Russia

Updated at 8:03 a.m. ET

It was a tweet that set off a storm. Was President Trump admitting to collusion between his campaign and Russia? Was he stipulating that the now notorious June 2016 Trump Tower meeting arranged by his son Donald Trump Jr. really was all about getting dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer and not adoption issues as President Trump had earlier claimed?

It may seem counter-intuitive and head-scratchingly odd, but Congress nearly always approves defense spending bills before the armed services committees — which actually oversee the Pentagon — vote on how the money will be spent.

Not this year.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin won't visit the United States this year after all, the White House said Wednesday, following an earlier invitation by President Trump after their recent summit in Helsinki.

"The president believes that the next bilateral meeting with President Putin should take place after the Russia witch hunt is over, so we've agreed that it will be after the first of the year," national security adviser John Bolton said in a statement released by the administration.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

A hot, newly released document offers a sliver of new understanding to the Russia imbroglio — but has not dislodged warring partisans from their long-term deadlock about evidence and surveillance in the case.

Updated at 6:47 p.m. ET

The White House is denying that President Trump believes Russia is no longer targeting U.S. elections and other infrastructure, despite his apparent answer to a reporter's question Wednesday morning.

Asked at the start of a Cabinet meeting whether Russia is still targeting the U.S., Trump shook his head and said "no."

Later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders sought to clarify Trump's comments, saying his "no" meant that he was not taking any questions from reporters.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

A federal magistrate judge ordered Wednesday that a Russian woman charged with being a Russian agent in the United States must be jailed ahead of her trial after prosecutors said she was a flight risk.

The woman, Maria Butina, has been in regular contact with Russian intelligence, the Justice Department says, and she attempted to offer sex in exchange for a position with an organization she targeted.

Given the attitude with which President Trump has greeted all news of the Russian interference in the 2016 election, his performance in Helsinki on Monday should have come as no surprise.

And yet there was surprise — even shock — when the president of the United States stood onstage alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin and accepted the former KGB officer's denials regarding that interference.

Updated at 7:19 p.m. ET

Many Republicans harshly criticized President Trump's performance Monday at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which Trump said Putin's denial that Moscow interfered with the 2016 election is "strong and powerful" — despite U.S. intelligence findings to the contrary.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russia backfired at home after he failed to side with the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump himself declared his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki a success, in what he called the "proud tradition of bold American diplomacy."

At last, Donald Trump will get the chance to meet with Vladimir Putin at the formal summit both men have been seeking for months.

After watching as President Trump held one-on-one talks with leaders from around the world — even North Korea — the Russian president will finally have his American counterpart's undivided attention when they meet on Monday in the Finnish capital Helsinki.

In the United States, the curious magnetism between the two presidents has fueled speculation about Trump's open admiration for Putin.

Updated at 2 p.m. ET Friday

One of the upsides to hosting the World Cup is the hordes of international tourists and their bulging wallets that will inevitably descend. One of the downsides is the logistics of accommodating those tourists and their corporeal needs, including bathing.

At least, that's one of the adjustments the Russian city of Samara is trying to make.

The campus of Moscow State University is located in Sparrow Hills, a leafy haven overlooking Luzhniki Stadium, the main arena for this year's soccer World Cup.

Sergei Skripal, the former Russian spy and British double agent who was poisoned in England, has been discharged from a Salisbury hospital more than two months after he was exposed to a lethal nerve agent developed by Russia.

"It is fantastic news that Sergei Skripal is well enough to leave Salisbury District Hospital," said Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.

Hospital officials say Skripal, 66, will continue his recovery elsewhere. He was found slumped over on a bench on March 4 along with his 33-year-old daughter, Yulia Skripal.

Updated at 11:59 a.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 pages of documents on Wednesday related to its investigation about a meeting in 2016 between top Trump aides and a delegation of Russians who promised to help the campaign.

The material, which includes interview transcripts and other "exhibits," is available here.

Updated at 10:55 a.m. ET

Kremlin-linked Russian politician Alexander Torshin traveled frequently between Moscow and various destinations in the United States to build relationships with figures on the American right starting as early as 2009, beyond his previously known contacts with the National Rifle Association.

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