Friday’s Headlines: Trump says he was thinking of ‘this Russia thing’ when he decided to fire Comey

Rosenstein meets privately with key senators as Democrats seek answers about his role in Comey’s firing; Onetime bodyguard now one of Trump’s most trusted aides; How much power does a president have to affect an investigation?; Acting FBI director sharply at odds with White House on Comey, Russia probe; Homeland Security chief weighs changes to visa program that could hurt Kushner real estate company; As U.S. pulls back in Asia, China pitches an ambitious global plan;
 
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Today's Headlines
The morning’s most important stories, selected by Post editors
 
 
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Trump says he was thinking of ‘this Russia thing’ when he decided to fire Comey
On his decision to dismiss the FBI director, the president told NBC News: “I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats.” That contradicts the White House’s initial version of events and undercuts aides’ denials that his fury with the Russia probe influenced the move.
Rosenstein meets privately with key senators as Democrats seek answers about his role in Comey’s firing
The meeting with leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee was set before James B. Comey was fired, but the Capitol Hill appearance by the deputy attorney general heightened the intrigue around him.
 
Onetime bodyguard now one of Trump’s most trusted aides
Keith Schiller, a retired New York police detective, has worked for Donald Trump for nearly two decades and is someone other White House officials look to for tips on the president’s mood. This week, Trump dispatched Schiller to deliver the letter informing James B. Comey he had been “terminated.”
 
‘Can He Do That?’
How much power does a president have to affect an investigation?
As the fallout from Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey continues, this episode of the podcast looks at the limitations of presidential power when it comes to investigations. Plus, Bob Woodward and Marc Fisher assess how history measures up.
 
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Acting FBI director sharply at odds with White House on Comey, Russia probe
Andrew McCabe rejected the administration’s view of the Russian investigation as a low priority and defended the former FBI director in a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He also vowed to tell Congress if the White House tried to interfere in the bureau’s work.
 
Homeland Security chief weighs changes to visa program that could hurt Kushner real estate company
In an early test of how the administration will handle matters that could carry significant financial consequences for the president’s extended family, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly is considering changes that would make it difficult to attract foreign money to projects in prosperous areas.
 
As U.S. pulls back in Asia, China pitches an ambitious global plan
Before an audience of world leaders at this weekend’s Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to project himself as the leader of a new economic order and tout a vision for global trade and infrastructure development.
 
 
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Party of France’s president-elect counts on political neophytes
More than half of the 429 parliamentary candidates from Emmanuel Macron’s party have never run for office. The June elections will go a long way in determining whether he can achieve his ambitious goals.
Trump blasts Navy’s aircraft catapult
The president described a new system for launching planes as “no good” and said the Navy should go back to “Goddamned steam,” the method used on aircraft carriers for decades. A Pentagon official said that the comments caught defense officials off-guard and are inaccurate.
@PKCapitol | Analysis
Trump effect on full display as Senate approves critic of current trade deals
Senators’ broad confirmation of the president’s nominee for trade representative also confirms that Congress now has a bipartisan majority opposing the global economic strategy that underpinned U.S. trade policy for the past 35 years.
WorldViews | Analysis
North Korea demands that U.S. hand over would-be assassins of Kim Jong Un
The North Korean Ministry of State Security described in detail an alleged plot by U.S. and South Korean officials. South Korea called the claim “groundless,” and the CIA declined to comment, as is customary. But North Korea isn’t letting go.
Stephen Colbert gleefully responds to Trump calling him a ‘no-talent guy’
It was the moment CBS’s “Late Show” host has been waiting for ever since he started eviscerating the president. “Don’t you know,” Colbert asked, “I’ve been trying for a year to get you to say my name?”
This writer panned ‘Sgt. Pepper’ before learning his stereo was busted. He’s still not sorry.
Fifty years after the Beatles released the album now widely hailed as a masterpiece, the pioneering critic who savaged the work listened to it again. And this time, his stereo worked.
Put through the wringer, they find salvation in the ring
An exchange program between Northern Ireland and D.C. has given young pugilists the chance to box overseas for a decade. But its bigger goal is to get participants to see a wider world and envision a better future.
 
     
 
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