Tim Mak | KUER 90.1

Tim Mak

Tim Mak covers national security and politics for NPR.

His reporting interests include congressional investigations, foreign interference in American election campaigns and the effects of technology on politics.

He appears regularly on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and the NPR Politics Podcast.

Before joining NPR, Mak worked as a senior correspondent at The Daily Beast, covering the 2016 presidential elections with an emphasis on foreign affairs. He has also worked on the Politico Defense team, the Politico breaking news desk, and at the Washington Examiner. He has reported abroad from the Horn of Africa and East Asia.

Mak graduated with a B.A. from McGill University, where he was a valedictorian. He also holds a national certification as an Emergency Medical Technician.

President Trump said he is willing to get behind some changes to background checks for gun buyers as long as Democrats don't move the goalposts and lead him down a "slippery slope."

The president told reporters on Wednesday that he continues to support new or altered checks, without going into detail, and he acknowledged that he has been taking counsel on the issue from the National Rifle Association.

A new legislative proposal by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., would ban elements of social media he views as addictive.

As Americans are spending more and more time glued to social media apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, concerns with technological addiction are merging with rising political anger against Big Tech.

And it's leading to some out-of-the-box thinking.

"Their business model is increasingly exploitative in nature and I think that these are companies that are trying to evade accountability," Hawley told NPR.

The National Rifle Association's sway in the nation's capital may be waning at a time when two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas are reigniting the debate about enacting new gun restrictions.

In the past few months, the gun rights group's president stepped aside; its top lobbyist resigned; and allegations of financial misconduct at the highest levels of the group have burst into the open.

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET

Members of Congress likely won't confine themselves to former special counsel Robert Mueller's report when they question him next week in two open hearings, staffers said.

Mueller, who is reluctant to appear, has said he would confine himself to what he's already written — but the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence won't.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday evening condemning the president for a series of racist tweets about four Democratic lawmakers.

The vote was mostly along party lines, as the House split 240-187, with four Republicans supporting the nonbinding measure.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been leaving Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hanging.

New Jersey Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski spent some time over the Memorial Day recess getting grilled by some of his most outspoken constituents: the sixth-graders at Warren Middle School.

The precocious students grilled him on the plight of the Uighurs in China, the high level of taxes in the state and his view on gay rights. And then, an 11-year-old named Bodhi Lee stood up to ask a question.

Updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a $19.1 billion disaster aid package Thursday that includes money for states impacted by flooding, recent hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as money for communities rebuilding after wildfires.

The measure passed overwhelmingly — 85-8.

A series of internal National Rifle Association documents leaked online over the weekend, detailing lavish six-figure spending on clothing and travel expenses for CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Newly obtained documents describe what happened when two now-infamous Russians took their outreach campaign into the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve in 2015.

Alexander Torshin, then a Russian central banker, brought his protégée, Maria Butina, for meetings with senior officials and even sought another with the then-chair of the Fed, the documents confirm.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

The Senate intelligence committee has issued a subpoena to Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son, to testify again before the panel, according to a source familiar with the subpoena.

He met with the committee in December 2017 about his participation in a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians offering "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

Updated at 2:59 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee signaled Monday morning that it would begin contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr this week.

The committee is planning to emphasize the attorney general's refusal to comply with a congressional subpoena demanding the full, unredacted Mueller report.

A vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt will be scheduled for 10 a.m. on Wednesday, but the committee said that it could postpone the proceedings if the Justice Department responded to its subpoena.

Updated at 6:01 p.m. ET

National Rifle Association leader Oliver North announced Saturday that he will not seek a second term as president of the gun rights group, as is customary.

The decision plunged the organization into chaos ahead of a board meeting on Monday and sparked debate among NRA members over a resolution on whether to oust Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre.

Civil servant Tricia Newbold recently became a whistleblower, approaching a federal government watchdog and Congress to report senior officials overturning security clearance denials for White House staff.

She is protected from retaliation under the Whistleblower Protection Act, which marks its 30th anniversary this week. Since the law was enacted the number of people exposing government wrongdoing has gone up — and so has bipartisan support for protecting those who speak out.

