Washington (CNN) – Former vice president Dick Cheney told a special prosecutor in 2004 that he had no idea who leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, according to newly released FBI documents.
Cheney was questioned as part of an investigation on how journalists came to know the identity of Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was a critic of the Iraq war.
In the interview, Cheney responded to many questions with "I do not recall."
However, he took a few stabs at the CIA in its handling of White House allegations that Iraq was attempting to purchase uranium from Niger to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Wilson was dispatched to Niger on a CIA assignment to explore the charges and later said that the Bush administration was twisting facts to support an invasion of Iraq. He implied in a newspaper article that his trip was at the behest of the vice president.
Cheney's reaction to the article was that it was "amateur hour" at the CIA, according to the FBI documents, released after the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, a watchdog group in Washington, sued under the Freedom of Information Act. The 28-page summary of the Cheney interview was made public more than five years after it took place.
PORTLAND, Oregon (CNN)– The Tea Party Express rolled into Portland, Oregon, Friday and took aim at the city's left-leaning image.
"It's great to be in a capital of liberalism," Tea Party Vice Chairman Mark Williams told a crowd of several hundred supporters who milled around the organization¹s two large tour buses. The event was held in a parking lot owned by a local Italian sausage sandwich shop.
Before the invitation to host the rally there, organizers had spent several days trying to find a venue who would have them. Almost everyone they contacted, organizers said, voiced concerns that holding an event on their property would be bad for business.
But the crowd that showed up nearly filled the small parking lot, cheering on criticisms of Democratic health care proposals and calling for a more conservative Republican Party.
Holding a cardboard sign that read "No Obama Care," retiree Jack Millay said, "The Democrats don't support my positions, the Republicans don't support my positions so here I am."
Washington (CNN) – Vice President Biden on Friday fired back at criticism from his predecessor, former Vice President Cheney, that President Obama is "dithering" over his decision about whether to send up to 40,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.
"I like Dick Cheney personally but I really don't care what Dick Cheney thinks and I'm not sure a lot of Americans do," Biden said in an exclusive interview with CNN. "Look at the policy they left us, look at the policy of neglect they left us in Afghanistan, look at the policy we inherited in terms of their foreign policy...I think the President is doing exactly what any president should do."
October has turned out to be the deadliest month of the war so far, and Biden said the president needs the appropriate time to get the strategy right. He said the situation on the ground has changed because the Taliban is "taking advantage of a chaotic election process that took place in Afghanistan."
Biden added, "Any thoughtful president should be sitting down saying, 'Okay what is the strategy we have to employ with these changed circumstances?' And then look at the tactic that will best accomplish that. The President has great faith in the military."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Pentagon will offer the H1N1 vaccination to detainees at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, officials there said Friday.
The Pentagon made the decision based on U.S. government assessments that people held in detention facilities are at high risk for the pandemic, said Maj. Diana R. Haynie, a spokeswoman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo Bay, which is in charge of holding the suspected terrorists.
"Detainees at JTF Guantanamo are considered to be at higher risk and therefore they will be offered the H1N1 vaccination," Haynie said.
"JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees. As such, we must provide detainees the medical care necessary to maintain their health," she said.
(CNN) – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he was ending his gubernatorial bid.
"It is with great regret I announce today that I am withdrawing from the race for governor of California," he said in a statement. "With a young family and responsibilities at city hall, I have found it impossible to commit the time required to complete this effort the way it needs to – and should be – done."
Earlier this month, former President Bill Clinton had endorsed Newsom, running against California Attorney General Jerry Brown. Brown and Clinton were themselves primary rivals in the 1992 presidential campaign, when Clinton defeated the former governor in California's presidential primary.
Clinton weighed in on another Democratic primary race earlier this year, when he backed former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe's unsuccessful bid for the party's gubernatorial nomination in Virginia.
In the behind-the-scenes interview, Gibbs described the president's "3 a.m. wake-up call" moment last April, when word came in the early morning hours that the North Koreans had conducted a nuclear missile test.
"We all were in a room in - on the first foreign trip in Prague in the Czech Republic - when we were notified of the North Koreans testing a long-range missile, something we'd expected to happen over a certain amount of time," Gibbs said. "And I think it was about 4:00 in the morning we were in there and we then discussed that and I went to wake him up and he soon joined all of us in getting intelligence briefings from in the room as well as back in D.C."
Axelrod said Obama proceeded to get "a read up on the military people, [get] on the line with Secretary Gates, General Cartwright I think. And then he says, "OK, here's what we're going to do."
The full interview is set to air Monday throughout The Situation Room beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The Obama administration said Friday that stimulus has created or saved 640,000 jobs so far.
But what does that mean exactly? Have that many people been hired? Here's a quick guide to understanding just what those numbers mean:
1) How are the jobs calculated? It isn't as simple as "one person hired equals one job created," or even "one person retained equating to one job saved."
The government instructed stimulus recipients to report jobs created or saved as "full-time equivalents." If that sounds complicated ... it is.
Full-time equivalents are calculated by adding up the total number of man hours being funded by stimulus for the duration of the contract. That number is then divided by the total number of hours a regular full-time employee would work during the same time period.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama huddled with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military advisers at the White House on Friday as the administration continued its sweeping review of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan.
Each branch of the armed services was given a direct opportunity to tell Obama the effect on the military if a large number of additional forces are sent to Afghanistan, two military sources told CNN's Barbara Starr.
The meeting was the seventh in a series of high-level discussions being held in part to forge a new consensus on how best to confront Taliban and al Qaeda militants threatening the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"The president wants to get input from different services," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said earlier this week. "It's a chance to consult with uniformed military leadership as a part of his [Afghanistan-Pakistan] review."
Princeton, New Jersey (CNN) - Chris Daggett is a political novice yet has the routine down pat: Approach a morning commuter, extend his hand and a good-morning greeting, and pick a question from his repertoire:
"Are you a voter?"
"Are you happy with Jon Corzine?"
The shaking head is a preview of the answer: "I'm not happy with anybody."
The man tells Daggett he has a doctorate in education; Daggett talks about his promise to invest more in higher education if elected governor.
"Thanks - hope you'll consider voting for me," Daggett says.
All standard fare, until Daggett hands the man some campaign literature. Stapled to the back: a guide to the different places Daggett's name can be found on the ballot in each of New Jersey's 21 counties.