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.

President Trump spiked the peace negotiations for a war he's desperate to end and sacked the national security adviser who shaped much of his foreign policy in Asia and the Middle East.

Where does the Trump administration's foreign policy go from here?

Until Saturday, one path, at least, appeared clear: Washington was inching closer to some kind of agreement with the Taliban to end the 18-year conflict in Afghanistan.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET

President Trump has fired national security adviser John Bolton, the lifelong proponent of American hard power, after months of division between the men over the direction of foreign and national security policy.

Trump announced the news Tuesday on Twitter.

Big Tech representatives met with law enforcement and intelligence officials to discuss how to align their efforts to defend the 2020 election.

Facebook and Microsoft confirmed the meeting, which took place at Facebook's campus in Menlo Park, Calif., on Wednesday.

The conversations — and the announcement that they took place — reflected a new consensus in the worlds of technology and national security about the need to prepare beforehand for disinformation or other influence operations aimed at the 2020 presidential race.

Voting systems in the United States have come a long way since the hanging chads of the 2000 recount in Florida — but now cybersecurity is as big a concern as ballot fidelity.

Here's what you need to know.

The good news

Updated at 3:11 p.m. ET

Former FBI Director James Comey violated official policy in the way he handled his memos describing his exchanges with President Trump, an investigation concluded — but Comey won't be charged.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz conducted the investigation into Comey's actions and then referred his results to prosecutors.

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

President Trump abruptly dropped his intention to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to serve as director of national intelligence on Friday.

Updated at 2:23 p.m. ET

The Federal Election Commission is considering proposed new rules to outlaw exchanges like the one that took place when a Russian delegation visited Trump Tower in 2016 to offer Donald Trump's campaign "dirt" on Democrats.

Although U.S. law already forbids contributions from foreigners to American political campaigns, President Trump has said that the meeting taken by his son Donald Trump Jr. and others was business as usual and that everybody in politics accepts "opposition research."

Updated 1:35 p.m. ET

Rep. John Ratcliffe is President Trump's choice to become the next top leader of the U.S. intelligence community.

The Texas Republican thanked Trump on Twitter following the president's earlier announcement, also on Twitter, that Ratcliffe is his nominee to replace outgoing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Former special counsel Robert Mueller did what Democrats wanted him to do on Wednesday — the question now is how much difference that may make.

Mueller's hearings did not feature a telegenic star who could deliver a message as exuberantly as President Trump's opponents hoped.

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