National News

National News at a Glance

Posted June 8, 2018 10:00 p.m. EDT

First Lady’s Secrecy on Health Broken by Husband

President Donald Trump revealed new details Friday about the closely guarded medical condition of the first lady, saying that she underwent a four-hour operation and that her recovery would keep her from traveling abroad with him. In the weeks since aides said she underwent an procedure to treat a benign kidney condition, Melania Trump has directed her aides to release almost no information about her medical condition or explain why she was at Walter Reed Medical Center for five days. Until Donald Trump stepped in front of the cameras, there had been no leaks. “She had a big operation,” Trump said. “And she’s doing great.”

Trump Praises Arrest of Former Senate Committee Aide in Leaks Inquiry

President Donald Trump on Friday praised the arrest of a former Senate Intelligence Committee aide who is accused of lying to investigators about his contacts with reporters in an inquiry into leaks of classified information. The president called James Wolfe “a very important leaker.” Wolfe, the committee’s former director of security, was arrested Thursday at his home in Ellicott City, Maryland. Wolfe made his first court appearance Friday in federal court in Baltimore. He did not enter a plea and was released on several conditions, including that he turn in his passport. He was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Washington.

Charles Krauthammer: ‘I Have Only a Few Weeks Left to Live’

Charles Krauthammer, a longtime columnist for The Washington Post, said in a statement published on the newspaper’s website Friday that he is battling cancer and has “only a few weeks left to live.” Krauthammer has been absent from The Post, where he began writing columns in 1984, since August, when he had a cancerous tumor surgically removed. Despite “a cascade of secondary complications,” Krauthammer, 68, was preparing to return to writing, but the cancer had aggressively returned, he said in the statement. “This is the final verdict. My fight is over,” Krauthammer wrote. He concluded by saying he had no regrets.

Mueller Adds Obstruction Charge on Manafort and Indicts His Right-Hand Man

Special counsel Robert Mueller brought new obstruction charges Friday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and added allegations against a close associate, who prosecutors suspect has ties to Russian intelligence. Prosecutors said the obstruction charge relates to Manafort’s efforts to coach the stories of witnesses against him. He remains accused of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying and lying to federal officials. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges. Manafort’s longtime associate Konstantin Kilimnik was added to the case and was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Trump, in Apparent Break With Sessions, Says He’s Likely to Back Marijuana Bill

President Donald Trump appeared to break with his administration’s policy Friday, saying he was likely to support a legislative proposal to leave the decision to states about whether to legalize marijuana. “We’re looking at it. But I probably will end up supporting that, yes,” Trump told reporters. Trump’s view is in stark contrast to measures his administration took this year, freeing federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce federal laws against the use of marijuana in states that have decriminalized it. Trump’s position on the bill was the second time this week the president has directly contradicted policies driven by his attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

Judge Denies Trump’s Secrecy Claim in Review of Cohen Documents

Striking a note for transparency, a federal judge ruled Friday that President Donald Trump and his longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, cannot proceed in total secrecy as they weigh in on the final stages of a laborious review of a huge trove of materials seized from Cohen during a series of raids by authorities in April. The battle over the materials — a vast cache of Cohen’s papers, data files and even the contents of one of his shredders — could determine how much and what kinds of evidence the government has at its disposal as it pursues its investigation.

Ex-CIA Officer Is Convicted of Spying for China

A former CIA case officer faces life in prison after he was convicted Friday of betraying his country to spy on behalf of China. Kevin Mallory, 61, of Leesburg, Virginia, was found guilty of espionage charges and lying to the FBI about his contacts with Chinese intelligence. The verdict capped a nearly two-week trial that offered a rare glimpse into the murky world of U.S. espionage cases, which typically do not go to trial because of the difficulties involving highly classified information. Mallory’s lawyers have steadfastly denied the charges. “This was an intelligence operation against Chinese intelligence,” one of the lawyers said during closing arguments.

Chinese Hackers Steal Unclassified Data From Navy Contractor

China has stolen data related to naval warfare from the computers of a Navy contractor, U.S. officials said Friday, in another step in the long-running cyberwar between two global adversaries. The breach occurred this year, officials said, when Chinese government hackers infiltrated the computers of a company working on a Navy submarine and underwater programs contract. The company, which was not identified, was doing work for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. Officials said the data gleaned by China was unclassified. Navy officials declined to speak publicly about the hack, which was first reported by The Washington Post.