may have helped motivate Russia's actions. "If we don't realize everything we do has a reaction," Paul said, "we're not going to be very clear on having peace in the world."

Watch an excerpt of Paul's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

11:49 a.m. ET

Asked who he considers to be the United States' "biggest competitor" or "biggest foe globally" in a CBS interview aired Sunday, President Trump named Europe, Russia, and China.

"Well, I think we have a lot of foes," Trump said. "I think the European Union is a foe, what they do to us in trade. Now, you wouldn't think of the European Union, but they're a foe. Russia is foe in certain respects. China is a foe economically, certainly they are a foe," he continued. "But that doesn't mean they are bad. It doesn't mean anything. It means that they are competitive. They want to do well, and we want to do well."

In the same CBS interview, Trump said he has "low expectations" for Monday's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Read the president's foe comments in context below. Bonnie Kristian

10:54 a.m. ET
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The Department of Homeland Security has observed "persistent Russian efforts using social media, sympathetic spokespeople, and other fronts to sow discord and divisiveness amongst the American people" in the 2018 election, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Saturday. However, she continued, DHS has not found evidence of meddling "focused on specific politicians or political campaigns," as was the case in 2016.

Her comments echo those of DHS cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs, who said Wednesday his agency has not seen "anything that rises to the level of 2016 — [a] directed, focused, robust campaign." This comes as President Trump prepares to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday; Trump has claimed "low expectations" for the summit. Bonnie Kristian

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