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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has charged an attorney with providing false statements to investigators — the latest indictment in the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Attorney Alex Van Der Zwaan has been charged with making false statements about past communications with former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates.

While Gates was never a client of Van Der Zwann’s according to a source with knowledge of the relationship, the two were connected because of Gates’ past work representing the Ukraine government on behalf of his former boss Paul Manafort.

The special counsel’s office said in their court filing that Van Der Zwaan, who worked for a law firm that did work in Ukraine in 2012, made false statements about communications in 2016 with Gates and an unnamed person.

The communication took place when Gates was still a member of the Trump campaign team.

Manafort left the campaign in mid-August, Gates stayed on through the election.

Gates is currently facing criminal charges from the special counsel over his lobbying work in Ukraine.

Van Der Zwaan is expected to appear in federal court on Tuesday afternoon to offer a guilty plea to the charge.

Van der Zwaan's father-in-law is German Khan, a Ukrainian-Russian who is one of the three owners of Russia's Alfa Bank and who is mentioned in an infamous dossier written by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Steele was employed by opposition research firm Fusion GPS which received funding for its efforts, in part, from the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Khan is also mentioned in court filings and congressional records request of Paul Manafort for their past work together.

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@GovernorTomWolf/Twitter(NEW YORK) -- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has issued a new congressional map for the state — a decision that could have major ramifications for the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The court issued the map after Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled state legislature, were unable to submit a map satisfying both parties by the court-ordered Thursday night deadline.

"Implementation of this map would create a constitutional crisis where the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is usurping the authority of the Legislative and Executive branches. We anticipate further action in federal court," Pennsylvania House Speaker and State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati wrote in a statement Monday.

The new map significantly redraws the districts that encompass the Philadelphia suburbs, a key purple part of a purple state where Democrats are poised to pick up seats, and it creates another competitive district in northeast Pennsylvania near the Allentown area.

Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in both the suburban Philadelphia districts currently represented by Rep. Pat Meehan and Ryan Costello in the 2016 presidential election.

Thirteen of the districts in the previous map went to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, while just five went to Hillary Clinton. Ten of the districts in the new map were won by Trump, while eight went to Clinton, according to an analysis by redistricting expert Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.

Republicans currently hold 12 of the state’s 18 congressional districts, while Democrats control just five. One seat is currently vacant but will be filled following the March 13 special election to replace former Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Penn., who resigned over a sex scandal last year.

Under the newly issued map, both candidates in the March special election, Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone, would find themselves living outside of the 18th congressional district for which they are currently running to represent.

Democrat Conor Lamb, who lives in Mt. Lebanon, would find himself in the new 17th district, parts of which are currently represented by Republican Rep. Keith Rothfus. It's an area that would receive an influx of suburban Pittsburgh Democratic voters and a race that could become more competitive than it has been in the past.

Republican Rick Saccone, who lives in Elizabeth, moves into the new 18th district encompassing much of the current 14th district which is presently represented by Democratic Rep. Mike Doyle. Democrats would continue to have a distinct advantage given the district's inclusion of Pittsburgh's urban core.

Prior to the court's decision, both candidates have signaled that they are interested in running again in November, win or lose. In a statement provided to ABC News, Saccone called the new map "partisan," but said he was "going to run and win in whatever district I compete in because it's not about the lines that are drawn, but about the values I represent." Lamb's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Despite the uncertainty ahead, outside groups remain focused on a potentially momentum-shifting victory in the district next month.

American Bridge, a Democratic Super PAC, is releasing a new digital ad this week bashing Saccone for "out of touch" comments on the region's opioid crisis. But by happenstance, the ad will run on Facebook for users across Pennsylvania, not just in the 18th district, according to a PAC official, a move that could pay dividends should Saccone run elsewhere come November.

Numerous map submissions from both sides of the aisle were presented to the state Supreme Court, which ordered the state’s congressional boundaries redrawn late last month. But after Wolf vetoed a map submitted Republican leaders in the statehouse last Tuesday, it became clear both sides were not going to reach an agreement by the February 16 deadline.

Republicans in the state harshly criticized Wolf for rejecting the map they submitted, saying his decision “sets forth a nonsensical approach to governance.”

“This entire exercise, while cloaked in ‘litigation,’ is and has been nothing more than the ultimate partisan gerrymander – one brought about by the Democrat Chief Executive of the Commonwealth acting in concert with politically-connected litigants in order to divest the General Assembly of its Constitutional authority to enact Congressional districts,” Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai and State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati wrote in a statement last Tuesday.

President Trump also weighed in on the new map Tuesday morning, imploring the GOP to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wolf submitted his own map last week that he claimed “combined features of legislative submissions” and was “statistically more fair than the Republican leaders’ submission.”

“From the outset, I have made clear I wanted a map that was fair and removed the partisanship that Pennsylvanians have been forced to live under since the 2012 elections,” Governor Wolf said in a statement Thursday. “This map takes features from Republican and Democratic submissions, while still meeting the court’s orders and opinion, to provide Pennsylvanians with a fair map.”

