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.

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.

Updated at 8:58 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee launched a broad investigation into President Trump's inner circle Monday, targeting figures who have worked in his administration and for the Trump Organization businesses.

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.

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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.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Is Facebook ripe for disruption in 2019? That's a question we're asking in this week's All Tech Considered.

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Some members of the Republican National Committee and grassroots Republicans are backing an effort to block potential primary challengers to President Trump, even though party insiders are insisting it is too late to change the rules for the 2020 campaign.

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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Angry senators on Wednesday accused the Trump administration of stonewalling in an effort to avoid linking Saudi Arabia's crown prince to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a rare rebuke of the White House, even Republicans complained they weren't getting the full story. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., threatened to withhold key votes until he gets the answers he is looking for. Lawmakers also vented their frustration during a procedural vote on Yemen.

The complaints started with the personnel involved.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denounced the role of Saudi Arabia in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it "abhorrent" — and said that it deserves a congressional response.

Breaking with the president, who has said that the CIA had made no conclusions about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible for the death, McConnell said that the intelligence agency has "basically certified" Saudi involvement at the highest levels.

After nearly two weeks, the Sunshine State's darkest recurring political nightmare is over.

Florida's recount process was marred by accusations of incompetence, antiquated voting technology and even a ballot design issue that some Democrats believe cost them a Senate seat. Republicans and the president even suggested — without evidence — that voter fraud had been committed.

For some it brought back flashbacks to the 2000 presidential election, when the nation's attention was brought to Florida's humiliating, poorly-organized recount procedure.

Christine Blasey Ford is still being harassed after leveling sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, her lawyers say.

"Justice Kavanaugh ascended to the Supreme Court, but the threats to Dr. Ford continue," said Ford's lawyers, Debra Katz, Lisa Banks and Michael Bromwich, in a statement to NPR.

Kavanaugh stridently denied the allegations about the assault and went on to win confirmation in the Senate. Ford is still working to get her life back on track, her lawyers say.

In a key ballot initiative, Florida will restore voting rights to citizens convicted of certain felonies after they have served their sentences, including prison terms, parole and probationary periods, AP has projected.

Voting rights will not be restored to those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses.

The deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, the killing of two African-Americans in Kentucky and the wave of improvised explosive devices aimed at critics of President Trump all happened just within the past week.

In 2016, Rep. Devin Nunes coasted to re-election by a double-digit margin. Now the eight-term Republican is in for the tightest race of his political life — all thanks to his views on the Russia investigations.

As chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he has made himself a national figure for his staunch defense of President Trump and criticism of special counsel Robert Mueller, who's leading the investigation.

With midterm elections just two weeks away, Facebook says it is ramping up its operations to fight disinformation.

The social media behemoth has established a "war room" at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., where specialists try to detect and disrupt bad actors attempting to delegitimize elections, spread fake information and suppress the vote.

Most of the Twitter accounts that spread disinformation during the 2016 presidential campaign remain active now, according to an ambitious new study released on Thursday.

Knight Foundation researchers examined millions of tweets and concluded that more than 80 percent of the accounts associated with the 2016 disinformation campaign are still posting — even after Twitter announced back in July that it had instituted a purge of fake accounts.

Russia's influence campaign on Twitter pushed pro-gun and pro-National Rifle Association messages during the 2016 election and beyond — a rare example of consistency in a scheme that mostly sought to play up extremes on the left and right.

On every issue, from race to health care, women's rights to police brutality, gay marriage to global warming, accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency sought to amplify controversy by playing up conflict.

Russian social media agitators who pushed pro-gun messages in the United States sometimes copied the language of the National Rifle Association. And sometimes, the NRA copied them.

What isn't clear is whether there was any relationship between the social media users or whether the duplication was done without the other's awareness, part of the broader tide of advocacy about gun rights.

What is clear is that, at times, the Russians followed so closely behind the American gun rights group that it duplicated its content word for word.

Maria Butina, the Russian woman accused of working as an unregistered foreign agent, encouraged pro-gun demonstrations in the U.S. as early as 2014, according to messages provided to NPR.

Butina's work has been linked to Russia's attack on the 2016 election, but people who know her say she began trying to make her mark inside America years before.

NPR examined thousands of people who make up Butina's Facebook network, and reached out to a sample of more than two hundred individuals.

Updated at 5:55 p.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan called on the author of the widely read New York Times op-ed critical of President Trump to resign, arguing that the individual was "living in dishonesty."

The essay, posted Wednesday afternoon and attributed to a senior administration official, suggested that there is a group of high-level Trump administration officials working to stymie the president behind the scenes.

The 2016 campaign was a nightmare for Democrats.

So Democratic National Committee Chief Technology Officer Raffi Krikorian was brought in to the DNC in 2017 to make sure embarrassing breaches — and the subsequent leak of internal communications — weren't repeated.

But with fewer than 70 days to go until the midterm elections, there's still a lot of room for improvement, he acknowledged, both inside and outside the organization.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Senate intelligence committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., summed up how lawmakers and Trump administration officials have failed to acknowledge the dangerous problem of foreign influence operations in America on Wednesday, with a description of an Internet meme.

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