Fdd's overnight brief

November 26, 2018

In The News


Exiled Iranian dissidents meeting under heavy police protection pushed for an uprising against the government, as tensions with Tehran have erupted into armed attacks and alleged cross-border assassination plots. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. is pressuring Iraq to sever extensive energy ties to Iran, enlisting American companies and allies such as Saudi Arabia to develop alternatives and drive a commercial wedge between Baghdad and Tehran. – Wall Street Journal

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday the United States is targeting the Middle East because it fears Islamic “awakening” in the region, according to his official website. – Reuters

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called on Muslims worldwide on Saturday to unite against the United States, instead of “rolling out red carpets for criminals”. – Reuters

Anne Applebaum writes: Instead of conceding, the Iranian leadership has buckled down and prepared itself for another hit to the already weak economy. […]If we want that “other” Iran to succeed, an Iran with a different vision of its place in the world, we should be thinking about it, planning for it, preparing for it now. If our interest in Iran reaches only to the promotion of failure, then we deserve the chaos that could ensue if we get our wish. – Washington Post

Sherwin Malekzadeh writes: The problem of democracy in the United States, Iran teaches us, is not the forgotten voter, the protagonist who haunts countless on-the-road and at-the-diner 2016 postmortems. […]the problem of democracy is the nonvoter, the nearly 103 million Americans who either refused or were unable to cast a ballot in 2016. Stated only slightly differently, their absence and apathy embolden the authoritarian, creeping or otherwise. – Foreign Affairs


U.S. Agency for International Development programs in Syria are a top challenge for reform in 2019, according to a government watchdog that cited recent price-fixing schemes and fraud that led to dozens of companies and officials being barred from receiving U.S. contracts. – Wall Street Journal

Syria called on the United Nations on Sunday to condemn its rebel foes after an apparent attack with unidentified chemicals in the city of Aleppo sent scores of choking victims to hospitals. – New York Times

Russia is pressuring Turkey to drive extremists from a Syrian demilitarized zone, testing the countries’ warming ties and a cease-fire they brokered that has protected opponents of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. – Wall Street Journal

One of the most famous activists in Syria was assassinated by gunmen, according to associates, underscoring the mortal threats facing a dwindling pool of dissidents who still openly oppose government and extremist forces there. – Washington Post

Syria’s regime has accused armed groups of carrying out a “toxic gas” attack that left dozens of people struggling to breathe and prompted government ally Russia to launch retaliatory air strikes on Sunday. – Agence France-Presse

Heavy clashes between Islamic State militants and U.S.-backed forces in eastern Syria killed dozens of civilians and fighters in the past two days, a monitoring group said. – Reuters

Turkey is uneasy about U.S. plans to set up “observation posts” in Syria along parts of its border with Turkey, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday. – Reuters

An agreement with the United States for the removal of a Kurdish militia from the northern Syrian town of Manbij needs to completed by the end of the year, Turkey said on Friday, voicing frustration with what it says is a deal beset by delays. – Reuters


Chadian President Idriss Deby will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday, the first such visit by a leader of the central African nation which severed bilateral ties in 1972, Netanyahu’s office said. – Reuters

Israel said Tuesday it would slap high taxes on vacation rental company Airbnb and encourage legal steps against the site over its decision to ban listings from West Bank settlements. – Associated Press

Eugene Kontorovich writes: The company tried to ward off accusations of hypocrisy by noting, “each situation is unique and requires a case-by-case approach.” But so far the only situation unique enough to warrant delisting is the one involving Jews. […]Airbnb’s capitulation underscores the need for Congress to pass the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would bar U.S. firms from complying with U.N. boycotts of Israel, like they’re already prohibited from adhering to the Arab League’s boycott. – Wall Street Journal

Arlene Bridges Samuels writes: While the BDS movement-infested with antiSemitism-forcefully works to single out and penalize Israel, states also clearly recognize that the BDS movement is a danger to the US economy and can adversely affect economies worldwide. […]We must suit up, maintain vigilance, pray, take legislative action, and strengthen the Jewish state in every way possible. – The Times of Israel

