Zachary Cohen
Zachary Cohen
Zachary Cohen is a writer and reporter for CNN Politics, where he focuses on the national security beat in Washington, covering the Pentagon, US State Department, White House, intelligence community and Capitol Hill.Source
Washington D.C., Virginia
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Head of Capitol security task force says Trump fed insurrectionists 'a little BS'

Head of Capitol security task force says Trump fed insurrectionists 'a little BS'

Washington (CNN)Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré, who led a review of security failures around the January 6 insurrection, said Tuesday that the US Capitol attack was fueled by a "information operation" led by former President Donald Trump that involved feeding Americans "a little BS" and then allowing them to act on those beliefs. Speaking during an event hosted by the Atlantic Council, Honoré characterized false claims pushed by Trump and echoed by his GOP allies in Congress that the election was stolen as "propaganda" intended to shape people's minds by reinforcing what they wanted to hear...

Apr 5
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US Capitol Police watchdog issues scathing report on January 6 failures

US Capitol Police watchdog issues scathing report on January 6 failures

Washington (CNN)The United States Capitol Police's Inspector General has issued a scathing preliminary report about the department's "deficiencies" leading up to the January 6 riot that left five people dead and nearly 140 law enforcement officers injured.A source familiar with the report told CNN that Inspector General Michael Bolton found that the department failed to send out intelligence the agency possessed as early as December 30 suggesting January 6 protestors may have been "inclined to become violent," adding that the department did not prepare a detailed plan directing all aspects...

Apr 1
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Hunting the hunters: How Russian hackers targeted US cyber first responders in SolarWinds breach

Hunting the hunters: How Russian hackers targeted US cyber first responders in SolarWinds breach

Washington (CNN)After infiltrating US government computer networks early last year as part of the SolarWinds data breach, then turned their attention to the very people whose job was to track them down. Over the course of a few months, as US officials remained unaware of the breach, hackers identified a handful of key cyber security officials and analysts who would be among the first to respond once the hack was detected, so-called 'threat hunters,' and attempted to access their email accounts, according to two sources familiar with the matter. While it is unclear if any of those accounts...

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Apr 2
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US intelligence report says election fraud claims 'will almost certainly' spur more violence by domestic extremists

US intelligence report says election fraud claims 'will almost certainly' spur more violence by domestic extremists

(CNN)US intelligence agencies believe that "narratives of fraud in the recent general election" and "the emboldening impact of the violent breach of the US Capitol" will "almost certainly" spur domestic extremists to try to engage in additional acts of violence this year, according to of a new joint assessment released Wednesday. That warning was included in a comprehensive classified assessment of domestic violent extremism produced by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, which was ordered by the White House...

Jan 30
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Intelligence report contradicts claims by Trump and his team on China election interference

Intelligence report contradicts claims by Trump and his team on China election interference

Washington (CNN)The US detailing foreign election interference in the 2020 election contradicts repeated statements from former President Donald Trump and senior members of his administration that China -- and not Russia -- was the top foreign threat to the integrity of the election. The report also raises questions about the effort from Senate Republicans to investigate the Bidens and Ukraine, a probe that examined many of the same allegations about the Bidens and Ukraine that the Russian-linked officials were pushing, according to the intelligence community report.The report, compiled by...

Feb 7
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Biden admin started outreach to North Korea last month, but country is unresponsive

Biden admin started outreach to North Korea last month, but country is unresponsive

(CNN)The Biden administration launched a behind-the-scenes push last month to reach out to North Korea through multiple channels, a senior administration official has told CNN, but thus far Pyongyang has been unresponsive."To reduce the risks of escalation, we reached out to the North Korean government through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York," the official said. "To date, we have not received any response from Pyongyang. This follows over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the US to engage."The official did not...

April 25, 2018
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Georgia district attorney investigating Trump hires lawyer with expertise in racketeering cases

Georgia district attorney investigating Trump hires lawyer with expertise in racketeering cases

(CNN)A lawyer with deep expertise in racketeering cases has been retained by the Atlanta-area district attorney's office investigating former President Donald Trump.John Floyd is expected to assist the district attorney's office on multiple cases in the white collar, gang and public corruption units, said Jeff DiSantis, a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.Two people familiar with his hiring said he was not retained specifically for the investigation into with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger."He was retained for his racketeering expertise generally — not...

Mar 7
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First on CNN: Rep. Ronny Jackson made sexual comments, drank alcohol and took Ambien while working as White House physician, Pentagon watchdog finds

First on CNN: Rep. Ronny Jackson made sexual comments, drank alcohol and took Ambien while working as White House physician, Pentagon watchdog finds

(CNN)The Department of Defense inspector general has issued a scathing review of Rep. Ronny Jackson during his time serving as the top White House physician, concluding that he made "sexual and denigrating" comments about a female subordinate, violated the policy for drinking alcohol while on a presidential trip and took prescription-strength sleeping medication that prompted concerns from his colleagues about his ability to provide proper care.The findings , which was obtained by CNN prior to its release on Wednesday, stem from a years-long IG investigation into Jackson -- who in the House...

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Mar 3
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China and Russia 'weaponized' QAnon conspiracy around time of US Capitol attack, report says

China and Russia 'weaponized' QAnon conspiracy around time of US Capitol attack, report says

Washington (CNN)Foreign adversaries like Russia and China "weaponized" to sow further discord among the American population in the months leading up to, and following, the January 6 attack, according to a new report released Monday that details how these countries are not only utilizing the same false narratives to peddle disinformation on social media, but also fueling a conspiracy theory that could incite more violence by domestic extremists. The findings, which are detailed in a report produced by the Soufan Center, suggest "that foreign states are utilizing the QAnon conspiracy theory...

Mar 4
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