The new congressional map, if it survives the coming legal challenges from Republicans, could allow Democrats to pick up between 2 to 3 seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

“If the Pennsylvania map changes, it’s hard to imagine how the Republicans hold control of the House so maybe that’s why we’re seeing the desperation we’re seeing,” Michael Li, a redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy institute, told ABC News.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Sergei Millian emerged last year as one of the more intriguing characters to surface during the ongoing investigations into foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The Belarusan-American businessman and onetime Russian government translator claimed to have brokered Trump-branded real estate to Russian buyers. He contacted high-level members of the Trump campaign who have since been swept into the widening Russia probe. And he was alleged in news reports to be the unwitting source of a key allegation contained in the infamous dossier of unverified claims that have beguiled the Trump presidency from its inception.

Congressional investigators want to interview Millian, sources familiar with aspects of the congressional inquiries told ABC News. They have been trying — and failing — to track him down for months.

So where in the world is he?

Last week, Millian offered those investigators a tantalizing clue as to his possible whereabouts, posting on Twitter a photo of himself addressing what appears to be a Harvard Business School event , with the caption, “Speaker at Harvard University.”

Not so fast. A university spokesman told ABC News there is no record of Millian appearing there in recent years.

“We have him listed as a guest speaker at a European Conference held at the school on March 3, 2013. His session was about Russian-European Energy Relations,” said Brian Kenny, a Harvard spokesman. “That's all the information I have.”

Exactly how Millian fits into the investigation remains unclear.

He has said publicly that he has no ties to the scandal and has simply been pursuing his efforts to foster cooperation as the head of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.

“The more fake news appear, the heavier the price will be paid by those who are behind this organized campaign,” he wrote on Twitter in August 2017.

Millian has not always been silent. He granted an interview to ABC News in July of 2016, during the presidential campaign. He described meeting Trump in 2008 during a marketing meeting to help bring attention to the Trump-branded development in Hollywood, Florida. He had even posed for a photo with Trump at the event and, he said, was introduced to Michael Cohen, who was then the senior attorney for the Trump Organization.

“Trump’s team, they realized that we have lots of connection with Russian investors. And they noticed that we bring a lot of investors from Russia,” Millian told ABC News. “And they needed my assistance, yes, to sell properties and sell some of the assets to Russian investors.”

Millian said he signed an agreement “with his team so I can be his official broker.”

Both Cohen and the developer of Trump Hollywood, the Related Group, told ABC News that they had no record of any signed agreement with Millian.

“I’ve never met the guy,” Cohen said at the time. “I have spoken to him twice. The first time, he was proposing to do something. He’s in real estate. I told him we have no interest. Second time he called me, I asked him not to call me anymore.”

During the 2016 campaign, Millian had contact with several of then-candidate Trump’s campaign aides and business colleagues, including George Papadopoulos, the campaign figure who has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is now cooperating with the federal probe.

Papadopoulos’s fiancé Simona Mangiante told ABC News Millian approached the young Trump foreign policy advisor early in 2016, after he became associated with the campaign, and they struck up a friendship.

Millian also briefly engaged in social media contact on Twitter with Cohen. Cohen later told ABC News that he exchanged emails with Millian in order to tell him to stop exaggerating his ties to the Trump Organization.

Cohen said he wrote Millian to say it had become clear “that you too are seeking media attention off of this false narrative of a Trump-Russia alliance” and to ask him to stop “attempting to inject yourself into this crazy, [Hillary] Clinton campaign lie.”

Last spring, news reports alleged that Millian was an unwitting source of information for the uncorroborated “dossier” compiled by a former British spy for the Washington research firm Fusion GPS. That firm’s founder, Glenn Simpson, would not confirm that to Congress in November, but he told the House Intelligence Committee that Millian caught his attention early on.

“Sergei Millian isn't named in the dossier, but is someone who was important,” Simpson said.

In more recent interviews, Millian has denied being the source of any information that appeared in the dossier.

“This is just a blatant lie,” he told a Russian television talk show called 60 Minutes, according to a translation prepared for ABC News. He called it an attempt “to show our president [Trump] in a bad light, using my name.”

Millian declined to respond to emailed questions from ABC News in recent months, other than sending an email objecting to his portrayal in earlier reports and expressing general frustration with the media coverage that has centered on him.

“Shame on you for working like this and deceiving your viewers,” he said.

A phone number listed for him on the Russian American Chamber of Commerce web site does not accept calls or messages.

As for Millian’s whereabouts, that remains something of a mystery. Public records suggest he lived in Atlanta, and later at locations in New York City. Last year, he posted photos of himself in Washington, D.C., attending parties celebrating the Trump Inauguration.

And that photo from Harvard? It was geo-tagged in New York -- perhaps a new clue for congressional investigators who are hoping to speak with him.

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ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump took to Twitter to offer surprising support for a regular opponent on Monday night. The president endorsed Republican Mitt Romney for senator from Utah, a position he hopes to inherit from the retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch.

