Pompeo warns Russia about paying bounties
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned Russia’s foreign minister against Moscow paying bounties to Taliban militants and other Afghan fighters for killing U.S. service members. Pompeo’s warning is the first known rebuke from a senior U.S. official to Russia over the bounties program, and it runs counter to President Donald Trump’s insistence that the intelligence from U.S. government agencies over the matter is a “hoax.” The action indicates that Pompeo, who previously served as Trump’s CIA director, believes the intelligence warranted a stern message.
Court revives suit to get McGahn to testify
A federal appeals court in Washington has revived House Democrats’ lawsuit to force former White House counsel Don McGahn to appear before a congressional committee, but left other legal issues unresolved with time growing short in the current Congress. The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit voted 7-2 in ruling that the House Judiciary Committee can make its claims in court, reversing the judgment of a three-judge panel that would have ended the court fight.
N.C. will ease social restrictions for RNC
North Carolina will ease gathering restrictions for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte this month after a push by the national party for the state to be more accommodating. The RNC has estimated it would have no more than 500 delegates per day at the Charlotte Convention Center for the Aug. 21-24 event. State officials said they understand more than 10 people may need to assemble indoors to conduct party business.
Trump bans dealing with TikTok, WeChat
President Trump has ordered a sweeping but vague ban on dealings with the Chinese owners of popular social media apps TikTok and WeChat on security grounds, a move China’s government criticized as “political manipulation.” The twin executive orders Thursday — one for each app — add to growing U.S.-Chinese conflict over technology and security. They take effect in 45 days and could bar the apps from the Apple and Google app stores, effectively removing them from U.S. distribution. U.S. experts expressed skepticism about its legal authority. China’s foreign ministry said it opposed the move but gave no indication whether Beijing might retaliate.