Dylann Roof

Tuesday was the opposite of a slow news day. It was a mad scramble of a news day, featuring major developments on President-elect Donald Trump's ties to Russia, a contentious confirmation hearing, a death sentence in a high-profile hate-crime case, and President Obama's farewell speech, among other things.

In case you couldn't keep up — and we can't blame you — here's a rundown of some of the biggest news of the day.


1. The Trump-Russia bombshell

Dylann Roof murdered nine people in a church basement in Charleston in 2015.

He confessed to the massacre shortly after he was arrested. He didn't testify at trial and no witnesses were called on his behalf before he was convicted of federal hate crimes.

The most emphatic statements on Roof's behalf came from defense attorney David Bruck. For weeks, the prosecution had presented evidence that Roof is a white supremacist whose violent racism drove him to kill black people. Bruck asked the jury to consider how the 22-year-old came to believe the things he did.

Dylann Roof, who is accused of murdering nine black parishioners in the basement of a church in Charleston, S.C., will represent himself during his federal trial.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted Roof's motion on Monday to act as his own counsel. Roof faces 33 federal hate crimes counts, among other charges, and the government is seeking the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty.

WOSU composite

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has donated to charity the $250 he got from the head of a white supremacist organization linked to the killing of nine black people in a South Carolina church last week. But another Ohio politician says he's already spent his donation from the group and can't return it.