Jun 4, 2017

Putin: 'I didn't even really talk' to Michael Flynn

Mikhail Klimentyev / Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

In his interview with Megyn Kelly, which will air tonight on NBC, Vladimir Putin said he "didn't even really talk" to Michael Flynn when he and the former national security advisor were seated together at a 2015 dinner:

"You and I personally have a much closer relationship than I had with Mr Flynn.... When I came to the event for our for our company, Russia Today, and sat down at the table, next to me there was a gentleman sitting on one side. I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left... afterwards I was told, 'You know there was an American gentleman, he was involved in some things. He used to be in the security services.' ....That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr Flynn."

The backstory: The payments Flynn received from RT, and his appearance next to Putin at the dinner, have been raised frequently amid speculation about his relationship with the Kremlin.

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.