Karol Markowicz writes: Last week, Airbnb announced its decision to remove rental listings in the West Bank. But the apartment-sharing service didn’t touch listings in other disputed territories, like Russian-annexed Ukraine and Turkish-occupied North Cyprus. You would think liberal Jewish outfits would race to call out what lies behind this hypocrisy: anti-Semitism. You’d think wrong. […]Fighting the normalization of anti-Semitism has to begin with Jews themselves speaking out. Now would be a good time to start. – New York Post

Gregg Carlstrom writes: If anything, Netanyahu’s legal problems are arguably a bigger threat than his political ones. […]Ask Israeli voters who they want to replace him, and the most common answer is “I don’t know.” His decision to cut a deal with Hamas, though unpopular, prevented a war. Even Netanyahu’s liberal critics doubt that many of his challengers would have made the same choice. That he survived the fallout is a testament to his political savvy. – The Atlantic

Saudi Arabia

Republican lawmakers Sunday criticized President Trump’s dismissal of the Central Intelligence Agency’s assessment that the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing of a dissident journalist last month and called on the administration to consider further action against the kingdom. – Wall Street Journal

The powerful U.S. defense industry is facing a rare challenge to its influence on Capitol Hill as support for arms sales to Saudi Arabia has rapidly eroded following the killing last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi government operatives. – Washington Post

Turkish police raided a villa in a rural district southeast of Istanbul early Monday as part of their ongoing search for the body of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist who was killed in Istanbul by Saudi agents last month, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. – Washington Post

Denmark and Finland both announced Thursday that they would halt future arms exports to Saudi Arabia, following a similar decision by neighboring Germany earlier this month. The Danish and Finnish announcements come the same week President Trump backed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite the CIA assessing that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. – Washington Post

Eli Lake writes: A savvier president would have appreciated this history and tried to turn the Khashoggi crisis into an opportunity to change Saudi behavior. Instead, Trump has essentially dared Congress to act. In so doing, he has lost his leverage to shape the punishment for a heinous crime. Because of his abdication, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is in a very dangerous place. – Bloomberg


Nearly two years after being driven from its stronghold in Yemen, one of al Qaeda’s most dangerous franchises has entrenched itself in the country’s hinterlands as a devastating war creates the conditions for its comeback. – Wall Street Journal

Six suspected al Qaeda militants were killed in a drone strike in central Yemen on Sunday, local security officials and residents said. – Reuters

The United Nations said on Friday it was ready to help supervise Yemen’s vital Hodeidah port to protect it from “potential destruction”, as its envoy met managers of the Houthi-held harbour. – Reuters

Humanitarian organizations working in crisis-hit Yemen have called on the US to end support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates’ bloody conflict in the Middle Eastern state, according to a jointly released open letter. – CNN

R. Davis Harden writes: Blunting the humanitarian crises in Yemen is a security, political, economic and moral imperative. Yet, American leverage to end Yemen’s wars through a negotiated political settlement is limited. The most efficient approach is to improve household purchasing power — but doing so requires a greater market supply of basic commodities, lower commodity prices, a stable currency and improved household income. – The Hill

Middle East & North Africa

Matthew Hedges, the British academic who was sentenced last week to life in prison by the United Arab Emirates on spying charges, was pardoned on Monday with immediate effect, the state news media reported. – New York Times

Relations between Kurdish leaders and Iraq’s new government are warming, a rapprochement between two U.S. allies that could help stabilize the country as it tackles challenges in the wake of the war against Islamic State. – Wall Street Journal

Turkey charged 28 people on Friday in relation to the 2016 assassination of the Russian ambassador to Ankara, naming the U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen as the prime suspect in the case, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said. – Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan noted at the ceremony that the friendship between Russia and Turkey has grown stronger over the years, stressing that the bilateral relations between the two countries have never been affected by pressure from “third countries” (i.e., the Unites States). Below are Putin’s and Erdogan’s speeches at the ceremony marking the completion of TurkStream gas pipeline’s offshore section, as reported in English by the Kremlin.ru website – Middle East Media Research Institute

