Tuesday’s Mini-Report, 6.13.17

Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Russia: “The U.S. Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a new round of sanctions against Russia, a move that will likely force President Donald Trump to either sign or veto a measure that he has not said he supports.”

* North Korea “has released Otto Warmbier, the American student serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged subversion, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday.”

* DOJ: “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee that he is the only person who is able to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and that he has seen no reason to do so…. He told senators during a committee hearing that there would have to be ‘good cause’ for Mueller to be removed from his role.”

* It’s curious how little the Trump administration seems to care about this: “Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.”

* Columbia’s Daniel Richman: “A friend of James Comey says he has turned over copies of the former FBI director’s explosive memos – describing murky encounters with President Donald Trump – to the FBI, sidestepping a request by congressional committees to deliver the materials to Capitol Hill.”

* The vote on this was pretty close: “The Senate on Tuesday narrowly rejected an effort to block part of President Trump’s $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.”

* I was glad to see this dealt with quickly: “Television reporters covering the Capitol were told midday Tuesday to stop filming interviews in Senate hallways, a dramatic and unexplained break with tradition that was soon reversed amid wide rebuke from journalists, Democratic lawmakers and advocacy organizations.”

* Afghanistan: “A new strategy for Afghanistan is weeks way, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday in a statement that frustrated some lawmakers awaiting a way forward in the United States’ longest war. ‘We are not winning in Afghanistan,’ he said during an appearance at Capitol Hill to discuss the Pentagon’s budget. ‘We will correct that.’”

* Eight nominations were announced yesterday: “About three months after President Donald Trump abruptly fired about half of the nation’s U.S. attorneys, the White House has formally announced replacements for some of the vacancies he created.”

* Automatic voter registration may soon reach another state: “Massachusetts residents could have their voter registration information automatically updated whenever they renew their drivers’ licenses or interact with other state agencies. A bill working its way through Beacon Hill would help ensure that more of the state’s nearly 700,000 eligible citizens who are not registered to vote are able to cast ballots on Election Day.”

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 6.13.17