Philip Ewing

Philip Ewing is NPR's national security editor. He helps direct coverage of the military, the intelligence community, counterterrorism, veterans and other topics for the radio and online. Ewing joined the network in 2015 from Politico, where he was a Pentagon correspondent and defense editor. Previously he served as managing editor of Military.com and before that he covered the U.S. Navy for the Military Times newspapers.

New charges against a woman who tried to build bridges between the Russian government and American political leaders via the National Rifle Association delivered a breakthrough in understanding one aspect of the attack on the 2016 election: "infiltration."

After months of questions and speculation as to how or whether the NRA connection might have worked, prosecutors have proffered an answer: The Russian woman, Maria Butina, was the intermediary between Russian government officials and Americans, both in the NRA and elsewhere in politics, according to court documents.

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In responding to the news that 12 Russian intelligence agents allegedly hacked the DNC and other Democratic groups during the 2016 election, President Trump repeated a familiar line.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Updated Saturday at 10:45 a.m. ET

This week in the Russia investigations: Six insights about the latest master blast from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The big one

As the noted counterintelligence analyst Kenny Loggins once said: "This is it."

Updated at 9:38 p.m. ET

The Justice Department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday with a litany of alleged offenses related to Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails, state election systems and other targets in 2016.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who announced the indictments, said the Russians involved belonged to the military intelligence service GRU. They are accused of a sustained cyberattack against Democratic Party targets, including its campaign committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

This week in the Russia investigations: "Please don't interfere!" Senate Republicans tell Moscow. Peter Strzok heads back into the lion's den. Is Mueller farming out work? The Senate intel committee supports the intelligence community.

"Putin's fine ... We're all fine"

Members of a Republican delegation to Russia over the Independence Day holiday said they made a clear request of their hosts: Don't attack any more American elections.

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