Egypt and Sudan, which face cross-border threats from militias operating in Libya, agreed on Sunday to set up joint military patrols on their border, Sudan’s chief of staff said following talks between the countries’ defense ministers. – Reuters

Mali’s army said on Saturday it had confirmed the death of Amadou Koufa, one of the most prominent jihadist leaders in the country, in a raid by French forces on Thursday night. – Reuters

Egypt has created a new high-powered human rights watchdog agency, but its primary mission isn’t to protect Egyptians from violations. Instead, the body is foremost aimed at protecting the government from allegations of rights abuses and defending it on the international stage. – Associated Press

Gunmen on Friday raided a town deep in Libya’s southern desert, killing nine people and kidnapping several others, a resident said, with officials blaming the attack on the militant group Islamic State. – Reuters

Simon Henderson writes: Helping Bahrain navigate its internal and external tensions is an ongoing challenge for the United States as well as Britain, the former imperial power that recently reestablished a naval base on the island, albeit much smaller than the U.S. presence. […]In addition to framing the future of the island’s politics, this weekend’s vote may also determine whether such violence flares up or peters out. – Washington Institute

Korean Peninsula

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday that a major military exercise with South Korea in 2019 will be held as scheduled but will be reduced in size and scope in deference to talks with North Korea on denuclearization. – Wall Street Journal

More than 32,000 North Koreans have escaped to South Korea since a famine hit their country in the 1990s, and their harrowing journeys are often made worse by having to spend years in limbo in China, according to defectors, human rights researchers and South Korean officials. Some are trapped there for years, forced to work in the sex industry or live with men in the countryside who could not find Chinese wives before the women enlist the help of human rights activists and smugglers to reach South Korea. – New York Times

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife have been pictured cuddling a litter of puppies whelped by one of the dogs given to them by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a symbol of the strengthening ties between the two countries. – Agence France-Presse

South Korea said on Saturday it had received sanctions exemptions from the U.N. Security Council for a joint survey of inter-Korean railways, the first step towards reconnecting rail and road links cut during the 1950-53 Korean War. – Reuters

In a sign that North Korea is not planning to give up all its nuclear arsenal, the communist government has revealed plans to use the weapons to launch EMP attacks that effectively dismantle technology and computers in the blast area. – Washington Examiner

One of the most startling first observations for foreign visitors to North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, is the complete absence of commercial advertising, which only amplifies the hermit kingdom’s isolation from the contemporary, outside world. – The Telegraph


But military concerns, including China’s expansion into the South China Sea, have raised alarm in Washington. Speaking at a regional summit in Singapore this month, Vice President Pence said these seas do not “belong to any one nation” and reaffirmed American military commitment to the region — but analysts say this is getting harder to do as China builds up its own arsenal. – Washington Post

Voters handed Taiwan’s ruling party a rebuke in local elections, raising doubts about President Tsai Ing-wen’s prospects for re-election and potentially heralding a shift in the island’s tense relations with China. – Wall Street Journal

The Philippines disclosed details Thursday of an agreement struck with China to cooperate on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, but the small step taken—establishing a committee to hold further talks—failed to give Beijing a major win at a time of rising competition with the U.S. for partners in Asia. – Wall Street Journal

China’s global investment and infrastructure program is about to face scrutiny in a New York courtroom when one of its most prominent promoters stands trial on bribery charges. – Wall Street Journal

In China, long the world’s factory floor, a new generation of low-wage workers is assembling the foundations of the future. Start-ups in smaller, cheaper cities have sprung up to apply labels to China’s huge trove of images and surveillance footage. If China is the Saudi Arabia of data, as one expert says, these businesses are the refineries, turning raw data into the fuel that can power China’s A.I. ambitions. – New York Times

The United States and China have in the coming week what may be their last chance to broker a ceasefire in an increasingly dangerous trade war when their presidents meet in Buenos Aires. – Reuters

