May 15th, 2009
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Panetta urges Agency to 'ignore the noise'

The CIA Director is urging the workforce to 'ignore the noise.'
The CIA Director is urging the workforce to 'ignore the noise.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - CIA Director Leon Panetta is urging the agency's employees to "ignore the noise" surrounding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's claim she was misled by the organization on interrogation techniques.

In a memo obtained by CNN, Panetta tells the workforce, "There is a long tradition in Washington of making political hay out of our business. It predates my service with this great institution, and it will be around long after I'm gone."

Full memo after the jump:

FULL POST


Filed under: Leon Panetta • Nancy Pelosi
May 15th, 2009
02:16 PM ET
5 years ago

Phillies visit White House

The 2008 World Series Champions posed for photos with Obama after presenting him with a personalized 'Obama 44' jersey.
The 2008 World Series Champions posed for photos with Obama after presenting him with a personalized 'Obama 44' jersey.


WASHINGTON (CNN)
–The Philadelphia Phillies, winner of the 2008 Major League Baseball World Series Championship, met with President Obama Friday at the White House.

Led by manager Charlie Manuel, the Phillies posed for photos with Obama after presenting him with a personalized "Obama 44" jersey and a cased baseball.

Obama congratulated the champions on their season.

"What an unbelievable run it was, full of come from behind wins," Obama said. "This is an underdog team that loved to prove their prognosticators wrong.

"We share something in common then, because no one thought I was going to win either," he added, laughing.


Filed under: President Obama
May 15th, 2009
02:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Cafferty: Do you believe Nancy Pelosi or CIA on waterboarding?

 Join the conversation on Jack's blog.
Join the conversation on Jack's blog.

Nancy Pelosi seems to have a new story every day when it comes to the debate over torture. In fact, more focus is now on Pelosi than on the Bush administration, which authorized the use of waterboarding in the first place.

The Speaker of the House is now claiming that the CIA mislead her during a September 2002 briefing by telling her waterboarding hadn't been used yet on detainees. She says the CIA briefers gave her inaccurate and incomplete information when asked if they lied to her — Pelosi nodded her head 'yes'.

That’s a pretty serious accusation. The CIA says: "It is not the policy of this agency to mislead the United States Congress." A former senior intelligence official says it's inconceivable that the CIA would not have talked about interrogation methods already being used.

To read more and contribute to the Cafferty File discussion click here


Filed under: Cafferty File
May 15th, 2009
01:18 PM ET
5 years ago

RNC raises more than $5.7 million in April

The Republican National Committee announced its April fundraising figures today.
The Republican National Committee announced its April fundraising figures today.

(CNN) – Some good news for embattled Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele: the national party said Friday it raised more than $5.7 million in April, and had $24.3 million cash-on-hand.

That's more than double the roughly $9.8 million Democrats had on hand in March, the last month for which the party's fundraising figures are available.

Many political observers expected Steele's biggest success would come as party spokesman, not on the fundraising front. Instead, the former Maryland lieutenant governor's public statements have frequently landed him in hot water - but, despite a push within the party to reclaim some control of the purse strings from the GOP leader, the RNC's bottom line remains surprisingly healthy thanks to better-than-expected fundraising success.

FULL POST


Filed under: Michael Steele • RNC
May 15th, 2009
10:58 AM ET
5 years ago

PEOPLE: Bristol Palin graduates high school

 Bristol Palin has graduated from high school.
Bristol Palin has graduated from high school.

Looking like a lot of her classmates – giddy and irreverent, wearing a silly necklace of Blow-Pop lollipops strung together with curly gift ribbon – Bristol Palin stepped toward the stage in Wasilla Sports Complex Thursday night to receive her high school diploma, more a worried mom than a jubilant teen.

"Where's my baby?" Bristol mouthed, searching the two front rows where her family sat until she finally spotted son Tripp near the backstage door, where Bristol's Aunt Heather was feeding the infant a bottle. With a wave to the little one she alternately calls "Handsome" and "My Guy," Bristol crossed the stage – and crossed "graduate high school" off her to-do list.

"I knew it would be hard work, but I knew I was going to do it," Bristol, 19, tells PEOPLE.

