May 17, 2019

House Dems: Russia's investments in Kentucky poses national security threat

Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

A Russian aluminum company has approved a $200 million investment in a planned mill in Ashland, Ky., to which Democrats wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, calling on the Trump administration to investigate the deal, expressing concern about Russian influence and national security.

"Russia remains a central threat to U.S. national security and prosperity and is, along with China, one of our most aggressive and capable adversaries. The proposed investments by En+ - a company that is majority owned by a U.S.-sanctioned Russian national and Russian state bank - in an American aluminum mill, raises serious questions of national security, particularly given the mill promises to supply materials to the Department of Defense."
— House Democrats in a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin

Why it matters: The Russian aluminum company, Rusal, was sanctioned last year, banning the business from U.S. operations. Its owner, oligarch Oleg Deripaska, had been accused of "malign activity." House Democrats are "deeply alarmed" the company's U.S. investment.

Go deeper: U.S. lifts sanctions on 3 Deripaska-linked companies

Go deeper

Trump's big, empty beef with Twitter

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump finally acted on his now year-old threat to take action against social media platforms for alleged bias against conservatives. But so far, according to experts in both government and the industry, the threat looks mostly empty.

Driving the news: Trump escalated his war on Twitter Friday morning, tweeting repeatedly that the company needs to be regulated after it overnight added a warning label to a tweet of his calling for the military to start shooting looters, which violated Twitter’s rules against glorifying violence.

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.”