China on Friday urged the World Trade Organization (WTO) to close loopholes and correct practices by some member states that damage global trade, warning of a “profound crisis” facing the institution’s existence. – Reuters

Andrew Browne writes: Trump could either take his pressure tactics too far or, alternatively, not far enough. […]A return to the era of reform — and an acknowledgement that Western ideas and technologies helped shape China’s modernity and have a role to play in its future prosperity — is in China’s own interests. In the meantime, the rest of the world has every incentive to turn up the heat. – Bloomberg

Sophie Richardson writes: The new U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, made waves when in her first speech to the Human Rights Council in September she called on China to allow access for U.N. investigators to Xinjiang. The U.N. Security Council, which will visit China later in November, has an opportunity to demonstrate support for the high commissioner, for victims of human rights abuses across China, and for the United Nations itself by echoing her call. – The Hill


A soldier in the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment was mortally wounded by gunfire Saturday during an operation against al-Qaeda fighters in a remote part of southwestern Afghanistan, U.S. military officials said Sunday. – Washington Post

Election officials in Afghanistan are considering delaying next year’s presidential election by several months, amid disarray in counting votes from last month’s parliamentary balloting. – New York Times

Hundreds of ethnic Hazaras rallied in protest here Sunday over the arrest of a rogue anti-Taliban militia commander, resulting in violence that left at least 30 civilians and security forces wounded, police said. – Washington Post

A bomb exploded during Friday prayers in a mosque packed with army troops in Afghanistan’s southeastern Khost province, killing at least 27 of them, a government spokesman said. – Washington Post

At least 22 police were killed in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan’s western province of Farah late on Sunday, officials said, adding to the growing casualty toll on Afghan security forces fighting an increasingly confident insurgency. – Reuters

A leader of Afghanistan’s highest religious body was assassinated in Kabul on Saturday, a senior interior ministry official said, an attack that came four days after 55 religious scholars were killed in a suicide attack in the capital. – Reuters

Afghanistan has a better chance of finding peace than it has for many years, with more coordination in international peace efforts and willingness to include all parties, the top U.N. humanitarian official in the country said on Friday. – Reuters

South Asia

Gunmen attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi, killing two police officers and two civilians in an assault authorities say was aimed at derailing China’s massive investment plans in the South Asian nation. – Wall Street Journal

Pakistani authorities arrested hundreds of activists from a national anti-blasphemy group that has been protesting the release of a Christian woman whose blasphemy conviction was recently overturned. – Wall Street Journal

A suicide bomber killed at least 30 people at a market in northern Pakistan on Friday, just hours after gunmen assaulted the Chinese consulate in the southern city of Karachi, killing four. – Washington Post

Indian troops on Sunday killed six separatist militants in a gun battle in the disputed region of Kashmir, the army said, as its forces stepped up operations in one of the bloodiest weeks of fighting this year during which 23 people have been killed. – Reuters

India on Monday marked the tenth anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks with ceremonies at sites across the city that became battlegrounds in the wave of violence that killed scores and dealt a critical blow to relations with neighbouring Pakistan. – Agence France-Presse

Several lawmakers on Sunday disagreed with President Donald Trump’s assessment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder after the president doubted that Saudi Arabia was involved. – Politico


Myanmar’s government described the country’s bloody military clampdown on Rohingya Muslims last year as a one-off spasm of violence, triggered by local terrorists. A consensus is building among international investigators that it was something else: a decisive and deliberate purge of the ethnic minority after decades of intensifying atrocities that amounts to genocide. – Wall Street Journal

The U.S. has announced it will join an Australian effort to push back against China’s expanding presence in South East Asia with the decision join in the modernization of the Lombrum naval base at Manus in Papua New Guinea. – USNI News

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill urged Asia-Pacific nations to increase their participation in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Friday, five days after a tense regional summit held in the Pacific nation ended in acrimony. – Reuters


Russia’s coast guard forces detained three Ukrainian naval ships Sunday, opening fire on the vessels and injuring three crew members, Russia’s Federal Security Service said, amid a growing standoff along the two countries’ maritime borders. – Wall Street Journal

