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Russell Berman

Russell Berman is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers political news. He was previously a congressional reporter for The Hill and a Washington correspondent for The New York Sun.
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Democrats Quickly Confront the Limits of Their Power to Stop Trump

November 9, 2018 House Democrats barely had a chance to celebrate the new majority they won on Tuesday before Donald Trump confronted them with their first test. Hours after warning Democrats of retaliation if they harassed him with congressional investigations, the president ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with a loyalist...

The Short List to Replace Nikki Haley

October 10, 2018 Nikki Haley’s upcoming departure from the United Nations opens up the most prominent diplomatic posting other than secretary of state, and a position that presidents have historically used to showcase rising stars or reward elder statesmen. President Donald Trump on Tuesday told reporters he has known that Haley planned to...

What John McCain’s Death Means for Republican Control of the Senate

August 28, 2018 John McCain’s death will deprive the Senate of one of its longest-serving members, its leading military hawk and champion of interventionist U.S. foreign policy, and a Republican who regularly sought—and often struck—significant accords with Democrats. But in the short term, the loss of the Arizona senator and elder statesman is...

Trump’s Untested Authority to Revoke Security Clearances

August 24, 2018 There is little dispute that President Donald Trump has the basic authority to revoke security clearances for current and former federal officials, as he did last week in the case of former CIA Director John Brennan and has threatened to do for several others who have criticized him. The rules...

Trump’s Untested Authority to Revoke Security Clearances

August 24, 2018 There is little dispute that President Donald Trump has the basic authority to revoke security clearances for current and former federal officials, as he did last week in the case of former CIA Director John Brennan and has threatened to do for several others who have criticized him. The rules...

How Some Immigrant Families Are Avoiding Separation

June 22, 2018 MCALLEN, Tex.—Angel Bonilla spent eight days in an immigrant-detention facility with his five-month-old daughter, Selene Alanis, after trekking for nearly a month through Mexico from his home in Honduras. Like so many others, he was caught by the Border Patrol crossing the Rio Grande in a raft. Right now, they’re...

Maine Voters Overrule Their Leaders

June 15, 2018 For the past two years, Maine voters have been at war with their legislature and Governor Paul LePage over the way the state’s elections should be run. In 2016, Mainers approved the use of ranked-choice voting in a referendum, becoming the first state in the nation to adopt the so-called...

Republican Leaders Confront an Immigration Revolt on Two Sides

May 18, 2018 A deepening rupture within the House Republican ranks over immigration policy has claimed another casualty: the farm bill, a far-reaching priority of Speaker Paul Ryan that would impose work requirements on recipients of food stamps. Conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus joined in an unlikely alliance with Republican moderates and...

Senate Confirms Gina Haspel to Be the First Woman to Lead the CIA

May 18, 2018 Gina Haspel will become the first woman to lead the CIA after the Senate confirmed her on a 54-45 vote Thursday afternoon. Unlike the votes for many of President Trump’s Cabinet officers, the final tally on Thursday did not fall neatly along party lines. Six Democrats set aside concerns about...

Senate Panel Narrowly Approves Pompeo for Secretary of State

April 24, 2018 Never in its 202-year history had the Senate Foreign Relations Committee given a public thumbs-down to a presidential nominee for secretary of state. Until a few minutes before the panel met late Monday afternoon, it looked like CIA Director Mike Pompeo would carry that unprecedented blemish to the Senate floor...