Updated at 11:3o a.m. ET

As the Justice Department prepares a redacted version of the Mueller report for release later this month, the House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for the full report and its underlying investigative evidence.

The committee also authorized subpoenas for figures in the Trump orbit, including former White House counsel Don McGahn; McGahn's former chief of staff Ann Donaldson; former adviser Steve Bannon; former spokesperson Hope Hicks; and former chief of staff Reince Priebus.

House Democrats are pushing to obtain a full, unredacted copy of the Mueller report to review — something they say Attorney General William Barr would not commit to in a phone call on Wednesday with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler.

Jared Kushner's attorney told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform that Kushner uses private messaging applications and personal email to communicate about official White House matters, the committee wrote in a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone on Thursday.

Nowhere else in the House of Representatives is the tension between legislation and investigation more present than on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where a bipartisan infrastructure deal could be in the making — even as the Democrats on the committee launch a reinvigorated investigation into the D.C. Trump International Hotel.

There's already sufficient evidence to support an indictment of President Trump even before the conclusion of the special counsel investigation, California Rep. Adam Schiff said Tuesday.

The chairman of the House intelligence committee pointed to the case of Michael Cohen, the president's former personal lawyer, in which the government described how "Individual 1" directed and coordinated a campaign fraud scheme.

"Individual 1" is Trump, and Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence in part because of those crimes.

Expectations among Democrats are sky-high as reports have emerged about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation coming to an end.

In fact, expectations are so intense among some elderly, ill critics of the president that they say they want to try to hang on to see how the story all turns out.

As a World War II veteran, Mitchell Tendler had been part of the forces that fought Nazism.

Michael Cohen was just the beginning.

President Trump's former personal lawyer named names when he testified before the House oversight committee on Wednesday. He told the panel about Trump Organization personnel with knowledge of what Cohen alleged are criminal or questionable actions within the business.

The Trump administration sought to rush the transfer of American nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia in potential violation of the law, a new report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee alleges.

Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings' staff issued an "interim staff" report Tuesday, citing "multiple whistleblowers" who raised ethical and legal concerns about the process.

The Senate Finance Committee is launching a bipartisan investigation into how a conservative think tank aided Maria Butina, the admitted Russian agent who sought political influence through her ties with the National Rifle Association.

Butina pleaded guilty to acting as a foreign agent in the United States in December, and her alleged Russian government handler, Alexander Torshin, was sanctioned by the U.S. in April 2018.

For the National Rifle Association, the year since the Parkland shooting has led to a changing — and less favorable — political landscape.

Democrats control the House of Representatives, public opinion polling shows a majority of Americans support expanded background checks, and the NRA's political spending is down.

A longtime Trump ally pushed to have two fathers of Parkland victims tossed out of a congressional hearing on gun violence — a reflection of the vociferous nature of the debate Democrats have made a priority in the new Congress.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sparked commotion in the hearing when he listed circumstances in which violence was committed by undocumented immigrants, and said the solution would be to build the Trump-backed wall along the Southwest border.

Republicans have had no shortage of foreign policy disagreements with President Trump, whose presidential campaign ran diametrically opposed to many central tenets of traditional GOP stances on international affairs.

The GOP-controlled Senate voted again to go on the record with more pushback on foreign policy — this time on Syria.

Updated at 4:03 p.m. ET

Russia and other foreign actors will try new techniques to interfere in the 2020 elections, building off the tactics they used in the 2016 and 2018 campaigns, America's top intelligence official warned Tuesday.

"We assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 U.S. elections as an opportunity to advance their interests," Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate intelligence committee. "We expect them to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other's experiences and efforts."

House Oversight Committee Democrats have launched an investigation into who got security clearances in President Trump's administration following the 2016 election, as well as how and why.

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., outlined the goals of his inquiry in a letter to the White House on Wednesday.

In the midst of accusations of sexism and sexual harassment by aides on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, the senator's former campaign manager acknowledged Wednesday that there had been "a failure," and Sanders is promising to make sure the same problems do not emerge if he runs in 2020.

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