The Kremlin has for years bankrolled an array of pro-Russian breakaway states within the former Soviet republics of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. For Moscow, the goals could not be bigger — rebuilding Russia’s influence and countering the region’s drift toward the West. – Washington Post

The head of the GRU, the Russian spy agency that Western officials hold responsible for a raft of nefarious activities, including meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, died earlier this week, the country’s Ministry of Defense said Thursday. – Wall Street Journal

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley announced on Sunday the Security Council will hold an emergency meeting over an altercation between Ukraine and Russia. – The Hill

Russia has drawn up draft legislation aimed at stopping leaks of personal information from state agencies, a step that follows publication of details of Russians allegedly involved in clandestine intelligence operations abroad. – Reuters

The Kremlin guard service said on Friday that two helicopters spotted by residents taking off near Moscow’s Red Square in broad daylight carrying armed figures on a platform was just part of a routine drill. – Reuters

Edwin J. Feulner writes: This seems to happen with other international agreements. We comply, they don’t. We threaten to leave, everyone predicts gloom and doom. […]So that’s the situation: Russia is violating the treaty, China is building up its missiles, but if we withdraw from the treaty, we’re the “destabilizing” party. Makes about as much sense as using a Compaq Portable III in 2018. Why trust our security to an outmoded treaty that ties our hands? – Heritage Foundation


European Union leaders approved on Sunday a treaty outlining divorce terms with the U.K., a milestone in Britain’s bid to extract itself from the bloc that now leaves Prime Minister Theresa May with a tough task selling the deal to skeptical lawmakers in Parliament. – Wall Street Journal

The Trump administration is considering inviting the CEOs of Germany’s three largest car makers to the White House amid growing impatience in Washington at the slow pace of talks with the European Union on forging a trans-Atlantic trade deal, according to people familiar with the discussions. – Wall Street Journal

As Britain continues to hash out the terms of its divorce with the European Union this weekend, Americans are already feeling the loss: A once-indispensable proxy in Europe no longer has clout that it can exercise on Washington’s behalf. Britain’s exit from the E.U. will force a broad realignment of Europe and will probably put in play a number of issues — from sanctions on Russia to free trade to military strategy — that are critical to the United States. – Washington Post

The U.S. is the only guarantor of security for Europe, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Sunday, pouring cold water on French and German plans to create a common European army. – Bloomberg

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte today promised to “revolutionize” his country and still reach an agreement with the European Commission on the country’s draft 2019 budget. – Politico

British police on Thursday released more video footage of the two suspects they believe poisoned former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March. – Reuters

Bosnian police have arrested an Islamist militant for terrorism offences in Bosnia, prosecutors said on Friday, and a Balkan news service said the man was believed to assisted a 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. – Reuters


The U.S. embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Saturday it had received “credible and specific information of a possible terrorist threat against U.S. government facilities” in the capital, Kinshasa. – Reuters

Al Shabaab gunmen and a suicide car bomber struck a religious center in central Somalia on Monday, killing a cleric and at least nine of his followers, a police officer said. – Reuters

A lawyer for war crimes suspect Alfred Yekatom said at his initial International Criminal Court appearance on Friday his client was tortured after his arrest in Central African Republic before being forcibly transferred to the Hague tribunal. – Reuters

A prominent Islamic leader and at least 17 of his followers have been killed by extremists in an attack in Somalia’s northern city of Galkayo, say police. – Associated Press

Three Chinese nationals will be charged by the country’s anticorruption authority for paying a bribe to influence the outcome of fraud investigations, Kenya’s director of public prosecutions said Sunday. The three Chinese men work for the China Roads and Bridge Corp. – Associated Press

Vera Songwe writes: The growing debt burden is particularly onerous in Africa. But while China’s contribution to that debt is an important issue, it should not be the main focus of policymakers’ concern. There are many reasons to be worried about African debt. […]African countries should — and no doubt will — keep going to the market to finance their growth. However, governments and international financial institutions have a role to play to ensure that this is done in a prudent manner. – Financial Times

