International relations

Report: National Enquirer publisher asked DOJ about filing as foreign agent

Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Last year the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media LLC, asked the Department of Justice whether it should register as a foreign agent after including editorial suggestions from an adviser to Saudi Arabia and publishing a promotional magazine about Saudi Arabia in honor of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's visit to the United States, the WSJ reports.

Why it matters: Last week Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, accused the National Enquirer of blackmailing him to end an investigation into the source of intimate texts that the Enquirer published. Bezos insinuated Saudi Arabia might be the source of the leak.

Energy Department bans recruitment programs suspected of foreign espionage

Rick Perry
Energy Secretary Rick Perry. Photo: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Department of Energy said Friday it will ask all "personnel, contracted scientists and future grant recipients" to discloses ties to programs in countries it considers "sensitive," and that those employees will be asked to either give up those ties or resign, the WSJ reports.

The big picture: The move to ban foreign talent-recruitment programs sponsored by countries like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea was deemed a matter of "U.S. national security and scientific integrity," as the department oversees 17 national laboratories that conduct research in sensitive fields like nuclear physics. The ban is part of the Trump administration’s broader effort to fend off economic espionage and intellectual property theft, which senior Energy Department officials have said often stems from these types of recruitment programs.

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