Jul 18, 2017

Russia threatens "retaliation" if Trump doesn't return compounds

Alexander F. Yuan / AP

Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, told Russian-state media organization TASS that Russia would launch "retaliation measures" if the Trump administration does not return the Russian diplomatic compounds unconditionally, the Washington Examiner reports. This comes after Ryabkov left a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon on Monday saying they "almost" had a deal worked out.

  • The Obama administration seized the two compounds, one in Maryland and one in New York, last year in response to alleged election interference and it was suspected Russians were orchestrating espionage acts from the properties.
  • Note: The Russian Foreign Ministry has cautioned it could retaliate "tit-for-tat" before, per CNN. This ramps up the pressure.
  • What's next: Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan told Congress last week that if there were a deal, the State Department would "consult" with Congress "before any final implementation."

Go deeper

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

59 mins ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.