The president tweeted, "He will make a great Senator and worthy successor to @OrrinHatch and has my full support and endorsement!"

Romney made the announcement he would be running last week, but never mentioned Trump in his campaign video.

Romney was extremely critical of Trump during the 2016 election, including a speech from March 2016 in which he meticulously outlined all of the problems Trump presented if elected. The former Massachusetts governor ripped Trump over foreign policy, his businesses and the economy, his temperament and dealings with Russia.

"Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud," Romney told an audience at the University of Utah last March. "His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat."

Trump in turn said Romney "choked like a dog" when he lost in 2012 to President Barack Obama and called him a "mixed up man who doesn't have a clue."

Yet, Romney accepted Trump's endorsement on Twitter late Monday, making no mention of his critical comments from a year ago.

Romney said in an interview with The Associated Press on the day of his campaign announcement last Friday he was on the same page policy-wise as Trump, but wouldn't hesitate to speak out against the president if he disagreed. He voiced an immigration plan similar to Trump's in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune, voicing support for "a border fence or wall" and saying he agreed chain migration and the lottery program should be fixed.

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United States Department of State(WASHINGTON) -- The indictment Friday of 13 Russians accused of waging "information warfare" in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is raising new questions about why the Trump administration still has not imposed sanctions designed to punish Russia and deter it from interfering in the 2018 midterms.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked on the CBS program "60 Minutes" why the administration has not done what Congress directed when it overwhelmingly passed legislation last summer calling for new sanctions.

“We have and we are,” he responded. “We've taken steps that have already prevented a number of Russian military sales as a result of the legislation, and we are evaluating additional individuals for possible sanctioning."

But while the administration argues that the threat of sanctions has met the intended effect of the law, there have been no new sanctions on Russia since its passage, leading Democrats to express outrage.

Trump begrudgingly signed the law in August, but warned it was unconstitutional in parts. Since then, there have been questions about whether he would fully enforce the law designed to tie his hands and force him to clamp down on Russia, especially because he's also repeatedly declined to even criticize Russia's actions.

In October, the administration missed a deadline by weeks to publish a list of Russian entities and individuals in the defense and intelligence sectors. Those groups are already under sanctions, but anyone doing business with them would face American sanctions starting January 29.

But when that day came, the State and Treasury departments did not impose any sanctions, instead saying the threat of sanctions had achieved the goal of disrupting and ending billions of dollars worth of such deals.

"Since the enactment of the CAATSA legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement at the time, using an acronym for the law - Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.

The administration has not published any evidence or details of the allegedly disrupted deals, citing private diplomatic conversations. Trump administration officials did, however, brief members of Congress about their efforts, which at least satisfied even Democrats initially.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., then the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “welcomed” the briefing and said he “appreciate[d] the administration’s engagement with Congress on this issue.” Cardin was one of the authors of the sanctions law, officially called the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA.

Since then, the pressure for more sanctions has escalated. Last Thursday, the White House released a statement blaming Russia for a massive cyber attack last year known as the “NotPetya” that overwhelmed Ukraine and hit some businesses, banks, and media organizations in other countries. The following day, special counsel Robert Mueller announced indictments against 13 Russian citizens, laying out in great detail Russia’s intricate plot to interfere and disrupt the U.S. presidential election.

Together, the two underscored the seriousness of the cyber threat from Russia, renewing calls for sanctions — and criticism of Trump for not taking seriously enough the danger, especially after his top administration officials like Tillerson and CIA director Mike Pompeo have warned Russia is looking to interfere again in the 2018 congressional elections.

“Since coming into office, President Trump has failed to address the ongoing threat to our security posed by Russia’s international assault on the democratic process,” Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., now the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement Friday.

“He continues to ignore congressional will with respect to the mandatory sanctions passed last year. It has been more than six months since [the sanctions bill] was signed into law, and not one, mandatory sanction has been imposed,” he added. “It’s inexcusable.”

But the administration has deflected, saying new sanctions could be coming. Tillerson’s comments echoed those of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who was grilled during congressional testimony last week.

“We are actively working on Russia’s sanctions,” he told the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.

After Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, interrogated him about whether Trump has asked him to impose sanctions, Mnuchin said the president was supportive.

“I told him we would be doing sanctions against Russia, and he was pleased to hear that,” he said.

Among those potential new sanctions, the law ordered the administration to impose sanctions for Russians and those who aid Russia in cyberattacks — unless the White House can certify that “the Government of the Russian Federation has made significant efforts to reduce the number and intensity of cyber intrusions.”

Four top Democrats urged the imposition of these sanctions in a letter to Trump and Tillerson last month, but the administration has not yet taken any steps to implement those.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Students from the Washington, D.C. area protested outside the White House Monday, calling for lawmakers to reform gun laws after the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. last week.

"The most important thing is that the government knows that kids in our generation are getting involved with this issue," said Hollis Cutler, 17, a Washington, D.C.-area high school junior.

