In our news wrap Wednesday, President Trump accused Robert Mueller and his top staff of being "Democrat loyalists," and attacked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for authorizing FBI raids on the offices of his personal lawyer. Also, an Algerian military plane crash killed 257 people, including soldiers, relatives and some refugees.
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In the day's other news, President Trump fired off new blasts at the special counsel's investigation of Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
The president accused Robert Mueller and top staffers of being — quote — "Democrat loyalists." He also attacked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who approved FBI raids on Mr. Trump's personal lawyer. The New York Times reported the raids' targets included records on an "Access Hollywood" tape. In it, Mr. Trump talked of groping women.
The president also aimed new threats against Syria today over a suspected chemical attack. Syria's main ally, Russia, says that U.S. missiles fired at Syria will be intercepted and the launch sites targeted.
On Twitter, Mr. Trump said — quote — "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready, Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and smart."
Despite that, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said there's been no decision to attack yet.
The president has not laid out a timetable and is still leaving a number of other options on the table, and we're still considering a number of those, and a final decision on that front hasn't been made.
Sanders said intelligence shows that Syria and Russia are responsible for the attack that killed 60 people near Damascus.
In Moscow, Russia's President Vladimir Putin said, "We hope that common sense will prevail."
We will take a closer look at the U.S. military options in Syria later in the program.
In Algeria, a military plane crash killed 257 people, including soldiers, relatives and some refugees. Ambulances rushed to the smoldering field where the plane plunged to earth after taking off. Authorities said they're investigating to determine the cause.
Pope Francis admitted today to what he called grave errors in handling a church sex abuse scandal in Chile. He had strongly defended a bishop who allegedly witnessed and ignored abuse by a priest. Today's admission came in a papal letter to the Roman Catholic Church in Chile.
Officials there read sections to reporters.
Bishop Fernando Ramos Perez (through translator):
I recognize that I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of accurate and balanced information. From now on, I apologize to all those I have offended and I hope to be able to do it personally in the coming weeks.
The pope has invited both Chilean bishops and victims of abuse to the Vatican.
Back in this country, a new federal law will give state prosecutors and victims more leverage against online sex traffickers. President Trump signed the measure today, alongside members of Congress, survivors and advocates. He called the issue a tough one. The law targets Web sites that host abusive material.
California is sending 400 National Guard members to the border with Mexico and to other areas, after President Trump's request. But Governor Jerry Brown announced today that they will not enforce federal immigration laws.
In a statement, Brown said, "This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children."
Three other states are deploying a combined total of 1,600 Guard members.
In Arizona, teachers wore red and staged walk-in protests at schools statewide today. They're seeking a 20 percent pay raise and increased funding for education. Their protest took place as a teacher strike in Oklahoma continued for a 10th day.
And on Wall Street, stocks gave up some of Tuesday's big gains. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 218 points to close at 24189. The Nasdaq fell 25 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 14.
Still to come on the "NewsHour," the future of the GOP following Speaker Ryan's decision not to run for reelection; President Trump warns of impending missile strikes in Syria; Facebook under fire, Mark Zuckerberg's second day of congressional grilling; and much more.