Politics

Ways to Connect

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Internet freedom is on the decline for the seventh consecutive year as governments around the world take to distorting information on social media in order to influence elections, a new report says.

The nongovernmental organization Freedom House released its annual Freedom on the Net report this week, which found that online "manipulation and disinformation tactics played an important role" in elections in 18 countries, including the U.S.

The House has narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, clearing the first major hurdle in Republican attempts to cut taxes and rewrite the tax code.

The vote was almost along party lines, with no Democrats voting in support of the bill and some GOP defections over provisions in the measure that would eliminate important tax deductions taken by constituents in some high tax states.

Updated at 4:05 p.m. ET

Another prominent public figure has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances. Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden said now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., forced himself on her and groped her while the two were on a USO tour in 2006.

A federal judge in New Jersey has declared a mistrial in the corruption trial of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

It came after the 12-person jury told the judge for a second time that it was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on any of the bribery, conspiracy, fraud or false statements charges facing the Democrat and his co-defendant, Salomon Melgen.

Around 1 p.m., after emerging from chambers, Menendez hugged and kissed his daughter and son. Defense attorneys shook hands and patted each other on the back, as prosecutors huddled at their table.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The news did not improve this week for Roy Moore, the Alabama Republican nominee for a U.S. Senate seat who is facing sexual assault allegations. While new accusers came forward, several of Moore's previous, prominent supporters took a step back.

Nonetheless, Moore's prospects of a Senate career remain remarkably good. And the realization is setting in on official Washington that senators may have no good options for keeping Moore out if he wins at the ballot box next month.

When campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump touted his business experience, saying he would be able to relate to other executives and negotiate with them.

But then three months ago, he abruptly disbanded his business advisory councils — via Twitter — after several CEOs resigned in the aftermath of his comments on race-related violence in Charlottesville, Va.

So as Trump considers big changes in trade and tax policy now, how is he getting input from CEOs?

The administration told NPR it gets guidance on an informal "issue by issue basis" from CEOs.

Updated at 10:14 a.m. ET

A bipartisan measure aimed at improving background checks for gun sales has been introduced in the Senate, following a mass shooting in Texas that officials say might have been prevented if the gunman's conviction on assault charges had been flagged in a national database.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ELISE HU, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

A group of House and Senate lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday to overhaul the system for filing and settling harassment claims from congressional employees.

"Zero tolerance is meaningless unless it is backed up with enforcement and accountability," said Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., a leading co-sponsor of the ME TOO Congress Act, named after the #MeToo social media awareness campaign for victims of sexual harassment and assault.

Updated at 2:51 p.m. ET Thursday

It's been nearly 11 months since President Trump's inauguration, when major protests took place in the streets of Washington, D.C. Storefronts and vehicles were damaged, and police used pepper spray and other tactics to subdue the protesters.

(AP Photo)

On this edition of "Political Rewind," "Hardball" host Chris Matthews joins us to discuss his new book, which offers fresh insights on the life of Robert Kennedy.  Matthews sees Kennedy as a shining example of the kind, moral leader he thinks is absent from the political scene today. Also, we’ll look at the latest developments in Alabama and in Washington in the ongoing Roy Moore controversy. Despite increasing pressure, Moore seems determined to say in the race. Plus, Hillary Clinton tells a packed house in Atlanta that Trump fever has broken and the tide is turning.

Critics in the Senate have posed a high-stakes question: Can anything keep President Trump from launching a nuclear attack on his own?

"We are concerned that the president of the United States is so unstable, is so volatile, has a decision-making process that is so quixotic that he might order a nuclear weapons strike that is wildly out of step with U.S. national security interests," said Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy.

His Massachusetts colleague Ed Markey has offered legislation that would require congressional approval for any first use of nuclear weapons.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

Richard Cordray, the embattled director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced Wednesday that he will leave the agency by the end of November.

"I am confident that you will continue to move forward, nurture this institution we have built together, and maintain its essential value to the American public," Cordray wrote in an email to the agency's staff.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The U.S. military's restrictions on covering abortions can create logistical, emotional, career and health challenges for service members who become pregnant, according to a newly released study.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has entered the West Wing.

Mueller's team is charged with looking into whether anyone on President Trump's campaign worked with the Russians who attacked the 2016 election, so it was inevitable that investigators would want to talk with aides now working in the White House.

Some, like top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, communications director Hope Hicks and policy adviser Stephen Miller, were key players in the campaign as well.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pages