During the protest, organized by a group called Teens for Gun Reform, 17 students laid on the ground for three minutes in front of the White House to symbolize the 17 people killed last week and how long it takes to purchase a firearm, according to one of the student organizers, high school junior Eleanor Nuechterlein.

"My friend Whitney and I decided that we wanted to take action because politicians haven't done anything really since ten years ago. There's been so many school shootings since then and nothing's really been done and we wanted to intact change and because we're under 18, we can't vote," said Nuechterlein.

Last Friday, Nuechterlein, 16, and her classmate and friend, Whitney Bowen, 16, began organizing the White House protest and formed "Teens for Gun Reform" with the premise that it would be students speaking out for other students.

"We as teenagers want something to be done. It's not our parents, it's not adults. It's something that we truly believe needs to change," said Nuechterlein.

The student organizers felt that a protest was the best way to have their voices heard.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were shot and killed by a former student last week, have called for a national march on Washington, D.C. on March 24 to call on lawmakers to take action to prevent future mass shootings.

Nuechterlein said she would like to see background checks required for all gun sales. She said that the students weren't partisan, but rather asking lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to listen.

"Both political parties should come together and change something because at the end of the day there are kids in school that are worried about their safety and that's not okay," she said.

Congressman Don Beyer, D-Va., who joined the protest Monday, said he hoped these young people would "finally" give Congress the motivation it needs to address gun violence.

"When I was growing up, sometimes we had to hide under our desk in case there was a nuclear attack, but these guys have to hide under their desks all the time -- school shooting after school shooting," he said.

Beyer said he would like Congress to pass federal laws that allow families and law enforcement to put mentally ill people on the background check list, but acknowledged that it might not get done this year.

Protesters on Monday held signs that read "Protect Kids, Not Guns" and "How about our children's rights?" while someone read the names of a decade's worth of school shooting victims over a bullhorn.

The 17 students who laid on the ground - arms crossed on their chests and American flags across their bodies - were joined by what appeared to be nearly 100 other young people and supporters on the ground with them.

"I was sitting there and thinking about all of the families and all of the friends and all of the people who have been so hurt or killed by school shootings and the politicians are the voice of the people and we are the people," said Bowen about what went through her mind during the "lie-in."

After getting up, Bowen and Nuechterlein said they wanted people to recognize that there are young voices calling for change and although they aren't old enough to vote, "we are the ones in the classrooms" and "we're not okay with what's happening around us."

After most of the young people stood up, a crowd clashed with what appeared to be the lone counter-protester, who was holding a sign that read, "Many armed staff behind us here, why not schools." People yelled and circled around the counter-protester.

At one point a Secret Service officer stepped in and reminded people that everyone had the right to protest and not to touch each other.

Parker, 12, and Pepper, 11, Margulis, who attended the protest with their mom, said that they had camp friends that went to school in Florida and have been scared to go to school since they learned of the shooting last week.

"When I heard a sounds the day after - there was a loud noise in the cafeteria, because of the speakers - I honestly thought it was a gun shot, and people were scared, it was so scary," said Parker.

"I was just scared to go to school, thinking, 'could this happen to me?'" said Pepper.

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United States Environmental Protection Agency (WASHINGTON) -- The head of the Environmental Protection Agency has canceled a scheduled trip to Israel amid scrutiny over his high travel costs.

Documents released last week showed that Administrator Scott Pruitt racked up nearly $200,000 in travel expenses for him and his staff, including some chartered flights and upgraded tickets to first or business class.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said Sunday that the agency decided to postpone a planned trip to Israel, though she did not give a specific reason. The Washington Post reported that Pruitt was scheduled to meet with the country's environmental minister and tour infrastructure sites like a water recycling plant.

“We decided to postpone; the administrator looks forward to going in the future,” Bowman said in a statement.

The EPA said last week that the administrator flies first class for security reasons. Pruitt explained then he had experienced multiple unfriendly encounters while he was traveling in his first few months as administrator.

"There have been instances, unfortunately, during my time as administrator as I've flown and I spent time of interaction that's not been the best and so ingress and egress off the plane, the security aspect, those are decision all made by our detail team, by the chief of staff, by the administration. I don't make any of those decisions," Pruitt told ABC affiliate WMUR in New Hampshire last week.

Pruitt has more security than previous administrators because there have been more threats against him, according to EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox, who said last week Pruitt has a waiver to fly first or business class because of those security concerns.

Multiple other administration officials have been under fire for their high travel spending, most recently Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. A VA Office of Inspector General report Shulkin said inappropriately accepted tickets to the Wimbledon tennis tournament and used agency funds to bring his wife on a European trip. Last year, the president asked then-HHS Secretary Tom Price to resign after criticism of his use of expensive private and military flights.

The documents showing travel costs at EPA were obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project, an environmental watchdog group, through a FOIA request and lawsuit filed by the group after EPA did not respond to previous FOIA requests.

