1) New Details Emerge Surrounding Russian Train Blast
Russian officials have named Akbarjon Djalilov — a man born in Kyrgyzstan — as a suspect in Monday’s deadly train blast. Fatalities from the attack have increased to 14, though it is unclear if that number includes the suicide bomber; dozens of others were injured in the attack and at least four people are in critical condition, CNN reported.
Russia identifies St Petersburg bomber as Akbarzhon Jalilov, says he was responsible unexploded bomb, too https://t.co/qYH3R8lqqF
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 4, 2017
2) Former Obama National Security Adviser Under Fire
Susan Rice, President Barack Obama’s former national security adviser, is under fire after reports that she allegedly requested the “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials who were part of incidental surveillance during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, is calling for Rice to testify under oath following the report that she sought to disclose Trump affiliates’ identities, as Fox News reported.
USA TODAY has filed suit against the Department of Justice to obtain records of FBI surveillance of Donald Trump. https://t.co/iInqnhg7CI
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 4, 2017
“I don’t think we should discount how big a deal it was that Susan Rice was looking at these, and she needs to be asked, did President Obama ask her to do this? Was this a directive from President Obama?” Paul said. “I think she ought to testify under oath on this. I think she should be asked under oath, did she reveal it to The Washington Post.”
USA Today turned up the heat on the controversy on Tuesday morning by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, demanding the release of any surveillance records involving President Donald Trump or his campaign.
3) The Supreme Court Battle Forges On
The Senate battle over federal Judge Neil M. Gorsuch forges on, with Democrats saying they have enough votes to filibuster the nominee. Meanwhile, Republicans are singing a very different tune, with GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley predicting that Gorsuch will be “on the Supreme Court by midnight Friday night.”
HAPPENING TODAY: Senate to begin debate on SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch pic.twitter.com/1kAQhsslex
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 4, 2017
Who’s right? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see. But in the meantime, be sure to read our historical piece highlighting a similarly contentious nomination process that unfolded 222 years ago.
4) Sen. John McCain Isn’t Happy With Trump
Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Republican, lashed out at Trump on Tuesday, calling the president’s decision not to prioritize ending the years-long Syrian civil war “another disgraceful chapter in American history and it was predictable.”
“(Syrian President) Bashar Assad and his friends, the Russians, take note of what Americans say,” Trump said on CNN’s “New Day.” “I’m sure they took note of what our Secretary of State (Rex Tillerson) said just the other day that the Syrian people would be determining their own future themselves — one of the more incredible statements I’ve ever heard.” Read more about it here.
— CNN (@CNN) April 4, 2017
His comments came as reports from Syria on Tuesday indicated that a gas attack in a rebel-held area killed 58 people, with 11 children among the dead. It was one of the deadliest gas attacks seen during the conflict, according to the AP.
5) The Health Care Battle Isn’t Over…Yet
Despite a stunning defeat, Republicans aren’t giving up on their efforts to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. In fact, conservative Republicans in the House are considering a White House effort to revise the bill, with the proposal holding the potential to win over moderates in the GOP.
Vice President Mike Pence is said to have met with members of the House Freedom Caucus on Monday to address the issue, the AP reported.
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