President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. President Trump gave classified information to the Russians. President Trump denied asking Comey to lay off an FBI investigation.
The news headlines out of Washington this week have been flashy and relentless.
But what are we missing in all this breaking news?
MPR News host Kerri Miller talked to NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson for a breakdown of what is happening in Washington. Here are three takeaways from their conversation:
1. What is a special counsel? Robert Mueller, a former FBI Director, has been appointed to be special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. This means he has wide latitude to investigate anything having to do with Russia's meddling in the elections, including whether or not Trump's campaign has ties to Russia, and whether or not Trump obstructed justice when he fired Comey.
2. Is President Trump the victim of a witch hunt? Whether or not it's happening is a witch hunt, Trump set up this whole process when he fired FBI director James Comey. However, the newly appointed special counsel reports to the deputy attorney general. The deputy attorney general then reports to the U.S. president. This means Trump can fire the special counsel, with cause.
3. What are Democrats missing in all of this? Said Liasson: "It's one thing to be against Trump, but it's another thing to totally forget about a positive message for voters about the economy, about the things they care about. And that's what I think people are worried that the Democrats are doing right now."
For more of Liasson's summary from this week of U.S. political news, use the audio player above.