Those travel vouchers and other documents provide details about some of the administrator's travel. They show that the EPA spent thousands of dollars for the administrator to fly first class on domestic flights. For example, in May of last year, the EPA paid more than $1,900 for Pruitt to fly from Washington, D.C., to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and back for a tour of a chemical company. Pruitt also spent more than $1,500 for a flight from D.C. to New York for media interviews in June, while a staffer that traveled to assist Pruitt on the trip only paid $238 for his ticket.

In yet another example, the EPA got approval for a $5,700 charter flight to take Pruitt and his staff from Denver to Durango, Colorado, because his commercial flight was delayed. Pruitt could have traveled with on the Colorado governor's plane or on a different flight but there were no extra seats available for his security detail, according to a memo approving the trip.

The EPA also spent more than $90,000 for Pruitt and his staff to fly to Italy to attend one day of the G7 environmental summit. The administrator paid about $7,000 for his trip, which took him from New York to Rome and then back to D.C. from Milan. Flights for staffers and other EPA officials on the trip cost around $2,000. That trip also included a $36,000 military flight from Cincinnati to New York, which was approved so Pruitt could join President Donald Trump at an event there and still make his flight to Rome.

Information on the use of some charter flights was first reported in September when the EPA released information on the trips in response to questions from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

The EPA's Office of Inspector General is currently investigating the EPA's travel spending in 2017 to determine if the agency followed all proper rules and procedures in booking private and upgraded flights. That investigation began in August of last year after other documents obtained by the Environmental Integrity Project showed that Pruitt traveled back to his home state of Oklahoma several times in his first few months as administrator.

Members of Congress have questioned whether the EPA is spending too much on the administrator's travel.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told ABC News' Mary Bruce last week that he thinks all officials should fly coach.

"I think everybody ought to fly coach and I've always felt that way. You get there roughly the same time, maybe a few seconds slower," Kennedy said.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, which oversees the EPA, criticized the agency for its spending on travel while the administration has proposed cutting the agency's budget.

Two former ambassadors also criticized the EPA's reasoning for the upgraded flights, saying that they traveled in economy class and without security even when traveling internationally.

Chris Lu, who was deputy labor secretary under President Barack Obama, told The Washington Post that no Obama Cabinet members were given waivers to travel first class under the previous administration.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Over the weekend, President Donald Trump suggested that the FBI’s Russia investigation had caused the agency to divert resources or attention that could have prevented last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

His message came just one day after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians for their alleged roles in a complex operation to sway the 2016 presidential election.

Federal law enforcement officials say Trump’s posting misstates how the FBI actually works.

The FBI has a broad mandate and spends every day focusing on multiple threats at once – terrorists, bank robbers, child predators, cyber criminals, corrupt politicians, gun traffickers, foreign spies, and many more.

There are about 35,000 people working for the FBI, including about 12,000 agents, according to FBI statistics.

The FBI has “a lot of people,” one federal law enforcement official told ABC News. “They’re not all working on Russia, I can tell you that. There’s a lot of other stuff going on.”

On Wednesday, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and injuring many others. Two days later, the FBI acknowledged that last month, “a person close to Nicolas Cruz” contacted an FBI tip line “to report concerns about him,” but “protocols were not followed” and the information was never passed on to authorities in Florida.

When the FBI receives a call like that from the public, the call goes to a center in West Virginia run by the FBI's Criminal Justice Information Services Division. The call center is supposed to assess the information, and if it is deemed a potential threat the information should be sent to the appropriate FBI field office. In the Cruz case, the information should have been deemed a potential threat to life and should have been sent to the Miami field office for further investigation, but the information was never deemed a threat to begin with, so it was never passed on, the federal law enforcement official said.

Nevertheless, personnel at the FBI’s call center would “absolutely not” ever be working on the Russia case, the official said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump felt liberated Friday afternoon, sources close to him told ABC News, when the news broke that the special counsel probing interference in the 2016 presidential election unveiled a grand jury indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups accused of meddling “with U.S. elections and political processes.”

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!” the president tweeted as he boarded Air Force One in Washington where the televisions were tuned into Fox News.

Over the next 45 hours, the president would go on to tweet 11 times - blasting the Russia investigation and blaming Democrats for failing to stop Russian interference, which he once denied.

Then came the bombshell at 11:08 p.m. Saturday. The president connected one of the deadliest mass school shootings in history to the Russia investigation.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russia collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump tweeted, following dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club.

For some context, there are about 35,000 people working for the FBI, including about 12,000 agents, according to FBI statistics. The FBI has “a lot of people,” and, “They’re not all working on Russia, I can tell you that. There’s a lot of other stuff going on,” one federal law enforcement official told ABC News.

Aides have long cautioned Trump against tweeting about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, with one senior White House official conceding the weekend tweets were not helpful to the president.

Even the presence of chief of staff John Kelly – known to bring some order to a chaotic White House but who has said his role isn't to stop the president from tweeting – didn’t seem to help contain what soon turned into a twitter tirade.