The Americas

The Trump administration has given U.S. troops along the southern border permission to use force in protection of federal Border Patrol agents, but there has been no decision to alter the military’s mission there, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Wednesday. – Washington Post

Canada on Wednesday unveiled billions in economic measures aimed at jump-starting lackluster business spending and countering the risk of lost investment to the U.S. stemming from the Trump administration’s tax reform. – Wall Street Journal

Venezuela has struck a $1.4 billion deal to retain control of Citgo Petroleum Corp., the latest settlement that keeps the country’s U.S. crude refineries from falling into the hands of creditors. – Wall Street Journal

Top advisers to Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador are in talks with the Trump administration over a plan that would require migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. to wait in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated, according to members of Mr. López Obrador’s team. – Wall Street Journal

Evan Ellis writes: This report examines, in detail, how the growth of China, with its power and role in the global economy, is likely to transform Latin America and the Caribbean through economic, political, and other forms of engagement with the region. The report considers multiple scenarios regarding the future of China, the resolution of its security challenges, and possible departures from its current trajectory. – Center for Strategic and International Studies


President Trump this week renewed his questioning of the military’s new system for launching aircraft at sea, underscoring his skepticism about a technology the Navy has put at the center of its future aircraft carrier fleet. – Washington Post

The Navy has stood up a program office within its Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) to address the conventional prompt global strike mission the Pentagon has handed to the sea service, the SSP director said recently. – USNI News

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a relatively inexpensive surface combatant equipped with modular mission packages. Navy plans call for procuring a total of 32 LCSs. The first LCS was procured in FY2005, and the Navy’s proposed FY2018 budget requested the procurement of the 30th and 31st LCSs. – USNI News

The chief of naval operations and the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group leadership said their first deployment under the dynamic force employment (DFE) model sharpened their proficiency in high-end warfare more than expected, the leaders said during a media call while aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) for Thanksgiving. – USNI News

Even though the United States has reduced the number of warheads deployed on its long-range missiles and bombers, consistent with the terms of the 2010 New START Treaty, it also plans to develop new delivery systems for deployment over the next 10-30 years. The 116th Congress will continue to review these programs, and the funding requested for them, during the annual authorization and appropriations process. – USNI News

The Navy could be forced to make hard choices sooner rather than later when it comes to finding the money to replace its aging ballistic missile submarines or reach its goal of having a fleet of 355 warships, a panel of security and budgetary experts said this week. – USNI News

A new White House directive authorizing U.S. troops to engage in some law enforcement activities on American soil, potentially including the lethal use of force, is being sharply questioned by security and legal experts, who are raising concerns about both its underlying legality and the way the White House issued the controversial order. – Military Times

Rebecca Kheel writes: The military is facing a number of challenges, from continued efforts to restore readiness after years of Washington’s budget dysfunction to work on fulfilling Trump orders such as standing up Space Force. Here are five challenges facing Trump’s military: – The Hill

Trump Administration

Two of President Trump’s picks for top national security posts are being held up by Senate Republicans over issues unrelated to their qualifications, with the nominations set to expire this year and the current session of Congress winding to a close. – Wall Street Journal

Congressional Democrats heading into the critical stretch of the lame-duck session increasingly say they will tie their support for a high-priority spending bill to a measure protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian electoral interference. – Wall Street Journal

Former CIA and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden—who has fought rhetorical battles with President Trump over intelligence issues—suffered a stroke and was hospitalized earlier this week, his office said on Friday. – Wall Street Journal

Conservative author and activist Jerome Corsi said he is in plea negotiations with special counsel Robert Mueller, a sign that suggests Mr. Mueller’s probe continues to focus on links between Trump associates and WikiLeaks’ 2016 release of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign. – Wall Street Journal

The House Judiciary Committee has issued subpoenas for former FBI director James B. Comey and former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch to appear for closed-door interviews in a probe of how federal law enforcement officials handled investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Trump campaign’s alleged Russia ties. – Washington Post