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The FBI is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Director James Comey said.
“I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI as part of our counterintelligence mission is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Comey said during widely anticipated testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday. He added that the probe began in late July 2016.
The FBI does not typically confirm the existence of ongoing investigations.
Comey also publicly rebuked President Donald Trump’s allegations that former president Obama wiretapped him at Trump Tower during the 2016 campaign. He said there is “no information that supports” those claims, which came in a series of three tweets on March 4.
And the Fox News judicial analyst who became embroiled in controversy last week after making unsubstantiated claims that the UK wiretapped Trump Tower on behalf of Barack Obama has reportedly been pulled from the air.
Ivanka Trump has a new office: the White House.
The president’s daughter will be working as an adviser from the West Wing, gaining access to a government-issued phone, security clearance, and classified information, her attorney told the Associated Press. Ivanka isn’t a government employee, but she’ll kind of act like one. The move further solidifies her prominent, though unofficial, place in the new administration.
Anti-nepotism laws prevent the president’s family members from being appointed to government positions. However, they can still advise him as private citizens, which is what Ivanka Trump will be doing, her lawyer said.
WE’RE KEEPING AN EYE ON
The US is banning laptops and tablets as carry-on items on flights from major Middle Eastern and African airports.
Authorities are barring passengers from bringing laptops, tablet computers, and other electronic devices (excluding cell phones) as carry-on items on nonstop flights originating at 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa.
A US official told the Associated Press that the ban covers all direct flights to the US from Cairo, Egypt; Amman, Jordan; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Casablanca, Morocco; Doha, Qatar; Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia; Istanbul, Turkey; and Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. All these countries are US allies.
More details are will be announced Tuesday.
QUICK THINGS TO KNOW
UK news: Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50, the formal process for Britain to leave the European Union, on March 29. And former Northern Irish deputy first minister Martin McGuinness has died at the age of 66. He was a former Irish Republican Army leader turned peacekeeper.
Democrats launched criticism against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday for the first day of his confirmation hearing.
French presidential candidates had their first TV debate — centrist Emmanuel Macron was seen as the winner. (If you’re interested in the elections and can speak French, check out BuzzFeed France’s coverage of the debate.)
The US Department of Homeland Security has published its first weekly report on so-called sanctuary cities (cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities) and the alleged crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.
Hundreds of 9/11 victims and their family members are suing the Saudi government for allegedly assisting al-Qaeda.
In tech: Facebook is testing a design tweak that would make comments look a lot more like messaging app threads. And DoorDash will start delivering food via robots in California starting this Thursday.
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