Happening Today: White House, Benjamin Netanyahu, Etan Patz, Westminster

What to Know

  • There are reports that members of Trump's presidential campaign contacted Russian intelligence officials multiple times before the election
  • A man was convicted of murder and kidnapping in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz nearly 40 years ago
  • A dog named Rumor became the second German shepherd in the 140-year history of the Westminster dog show to win best in show

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Trump Knew Flynn Misled White House: Officials

Just six days into his presidency, Donald Trump was informed his national security adviser had misled his vice president about contacts with Russia. Trump kept his No. 2 in the dark and waited nearly three weeks before ousting National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, citing a slow but steady erosion of trust, White House officials said Tuesday. But in the White House's retelling of Flynn's stunning downfall, his error was not that he discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian before the inauguration — a potential violation of a rarely enforced law — but the fact that he denied it for weeks, apparently misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other senior Trump aides. Here’s who may replace Flynn. Meanwhile, The New York Times is reporting that U.S. agencies intercepted phone calls last year between Russian intelligence officials and members of Trump's 2016 campaign team.

Democrats Push for Deeper Probe on Russia Ties

The resignation of Flynn elicited a simple but persistent question Tuesday from congressional Democrats: What did President Trump know and when did he know it? After Flynn stepped down late Monday, Democrats demanded the formation of an independent, bipartisan panel to examine possible links between the Trump administration and Russia. This latest push builds on an earlier call by Democrats for an independent inquiry into Moscow's meddling in the 2016 election. 

Watchdog to White House: Investigate Conway

The government's ethics watchdog said there is "strong reason to believe" that Kellyanne Conway violated federal ethics rules when she told TV viewers to "go buy" Ivanka Trump products, and is recommending that the White House consider disciplining President Trump's counselor. In a letter made public Tuesday, Walter Schaub, director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote that Conway's comments clearly violate ethics rules that bar federal employees from using their public office to endorse a product.

White House Shift on 2-State Solution?

The Trump administration suggested Tuesday that peace between the Israelis and Palestinians may not come in the form of a two-state solution — a position that could represent a dramatic shift from what has been U.S. policy for more than 20 years. Speaking to reporters ahead of President Trump's meeting Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a senior White House official said Trump is eager to begin facilitating a peace deal between the two sides and hoping to bring them together soon. 

Man Found Guilty in Etan Patz Case

A jury has found a man guilty of felony murder and kidnapping in the death of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who became one of the country's most iconic missing children when he disappeared from his SoHo bus stop nearly 40 years ago. "I've known for a long time that this man Pedro Hernandez is guilty of doing something really terrible so many years ago," the slain boy's father Stanley Patz said in a brief statement after the verdict. The jury was split at times, but ultimately they had to decide if the multiple confessions Hernandez made were credible. Patz's case helped usher in an era of vigilance. The anniversary of the boy's disappearance became National Missing Children's Day.

German Shepherd Wins Best in Show

Rumor the German shepherd was crowned America's top dog Tuesday night when, a year after a near miss on the very same green carpet, she came out of retirement to win best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club. Cheered loudly all around the ring by a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden, she's just the second German shepherd champion at the event that began in 1877. In a year that's seen lots of late, startling twists in sports - think Patriots, Cubs and Cavaliers - Rumor pulled something of a shocker.

Harrison Ford in Another Plane Incident

Actor Harrison Ford was involved in a potentially serious incident on Monday as he was piloting his private plane, a single engine Husky. The 74-year-old actor passed over the top of a commercial jet loaded with 110 passengers and a six-person crew. The incident has prompted an FAA investigation. Ford has been involved in a series of crashes and near-misses while flying aircraft, including in 2015, when he crash-landed a World War II-era airplane on a golf course.

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