“Trying to convince him not to tweet? People have been trying for three years – from his family to friends to aides. What makes them think this time would be any different?” said another White House official who expected Trump would ultimately link the deadly shooting to the Russia investigation.

There was bi-partisan backlash. Members of his own party even said he went too far.

“So many folks in the FBI are doing all they can to keep us safe, the reality of it is that they are two separate issues,” Republican Senator Tim Scott said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“This is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on CNN.

One survivor of the Florida high school shooting tweeted to the president: “Oh my god. 17 OF MY CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS ARE GONE AND YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY TO MAKE THIS ABOUT RUSSIA???!! HAVE A DAMN HEART. You can keep all of you fake and meaningless “thoughts and prayers.”

On Friday, shortly after arriving in Florida, Trump traveled to Broward County to visit first responders and victim’s families after last week's shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – a visit that appeared to have a more congratulatory feel focused on praising law enforcement officials.

The Saturday Twitter barrage was just the beginning.

President Trump then took another swipe at the ongoing Russia probes early Sunday morning, tweeting “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption, and chaos within the U.S. they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”

Trump, who has been hesitant to enforce sanctions on Russia for cyber meddling, has yet to speak out against Russia or say what he will do to stop future Russian meddling.

As White House spokesman Hogan Gidley was on Fox News claiming that the Democrats and the media have created more “chaos” than the Russia investigation, Trump’s own national security adviser was acknowledging Russian interference saying “the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.”

The president even called him out for that comment, saying “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impact or changed by the Russians.”

In what seems like an attempt to shift the narrative, Trump ended his weekend tweeting about Oprah Winfrey, following her appearance on the CBS program “60 Minutes.”

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!” he tweeted.

Oprah discussed speculation surrounding a 2020 run, and while not ruling it out, said she really doesn’t think she’s cut out to be president.

“I am actually humbled by the fact that people think that I could be a leader of the free world, but it’s just not in my spirit, it’s not my DNA,” she said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump felt liberated Friday afternoon, sources close to him told ABC News, when the news broke that the special counsel probing interference in the 2016 presidential election unveiled a grand jury indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups accused of meddling “with U.S. elections and political processes.”

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!” the president tweeted as he boarded Air Force One in Washington where the televisions were tuned into Fox News.

Over the next 45 hours, the president would go on to tweet 11 times - blasting the Russia investigation and blaming Democrats for failing to stop Russian interference, which he once denied.

Then came the bombshell at 11:08 p.m. Saturday. The president connected one of the deadliest mass school shootings in history to the Russia investigation.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russia collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!” Trump tweeted, following dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Aides have long cautioned Trump against tweeting about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, with one senior White House official conceding the weekend tweets were not helpful to the president.

Even the presence of chief of staff John Kelly – known to bring some order to a chaotic White House but who has said his role isn't to stop the president from tweeting – didn’t seem to help contain what soon turned into a twitter tirade.

“Trying to convince him not to tweet? People have been trying for three years – from his family to friends to aides. What makes them think this time would be any different?” said another White House official who expected Trump would ultimately link the deadly shooting to the Russia investigation.

There was bi-partisan backlash. Members of his own party even said he went too far.

“So many folks in the FBI are doing all they can to keep us safe, the reality of it is that they are two separate issues,” Republican Senator Tim Scott said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“This is a president who claims vindication anytime someone sneezes,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on CNN.

One survivor of the Florida high school shooting tweeted to the president: “Oh my god. 17 OF MY CLASSMATES AND FRIENDS ARE GONE AND YOU HAVE THE AUDACITY TO MAKE THIS ABOUT RUSSIA???!! HAVE A DAMN HEART. You can keep all of you fake and meaningless “thoughts and prayers.”

On Friday, shortly after arriving in Florida, Trump traveled to Broward County to visit first responders and victim’s families after last week's shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School – a visit that appeared to have a more congratulatory feel focused on praising law enforcement officials.

The Saturday Twitter barrage was just the beginning.

President Trump then took another swipe at the ongoing Russia probes early Sunday morning, tweeting “If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption, and chaos within the U.S. they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!”

Trump, who has been hesitant to enforce sanctions on Russia for cyber meddling, has yet to speak out against Russia or say what he will do to stop future Russian meddling.

As White House spokesman Hogan Gidley was on Fox News claiming that the Democrats and the media have created more “chaos” than the Russia investigation, Trump’s own national security adviser was acknowledging Russian interference saying “the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain.”

The president even called him out for that comment, saying “General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impact or changed by the Russians.”

In what seems like an attempt to shift the narrative, Trump ended his weekend tweeting about Oprah Winfrey, following her appearance on the CBS program “60 Minutes.”

“Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!” he tweeted.

Oprah discussed speculation surrounding a 2020 run, and while not ruling it out, said she really doesn’t think she’s cut out to be president.

“I am actually humbled by the fact that people think that I could be a leader of the free world, but it’s just not in my spirit, it’s not my DNA,” she said.