Full story from People Magazine


Filed under: Bristol Palin
May 15th, 2009
09:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Prosecutor to question Karl Rove on Friday

Karl Rove, a former aide to President George W. Bush, will be interviewed about the firing of several U.S. attorneys in 2006, a source tells CNN.
Karl Rove, a former aide to President George W. Bush, will be interviewed about the firing of several U.S. attorneys in 2006, a source tells CNN.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Bush administration official Karl Rove is scheduled to be interviewed Friday about why a number of U.S. attorneys were fired in 2006, according to an attorney in private practice familiar with the
case.

Rove will be questioned by Nora Dannehy, a Connecticut prosecutor who was appointed last year to lead an investigation into whether any Bush administration officials broke any laws in connection with the dismissals.

A spokesman for Dannehy would not comment when asked whether a meeting is scheduled with Rove.

Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, would not comment on whether his client will be interviewed Friday. But he told CNN, "Rove has said since Ms. Dannehy was appointed that he would cooperate fully with her investigation."

A Justice Department report last year found the firings of some U.S. attorneys were influenced by political considerations.


Filed under: Karl Rove • U.S. attorney firings
May 15th, 2009
08:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama will name NYC health commissioner to head CDC

President Obama has chosen Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City health commissioner, to head the CDC.
President Obama has chosen Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City health commissioner, to head the CDC.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Obama has chosen Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, New York City health commissioner, to head the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a senior administration official told CNN Friday.

Obama will make the announcement Friday, the official said, who spoke on background because he was not authorized to comment publicly before the official announcement is made.

Full story


Filed under: President Obama
May 15th, 2009
08:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Limbaugh hits back at McCain's mom

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded Thursday to recent comments by Roberta McCain, the mother of Republican Sen. John McCain.
Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh responded Thursday to recent comments by Roberta McCain, the mother of Republican Sen. John McCain.

(CNN) - Rush Limbaugh responded to Roberta McCain's criticism of his tough radio persona Thursday, joking over the fact "McCain's mother is dumping on me."

"She is absolutely right" in her assessment that that she belongs to a different Republican Party than he does, Limbaugh said during his radio show: "The Republican Party she belongs to gets shellacked election after election after election."

In an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Wednesday, the outspoken 97-year-old mother of Sen. John McCain said, to cheers from the audience, that Limbaugh "does not represent the Republican Party that I belong to."
FULL POST


Filed under: John McCain • Rush Limbaugh
May 15th, 2009
05:20 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama resuming military commissions

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a move that could reignite tensions with liberals in his own party, President Barack Obama is planning on Friday to resume the Bush administration's highly-controversial military commissions system - which Obama suspended his first week in office - for some Guantanamo detainees, according to three administration officials.

Some of the high-profile terror suspects who are currently being charged in the tribunal process include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

The administration officials stressed that the updated system will include expanded due-process rights for the terror suspects, which administration officials note is consistent with what Obama pushed for as a Senator in 2006 in order to improve upon the widely-criticized approach created by the Bush administration.

FULL POST


Filed under: Guantanamo • President Obama
May 15th, 2009
05:16 AM ET
5 years ago

Hoyer looks to change torture discussion back to 'what was done'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The No. 2 Democrat in the House Thursday dismissed talk of what the House Speaker knew or didn't know about the CIA's interrogation techniques, saying that discussion "is a distraction from the central point" of determining what happened during the Bush administration and making sure it never happens again.

Responding to a question from Republican Rep. Eric Cantor about whether he believes that the CIA may have "misled" Speaker Nancy Pelosi in briefings, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he had "no basis (on) which to base such a belief, and I certainly hope that's not the case."

"But it is a distraction from the central point," the Maryland Democrat said. "And I will tell my friend that I think there is far too much discussion about what was said as opposed to what was done."

Hoyer said that a commission should look into the issue "not so much for what was done but to ensure that what we do going forward is legal, consistent with our values, consistent with our morals and consistent ... with protecting our nation and our people. In my view we have a responsibility to do all of those."

"I frankly think that upholding our values is consistent with protecting our security," he said.

Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say that she was briefed on the "enhanced interrogation techniques" - which included techniques that have been labeled torture in other arenas, including the United States at other times in its history.

FULL POST


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Nancy Pelosi • Steny Hoyer
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