“What I can tell you is that there isn’t a single person inside the bureau who believes this guy got drunk, fell down, and died. Everyone thinks he was whacked and that Putin or the Kremlin were behind it.” Vladimir Putin’s media czar died in Washington, DC, just before meeting with US officials. Buzzfeed on the search for answers and a look at why so many people are convinced it was murder.

+ We’ve talked a lot about the divided Congress. But there was widespread bipartisanship when it came to putting new sanctions on Russia. The big question is whether Trump will sign it.

+ Reuters: Putin signs Syria base deal, cementing Russia’s presence there for half a century. (The strategic importance of this base/port is the most under-discussed aspect of Russia’s relationship with Syria.)