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Chip Somodevilla/Staff/Getty(WASHINGTON) -- The White House says President Donald Trump is “supportive of efforts” to update the nation’s background check system in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., shooting last week that killed 17 people, many of them teenagers.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said Monday the president spoke with Texas Sen. John Cornyn on Friday about legislation he introduced last year following the Sutherland Springs mass shooting that took place in Cornyn's home state.

“While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the president is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system,” Sanders said.

That bill, co-sponsored by leading gun control advocate Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who saw 20 children killed in his home state in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting, calls for making updates to the background check system to ensure that states and federal agencies have up-to-date and accurate information on individuals prohibited from buying firearms.

The bill, called the Fix NICS Act, referring to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, is endorsed by major gun rights organizations, including the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

While any action the administration takes in the wake of Florida is expected to stop short of any proposal that would amount to gun restrictions, sources tell ABC News that the president has repeatedly said “we have to do something” in the wake of the Florida tragedy. Principal deputy press secretary Raj Shah said late last week that “mental health and school safety” would be at the forefront of any policy prescriptions the administration may pursue.

“The president wants to take leadership and actually fix this problem and create best practices across the country,” Shah said on FOX News late last week.

This week, the president is set to turn his focus to the issue of school safety with a “listening session” on Wednesday with high school students and teachers. And on Thursday, he will meet with state and local officials on the issue.

This is the fourth mass shooting that President Trump has had to respond to since becoming president, and in the wake of those other shootings, the administration has repeatedly pivoted away from having a conversation on gun control measures and has instead put the focus on mental health.

Following the shooting in Sutherland Springs last year, the president said, "We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn't a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it's a little bit soon to go into it."

Since last week’s shooting, the president has not said it's too soon to talk about gun control but he has twice ignored questions about whether there should be changes to the nation’s gun laws.

The only time the president has previously expressed an openness to some sort of regulation relating to guns was in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, when he said the administration would be "looking into" bump stocks regulation.

"We'll be looking into that over the next short period of time," the president said back in October. But ultimately, a bill that would have addressed the issue of bump stocks died in Congress. After passing the House, the measure stalled in the Senate.

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iStock/Thinkstock(PALM BEACH, Fla.) --  A driver of one of the press vans in the presidential motorcade was found Monday to be carrying a personal handgun.

The gun was discovered in a bag belonging to the driver during a routine screening at the president’s Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where Trump has been spending the long weekend.

According to a reporter who witnessed the incident, the driver said he had forgotten to leave the firearm in his personal car.

The driver was detained for questioning by the Secret Service and was not allowed to enter the president’s property. The other van drivers were also removed from the motorcade and White House staffers drove the vans instead.

One of the press vans, driven by a staffer, subsequently got into a fender bender with a government SUV in the parking lot of the president’s club.

Secret Service has yet to respond to an ABC News' request for comment on the incident.

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PA Governor's Office(HARRISBURG, Penn.) -- In a decision that could have major ramifications for the balance of power in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will decide today on a new congressional map after the governor and state legislature could not come to an agreement on a map last week.

Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled state legislature had until Thursday at midnight last week to agree on a new congressional map, but were unable to submit a map satisfying both parties to the state’s high court in time.

Numerous map submissions from both sides of the aisle were presented to the state Supreme Court, which ordered the state’s congressional boundaries redrawn late last month, but after Wolf vetoed a map submitted Republican leaders in the statehouse last Tuesday it became clear both sides were not going to reach an agreement by the February 16 deadline.

Republicans in the state harshly criticized Wolf for rejecting the map they submitted, saying his decision “sets forth a nonsensical approach to governance.”

“This entire exercise, while cloaked in ‘litigation,’ is and has been nothing more than the ultimate partisan gerrymander – one brought about by the Democrat Chief Executive of the Commonwealth acting in concert with politically-connected litigants in order to divest the General Assembly of its Constitutional authority to enact Congressional districts,” Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai and State Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnati wrote in a statement last Tuesday.

Wolf submitted his own map last week that he claimed “combined features of legislative submissions” and was “statistically more fair than the Republican leaders’ submission.”

“From the outset, I have made clear I wanted a map that was fair and removed the partisanship that Pennsylvanians have been forced to live under since the 2012 elections,” Governor Wolf said in a statement Thursday. “This map takes features from Republican and Democratic submissions, while still meeting the court’s orders and opinion, to provide Pennsylvanians with a fair map.”

Republicans currently hold 12 of the state’s 18 congressional districts, while Democrats control just five. One seat is currently vacant but will be filled following the March 13 special election to replace former Representative Tim Murphy, R-Penn., who resigned over a sex scandal last year.

The new congressional map, expected to be announced in an order by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court sometime today, could allow Democrats to pick up between 2 to 3 seats in the 2018 midterm elections.

“If the Pennsylvania map changes, it’s hard to imagine how the Republicans hold control of the House so maybe that’s why we’re seeing the desperation we’re seeing,” Michael Li, a redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice, a non-partisan public policy institute, told ABC News.

