In our news wrap Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia over its interference in U.S. elections. Meeting in Sochi with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who again denied meddling in 2016, Pompeo called such intrusion “unacceptable.” Also, Florida's governor says Russian hackers breached voter databases in two counties before the 2016 election but did not compromise results.
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President Trump is playing down the current trade standoff with China, and playing up prospects of a deal. The two nations have fired off new salvos of tariffs on billions of dollars in goods.
But Mr. Trump insisted today that his relationship with China's President Xi is — quote — "extraordinary," and he insisted the trade negotiations have not collapsed.
We're having a little squabble with China, because we have been treated very unfairly for many, many decades, for actually a long time. We are, again, in a very, very strong position. If they want to make a deal, it could absolutely happen.
U.S. trade officials today published a list of another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods that could be targeted. Beijing, in turn, vowed to fight to the finish.
Leaders in the U.S. and Iran appeared today to try to ease rising tensions in that part of the world. State TV quoted Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as saying, this is not a military confrontation because no war is going to happen. And President Trump dismissed a New York Times report that the U.S. might send 120,000 troops to the Middle East if Iran attacks.
We will delve into all of this right after the news summary.
The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., will testify before the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee related to the Russia investigation. The committee had subpoenaed him, but a number of reports now say that the two sides reached a deal today.
Meanwhile, it is also reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has appointed a federal prosecutor to review the origins of the probe into Russian interference in 2016. U.S. attorney John Durham, in Connecticut, will focus on whether surveillance of the Trump campaign was proper.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo carried a warning today to Russia over intruding in U.S. elections. Meeting in Sochi, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again denied interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign. Pompeo pointed to potential trouble in two years.
I made clear to Foreign Minister Lavrov, as we have made clear for the past months, that interference in American elections is unacceptable. If the Russians were to engage in that in 2020, it would put our relationship in an even worse place than it has been, and encouraged them not to do that, that we would — we would not tolerate that.
Pompeo also met with President Vladimir Putin, who welcomed the results of the Mueller report. He said it showed there was no collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
The governor of Florida says that Russian hackers broke into voter databases in two of the state's counties before the 2016 election. Ron DeSantis spoke today after a briefing by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. He said the hackers didn't compromise the election results. In a statement later, the FBI confirmed that assessment.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock has joined the 2020 Democratic presidential field. The 53-year-old Bullock announced today. He cast himself as a centrist who can win in states like Montana that President Trump carried in 2016. He joins a packed field of 22 Democratic candidates.
In the Philippines, it appears that President Rodrigo Duterte's allies have won big in this week's midterm elections. Unofficial results show them taking half the seats in the Philippine Senate, where opponents have blocked some of Duterte's policies. The vote was seen as a referendum on Duterte's violent anti-drug crackdown and his embrace of China.
Back in this country, Wall Street rebounded a bit from Monday's sell-off. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 207 points to close at 25532. The Nasdaq rose 87, and the S&P 500 added 22.
And two passings of note.
Longtime American economist Alice Rivlin died today of cancer. She was a founder of the Congressional Budget Office, and later the first woman to serve as White House budget director and as deputy chair of the Federal Reserve. She was a longtime champion of reining in the federal debt, as on the "NewsHour" in 2012.
We can't fix the long-run problem of the deficit by just cutting spending, and we can't fix it by just raising taxes. We have got to do some of each, but in a gradual way, over time and in a much more intelligent way.
Alice Rivlin was 88 years old.
And comedian Tim Conway died today in Los Angeles. He got his first break as a bumbling, World War II ensign on TV's "McHale's Navy" in the 1960s. Then a came a long stint on "The Carol Burnett Show" that earned him four Emmy Awards. In later years, he voiced Barnacle Boy on the "SpongeBob SquarePants" series. Tim Conway was 85.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": tensions rise in the Persian Gulf, as the U.S. blames Iran for damaged oil tankers; the rise of Chinese cell phone giant Huawei causes security concerns; labor union leader James Hoffa declares his support for President Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports; and much more.