* Leigh Ann Caldwell reports that Republicans and Democrats in the Senate actually agreed on something today:
The U.S. Senate has reached a bipartisan agreement on a new round of sanctions against Russia, a move that will likely force President Donald Trump to either sign or veto a measure that he has not said he supports.
The sanctions are in response to a trio of Russian actions, including their interference in the 2016 election, engagement in Syria and invasion of Crimea.
In a rebuke to the president, negotiators agreed that the additional sanctions on Russia would prohibit the president from being able to lift them without Congressional approval.
Well that puts Trump in an awkward position, doesn’t it? If he vetoes the bill that includes this, all the charges about him doing Vladimir Putin’s bidding would get even louder.
* Nicholas Fandos was able to speak to the brother of the suspect in today’s shooting:
The man suspected of opening fire on Republican members of the congressional baseball team early Wednesday morning was distraught over the election of President Trump and traveled to Washington in recent weeks to protest, his brother said on Wednesday.
The suspect, James Thomas Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill., died in a Washington hospital after a shootout with the police.
“I know he wasn’t happy with the way things were going, the election results and stuff,” his brother, Michael Hodgkinson, said in a telephone interview shortly after he received the news on Wednesday. He added that he was not close to his brother and had not been aware why he remained in Washington.
“Totally out of the blue,” he added, saying that his brother was engaged in politics but otherwise led a normal life.
I expect conservative commentators to be their usual restrained and thoughtful selves in how they interpret the information we’re getting on Hodgkinson.
* Pete Williams and Jon Schuppe report that Hodgkinson had had run-ins with the police before.
* Tom LoBianco and Jeremy Herb report that special counsel Robert Mueller met today with the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, presumably to coordinate their efforts in some fashion. Which means the Russia probes continue to advance.
* Juliet Eilperin reports that the Trump administration just delayed a rule reducing methane emissions, because hey, the only thing better than doing nothing to stop global warming is to actually encourage it.
* And Heather Digby Parton argues that if Trump fires Mueller, we shouldn’t be surprised if Republicans line up to defend him.