The suburban districts around the city of Philadelphia are expected to be heavily redrawn, which could affect the seats currently represented by Republican congressmen Pat Meehan and Ryan Costello.

Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in both Meehan and Costello’s districts in the 2016 presidential election.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Russian government has dismissed U.S. allegations of interference in the 2016 presidential election, saying it does not meddle in other countries' affairs.

The comment was the Kremlin's first response since special counsel Robert Mueller announced charges Friday against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for allegedly conspiring to defraud the United States.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the indictment focused on the individuals charged and that there is no proof that Russian government agencies were involved in the alleged election interference.

“The indictment focuses on Russian nationals. But according to statements coming out of Washington the accusations are against the Russian state, Kremlin and the Russian government. But there are no indications that the Russian state could be involved in this, there aren’t any and there can’t be any,” Peskov told reporters in a conference call.

“Russia did not meddle, does not have the habit of meddling in the internal affairs of other countries, and is not doing so now,” he said.

Among the charges laid out on Friday are allegations that a wealthy businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef”, funded a “troll-farm” that used fake social media accounts to propagate falsehoods and promote messages supporting Donald Trump in the presidential race.

Prigozhin is known to have close relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and was previously sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2016.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Special Counsel indictments against 13 Russian nationals revealed that a key aspect of the alleged covert assault on the 2016 presidential election was an attempt to suppress turnout by African-American voters, an undertaking described in great detail in the papers filed in federal court Friday.

“Of particular concern, the indictments show how the Russians tried to suppress the votes of minorities across the United States in order to help Donald Trump win the presidency,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, said in a statement.

The indictment describes repeated efforts to foment distrust of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, evidence of an effort to “encourage U.S. minority groups not to vote in the 2016 U.S. presidential election or to vote for a third-party U.S. presidential candidate.” Christopher Anders, deputy director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office, said this alleged suppression of minority votes should be of grave concern to both American citizens and investigators.

“Buried literally in the middle of the indictment is a paragraph that should jar every American committed to the long fight for voting rights,” Anders wrote in a statement. “The Russians allegedly masqueraded as African-American and American Muslim activists to urge minority voters to abstain from voting in the 2016 election or to vote for a third-party candidate… Both the special counsel and Congress should investigate whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian agents in this alleged targeting of minority voters in 2016. Such actions, if proven, would be criminal.”

According to the indictment, the alleged conspirators used an Instagram account called “Woke Blacks” to tell followers a month before the 2016 election that “we’d surely be better off without voting AT ALL.” Less than a week before Election Day, the accused Russians purchased Instagram advertisements on an account called “Blacktivist” that read in part: “Choose peace and vote for Jill Stein. Trust me, it’s not a wasted vote.”

In October 2017, ABC News interviewed several black activists who described efforts to recruit them that, in retrospect, they realized were tied to the Russian operation.

Conrad James, an activist in Raleigh, North Carolina, says he was approached in September 2016 by a woman who claimed to represent BlackMattersUS and asked him to speak at a rally they were hosting in Charlotte. James said more than 600 people turned up.

“They definitely were trying to stir-up trouble,” James said of BlackMattersUS. “Their intent was obviously to have some type of emotionally filled rally where people are adding fuel to the fire that was already happening around Charlotte.”

A pair of bloggers whose social media posts and YouTube videos were pushed out from the Internet Research Agency, the St. Petersburg troll farm named in the indictment, carried the most pointed political messages.

“We, the black people, we stand in one unity” said one post, by a pair of bloggers purporting to be from Atlanta named Williams and Kalvin. “We stand in one to say that Hillary Clinton is not our candidate.”

Federal officials and Facebook executives confirmed to ABC News that the William and Kalvin videos, first reported on by the Daily Beast, originated not in Atlanta, but in Russia.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference Friday that, in the end, officials do not believe the Russian operations did anything to alter the final vote tally of the presidential contest.

“There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election,” Rosenstein said.

White House spokesperson Raj Shah issued a statement acknowledging the Department of Justice’s findings and commending their work.

“We condemn all foreign attempts to create chaos and discord within our electoral system and praise the Department of Justice’s efforts to bring these bad actors to justice,” said Shah.

President Trump took to Twitter on Friday to cast the indictment as a vindication of his campaign.

“Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President,” Trump tweeted. “The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong - no collusion!”

Black turnout in the 2016 election dropped for the first time in a presidential election in 20 years, according to findings by the Pew Research Center. Turnout fell from a record-high 66.6% in 2012 to 59.6% in 2016, the Pew Research Center found, the largest drop on record for blacks.

At two rallies in December 2017, Trump appeared to expressed appreciation to black voters for not turning up to the polls.

“They didn't come out to vote for Hillary. They didn't come out,” Trump said at a rally in Hershey, Pa. “And that was a big — so thank you to the African-American community.”

He made similar remarks in Michigan, saying African American voters “came through big league.”

“If they had any doubt, they didn't vote,” he said. “And that was almost as good.”

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