Speed Reads

From Russia with love

Putin says U.S. companies should 'help the new president and the new administration'

American business leaders can help normalize U.S.-Russian relations, Reuters reports Russian President Vladimir Putin said while speaking Friday at in St. Petersburg. "Help us restore normal political dialogue," Putin told his audience. "I ask you on behalf of Russia and I address the American side: Help the new president and the new administration."

Also on Friday, Yahoo News reported that since taking office, President Trump's administration has been working to lift economic sanctions on Russia and return two diplomatic compounds seized by former President Barack Obama in retaliation for Russian state hacking. "There was serious consideration by the White House to unilaterally rescind the sanctions," said a former State Department official.

Federal investigations into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump team, including criminal probes into the actions of ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, are ongoing.