August 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - - The White House said Thursday it was “extremely disappointed” that Russia had granted Edward Snowden temporary refugee status, and said it is considering canceling an upcoming meeting between President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said that while officials were not ready to announce a decision on the meeting, “this is obviously not a positive development. We have a wide range of interests with the Russians and are evaluating the utility of a summit.” His words suggested that U.S. officials will wait to see whether there will be any new flexibility from Russia on major U.S.-Russian issues when a delegation of top Russian officials meets with their U.S. counterparts in Washington next week.
May 22, 2013 |
Message to the president: Resistance is futile. There are plenty of juicy targets for investigators in the IRS scrutiny of conservative organizations that applied for tax-exempt status, but the most dangerous for President Obama is this: Did bureaucrats in Cincinnati create this mess on their own? Or did someone in the White House give the marching orders to target the president's enemies? The Treasury Department's inspector general asked that latter question of the IRS brass, and they said no - but he didn't demand their emails and phone records.
May 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Congressional investigators are broadening their inquiry into the Internal Revenue Service's mishandling of groups seeking tax-exempt status, indicating that they plan to examine how the agency dealt with a wide swath of nonprofit applications during the last three years. The Senate Finance Committee on Monday requested that the agency turn over a list of all charities, social welfare organizations, unions and trade groups targeted for extra scrutiny, as well as copies of all requests the IRS sent those groups for information about donors, volunteers and political activities since Feb. 1, 2010.
May 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Facing questions about the Justice Department's secret seizure of reporters' phone records, the White House says that it will renew its push for legislation that would offer federal protections to journalists and their sources. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Wednesday that the White House had asked Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) to reintroduce the so-called media shield bill, which would in some cases prevent reporters from being compelled to name confidential sources.
May 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- President Obama's spokesman says he is “confident” that no one at the White House knew the IRS was targeting conservative groups until White House lawyers were told of an internal review several weeks ago. “I can tell you that I am not aware of anyone here knowing about it,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said at a news briefing Tuesday. Carney was bombarded with questions about the unfolding scandal at the Internal Revenue Service, a federal agency in the Treasury Department that has few political appointees.
May 13, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama tried to dismiss a brewing controversy over the White House handling of the terrorist attack on Benghazi as a “sideshow” and accused critics of using an attack that killed four Americans for political gain. “We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus,” Obama said Monday at a brief news conference. “What happened was tragic. It was carried out by extremists inside of Libya. We are out there trying to hunt down the folks who carried this out, and we're trying to make sure that we fix the system so that it doesn't happen again.” Obama's remarks came as the White House tried to contain fallout from the disclosure of internal emails discussing what to tell the public in the days after the attack.
April 26, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Seeking to end flight delays that jammed airports nationwide, the House approved legislation Friday that will stop the furlough of air-traffic controllers, sending the bill to President Obama. Final passage of the quickly arranged stopgap measure came as lawmakers were boarding their own flights out of Washington for a weeklong recess. The House overwhelmingly approved the bill, 361-41, but not without a round of political finger-pointing over who is to blame for the across-the-board sequester cuts that furloughed air-traffic controllers and caused hours-long flight delays this week, angering travelers across the country.
April 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Investigators say there are no signs of a link between the Boston Marathon bombings and potentially poisonous letters sent to the President Obama and a U.S. senator. An FBI statement issued Wednesday said the investigation into the letters continues and more may be received. One letter was addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the other to the president. Both were detected Tuesday at off-site mail-screening centers and did not reach the White House or the Capitol. The letter addressed to Obama contained a “granular substance that preliminarily tested positive for ricin,” a toxin that can be deadly even in small amounts, the FBI statement said.
April 17, 2013 |
Did Jay-Z and Beyonce really get White House clearance to go to Cuba, as Hova rapped in his "Open Letter" that dropped last week, shortly after the trip raised some official eyebrows? White House spokesman Jay Carney said no, and now we have the answer straight from President Obama's mouth. And it's still, well, "no. " "I done turned Havana into Atlanta ... ," Jay-Z raps in the track. "Boy from the hood, but got White House clearance ... " However, the leader of the free world apparently has a few things on his plate other than helping megastars plan an anniversary trip.
April 11, 2013 |
Jay-Z is none too pleased with lawmakers questioning the validity of his and Beyonce's recent trip to Cuba, and he's rapping all about it in a new track called "Open Letter," released Thursday. Travel to Cuba for the sake of tourism is prohibited under U.S. law and naysayers openly questioned the power couple's April 4 visit for their fifth wedding anniversary. On Monday, the U.S. Treasury addressed Florida lawmakers who questioned the validity of the trip and confirmed that the Office of Foreign Assets Control had approved the excursion with "people-to-people" licenses for educational exchange.