President Trump will not attempt to stop former FBI Director James Comey from testifying at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Thursday by asserting executive privilege, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at the daily press briefing. Comey's testimony will be his first public comments since Trump fired him early last month, and he is likely to be asked about any conversations the president may have had with him about the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey reportedly wrote memos describing conversations with Trump before he was fired.
David Rank, the No. 2 diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, resigned Monday, telling staff his conscience would not permit him to formally notify the Chinese that the U.S. is withdrawing from the Paris climate accord. Rank, a career foreign service officer of 27 years, had been acting ambassador until former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was confirmed as the new ambassador last month. He held a meeting with embassy employees to explain he had offered his resignation and it had been accepted.
President Trump, four months into his presidency, has filled only five of the 53 top jobs at the Pentagon — the slowest pace for nominations and confirmations in over half a century. Several of his high-profile picks, including Navy and Army secretary nominees, have had to withdraw because of their business entanglements. In other cases, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has clashed with the White House, which has blacklisted national security and defense leaders who publicly disagreed with Trump during the 2016 campaign.
Rick Perry, U.S. energy secretary, won't speculate on what President Trump really believes about global climate change — a hoax or man made? Those who seek to determine what, exactly, the president believes are "chasing a rabbit down a hole," said Perry, speaking to reporters in Tokyo on Monday. Perry, who was in the Japanese capital for a three-day visit to discuss nuclear power and liquid natural gas exports with Japanese officials, did say that the U.S. would "continue to be a leader in the climate issue."
Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election, according to a government intelligence report leaked Monday that suggests election-related hacking penetrated further into U.S. voting systems than previously known. The classified National Security Agency report, which was published online by the Intercept, does not say whether the hacking had any effect on election results. But it says Russian military intelligence attacked a U.S. voting software company and sent spear-phishing e-mails to more than 100 local election officials at the end of October or beginning of November. The Justice Department announced Monday it had charged a government contractor in Georgia with leaking a classified report containing "Top Secret level" information to an online news organization. The report the contractor allegedly leaked is dated May 5, the same date as the document the Intercept posted online.