January 22, 2019

Anonymous FBI agents say the partial government shutdown is preventing them from effectively doing their jobs and impeding some ongoing investigations.

In a report released by the FBI Agents Association Tuesday, unnamed agents speak about how lack of funding due to the shutdown has hindered their work. One agent said the shutdown has "eliminated any ability to operate" and that "the fear is our enemies know they can run freely," while another said they can't "protect and serve the American people" unless the government is "re-opened immediately," Politico reports

Due to issues with funding, some interviews, indictments, and grand jury subpoenas have been delayed, the report details. The report says that the FBI's agents, currently working without pay, are operating with "increasingly limited resources" and that "this situation is not sustainable."

The president of the FBI Agents Association, Tom O'Connor, shared a similar perspective upon the release of the report. "The failure to fund the FBI is making it more difficult for us to do our jobs," he said, per CBS News, "to protect the people of our country from criminals and terrorists."

There is currently no end in sight to the partial government shutdown, which has entered its 32nd day. President Trump is continuing to insist on $5.7 billion in border wall funding, a request that Democrats have consistently refused, and he signaled on Twitter Tuesday he's not backing down, writing, "No cave!" Brendan Morrow

August 9, 2018

On Wednesday night, Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) said he's not stepping down or dropping his re-election bid after the FBI arrested him on charges of insider trading, wire fraud, and lying to the FBI, charges he called "meritless." House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) sees potential merit in the indictment.

"While his guilt or innocence is a question for the courts to settle, the allegations against Rep. Collins demand a prompt and thorough investigation by the House Ethics Committee," Ryan said in a statement. "Insider trading is a clear violation of the public trust. Until this matter is settled, Rep. Collins will no longer be serving on the House Energy and Commerce Committee." Peter Weber

June 25, 2018

Fox News has suspended contributor David Bossie, who once served as President Trump's deputy campaign manager, for two weeks, The Daily Beast reports.

On Sunday morning, Bossie appeared alongside Democratic strategist Joel Payne on Fox & Friends, and during an exchange, Bossie told Payne, who is black, "You're out of your cotton-picking mind." Payne was incredulous, and responded, "I have some relatives who picked cotton, and I'm not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that."

Bossie remains an adviser to Trump, who has called him one of his top "warriors," The Daily Beast reports. After the incident, Fox News released a statement calling Bossie's comments "deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them." Bossie also apologized for using an "offensive phrase." Bossie and Fox News did not respond to The Daily Beast's requests for comment. Catherine Garcia

February 17, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered a review of FBI procedure following the agency's admission it did not investigate a January tip about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who confessed to killing 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday.

"It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed," Sessions said in a statement. "We see the tragic consequences of those failures." The review will be led by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and will also examine relevant Department of Justice operations more broadly.

This comes amid increasing calls for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign in response to this investigatory failure. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is among those who have demanded Wray step down in a statement calling the FBI's conduct "unacceptable." Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also condemned the agency and asked for a congressional probe to accompany the internal investigation. Bonnie Kristian

August 16, 2017

On Wednesday, President Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum decided to disband. A member of the group, comprised of top business leaders and led by Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, told CNBC that the break-up was due to Trump's response to the weekend's white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump was slow to directly condemn the white nationalists, and he has repeatedly blamed "both sides" for the rally's violence.

"As our members have expressed individually over the past several days, intolerance, racism, and violence have absolutely no place in this country and are an affront to core American values," the members said in a statement to CNBC. "We believe the debate over forum participation has become a distraction from our well-intentioned and sincere desire to aid vital policy discussions on how to improve the lives of everyday Americans." An executive told CNBC that "the thinking it was important to do as a group," not as "individuals, because it would have a more significant impact."

Trump, however, tweeted Wednesday that it was his decision to end the council. "Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" he wrote.

The forum is separate from Trump's American Manufacturing Council, which has been bleeding members. This week, seven business leaders quit the council over Trump's response to the Charlottesville protests. Becca Stanek

March 17, 2017

The United States has made a formal apology to Britain after baselessly claiming that the nation's spy service, GCHQ, helped former President Obama wiretap Trump Tower before President Trump's inauguration. The apology came "directly" from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster, a person familiar with the incident told The Telegraph.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said there are "no indications" that Trump was wiretapped by Obama. Nevertheless, Spicer alleged that Obama was able to get intelligence on Trump and that "there's no American fingerprints on it."

"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command — he didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA, he didn't use the FBI, and he didn't use the Department of Justice — he used GCHQ," Spicer told the press. A GCHQ spokesperson responded, calling the allegation "nonsense," "utterly ridiculous," and adding that it "should be ignored."

"The cost of falsely blaming our closest ally for something this consequential cannot be overstated," tweeted Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice.

A spokesperson for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said the White House assured Britain the allegation would not be repeated again. Jeva Lange

February 27, 2017

The United States' bid to host the 2026 World Cup could be lost due to President Trump's travel restrictions on seven predominately Muslim countries, indicating that the reverberations of his 2017 executive order could be felt even long after he is out of office, The New York Times reports.

"It will be part of the evaluation, and I am sure it will not help the United States to get the World Cup," said FIFA vice president Aleksander Ceferin. "If players cannot come because of political decisions, or populist decisions, then the World Cup cannot be played there. It is true for the United States, but also for all the other countries that would like to organize a World Cup."

The threat is perhaps particularly striking because the two preceeding World Cups will be held in Russia, in 2018, and Qatar, in 2022 — both hotly controversial decisions:

2026 tournament bids must be submitted by December of next year. A decision will be announced in May 2020. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads