Russia

Kentucky Democrats: 'Just Say Nyet to Moscow Mitch'

Jul 31, 2019
J. Tyler Franklin

Democrats in Mitch McConnell's home state are pitching "Moscow Mitch" merchandise to try and capitalize on a bitter dispute involving the Kentucky senator over election security legislation.

The Kentucky Democratic Party said Wednesday it's launching the "Moscow Mitch" webstore in a dig at the Senate majority leader.

The party is selling red T-shirts for $25. They depict a picture of McConnell wearing a Cossack hat with the "hammer and sickle" symbol. The shirt declares "Just say Nyet to Moscow Mitch" in yellow, Soviet-style letters.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

Congress has delayed testimony by former special counsel Robert Mueller one week to permit lawmakers to get more time to question him, committee leaders said on Friday.

Mueller had been scheduled to appear on the morning of July 17 before the House Judiciary Committee and then that afternoon before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

That was put on hold after grumbling by some members of Congress over the rules of procedure for the sessions.

Sydney Boles

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing. Unemployment in the Ashland area is still around 6.3 percent, well above the state average. Career center employees said workers are anxious about the closure of longtime employer AK Steel, which announced in January it would close its Ashland plant this year.


Braidy Industries

Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company.

Rusal had been sanctioned by the U.S. government because its major controller, Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, faces accusations of “a range of malign activity around the globe” by Russia, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Those actions include interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and meddling in neighboring Ukraine.


Becca Schimmel

Bowling Green is one of the places where activists gathered Thursday night to demand the immediate release of the unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

The rally was part of what activists called a “National Day of Action” intended to put pressure on U.S. Attorney General William Barr. About 12 people showed up outside the William H. Natcher federal building in downtown Bowling Green for what was billed as a “Trump Is Not Above the Law” rally.

Becca Schimmel

Congressman Brett Guthrie is joining the chorus of Republicans who say President Trump has been vindicated by Robert Mueller’s report.

The Bowling Green Republican described the effort as a waste of resources. Over the weekend, the special counsel’s office completed its investigation and submitted a report to U.S. Attorney General William Barr’s office. Barr sent a summary of Mueller’s report to Congress, saying the AG’s office interpreted the report as saying there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and insufficient evidence of any obstruction of justice by the Trump administration.

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Monday called the probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election a “colossal waste of money and time,” saying that the summary of the investigation released over the weekend vindicated President Donald Trump.

The investigation, summarized by U.S. Attorney General William Barr in a four-page letter on Sunday, concluded that Trump’s campaign did not conspire with Russia to interfere in the election but left unresolved whether the president tried to obstruct justice.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Special counsel Robert Mueller did not find evidence that President Trump's campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election, according to a summary of findings submitted to Congress by Attorney General William Barr.

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election," Barr wrote in a letter to leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees on Sunday afternoon.

Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr received a report on Friday by special counsel Robert Mueller about the findings from Mueller's investigation into the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election.

Amid signs that special counsel Robert Mueller will soon complete his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, President Trump says that he looks forward to seeing the report and that it should be made public.

Answering questions from reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to traveling to Ohio on Wednesday, Trump said of Mueller's report, "Let it come out. Let people see it — that's up to the attorney general."

Updated at 5:11 p.m. ET

Roger Stone, the longtime Republican political operator and confidant of President Trump, was arrested on Friday after being indicted on seven counts including obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements in connection with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

Stone appeared at the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He did not enter a plea. He was released on $250,000 bond and with travel restrictions that confine him to South Florida, New York City and the Washington, D.C., area.

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Rand Paul was in Russia on Monday and invited Russian officials to meet with members of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Paul met for an hour with Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Federal Council Committee on Foreign Affairs.

According to a video posted by Russian state media outlet RT, Paul said that the goal of his trip was to promote greater dialogue between the countries.

“I am one who believes in more engagement, that we need to have more cultural exchange, more exchange between our legislative bodies, more open lines of communication,” Paul said.

Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., summed up how lawmakers and Trump administration officials have failed to acknowledge the dangerous problem of foreign influence operations in America on Wednesday, with a description of an Internet meme.

Updated at 7:33 p.m. ET

On the first day of Paul Manafort's trial, prosecutors sought to paint him as a man with absurdly extravagant taste who thought he was above the law, while the former Trump campaign manager's defense lawyers tossed blame onto one of his closest associates.

Most tax and bank fraud cases are built on stacks of bland business documents and Internal Revenue Service paperwork — hardly the stuff of international intrigue.

A bloc of conservative House Republicans filed articles of impeachment on Wednesday against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, escalating their war against federal law enforcement to new heights.

The group of 11 lawmakers, led by Freedom Caucus leaders Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have been threatening to file impeachment articles for months. They say Rosenstein is withholding documents from Congress and has mishandled the 2016 election investigations.

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