Armed Services Committee Dem pokes at Sessions: We don't meet with ambassadors

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Thursday sought to refute Attorney General Jeff Sessions's claim that his contact with Russia was because he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I've been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever," McCaskill tweeted.

Zinke rescinds Obama official's phase-out of lead bullets, fishing tackle

HUNTING-FISHING — Today, on his first day on duty, Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke (pronounced ZINK-ee) issued two secretarial orders. One withdraws a controversial order signed by an Obama administration official to phase out use of lead bullets and lead fishing tackle on federal wildlife refuges.

White House accused of blocking information on bank's Trump-Russia links

The White House has been accused of withholding information from Congress about whether Donald Trump or any of his campaign affiliates have ever received loans from a bank in Cyprus that is partly owned by a close ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin. A group of Democratic senators have been waiting for two weeks for Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who has served as vice-chairman of the Bank of Cyprus since 2014, to answer a series of questions about possible links between the bank, Russian officials, and current and former Trump administration and campaign officials.

Trump has sidelined Rex Tillerson just when the US most needs a strong secretary of state

President Trump isn’t allowing Tillerson to shape policy, choose staff, or speak to the press. On Thursday, a pair of devastating articles in Politico and the Washington Post described how the former Exxon Mobil CEO has been cut out of the loop on major foreign policy shifts, slapped down by the White House on personnel choices, and given virtually no opportunities to make public appearances with President Trump.

Tillerson Leads From State Dept. Shadows as White House Steps In

In the Washington of President Trump, Rex W. Tillerson has taken an understated approach that can be seen as brilliant, mystifying or a prescription for powerlessness. Mr. Tillerson has skipped every opportunity to define his views or give guidance to American diplomats abroad, limiting himself to terse, scripted statements, taking no questions from reporters and offering no public protest when the White House proposed cutting the State Department budget by 37 percent without first consulting him.