Politics & Government

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This week in the Russia investigations: Democrats defend Christopher Steele — for now — but lose Round 2 of memo mania; and the bosses of the spy agencies are due for a rare public appearance on Capitol Hill.

Reinforcing Steele

President Trump blocked the release of a Democratic memo rebutting an earlier Republican memo. The White House said the Democrats' response had too much secret information. Democrats are asking what Trump is trying to hide.

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Updated Feb. 10 at 1:09 p.m. ET

President Trump will not immediately release a memo drafted by Democrats on the House intelligence committee intended to respond to a memo by that committee's Republican chairman released last week, with the White House instead suggesting revisions of sensitive sections before it is made available to the public.

The Albuquerque Journal issued an apology Thursday for running a nationally syndicated cartoon that has been assailed as a racist attack on Latino immigrants by critics.

"In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizes," Editor Karen Moses wrote in the paper.

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Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

The No. 3 official at the Justice Department will be stepping down after less than a year, leaving a key vacancy in the succession of people who are tasked with overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Justice Department announced Friday evening that Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand will be leaving her job in the coming weeks to take a position in the private sector. A source told NPR that Brand, who was sworn in last May, has been in talks about becoming the top lawyer at Walmart.

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Joining us now to talk about the week in politics is Erick Erickson of the website The Resurgent and Jonathan Capehart, who's on the editorial board of The Washington Post. Hi, guys.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Hi, Ari.

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