(CNN) – Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Crimea Friday in what many journalists and policymakers in Washington have dubbed a “victory lap” for the thrice-elected Soviet leader. But should the United States be doing more to sanction Putin for his aggression in the region?
On the eve of Ukraine’s election, journalists on Sunday focused whether the current steps taken by the White House are working to weaken Russia’s aggression in the region and what Putin’s march into Crimea could signify about what is next for Ukraine.
Washington influencers also discussed hot topics such as the Nigerian kidnappings, a reignited Benghazi debate on Capitol Hill, Monica Lewinsky’s new essay after 10 years of silence, and the bureaucratic backlog scandal that has many calling for the Veterans Affairs secretary to resign.
If you missed the Sunday political talk shows, we’ll get you up to speed on the latest events and opinion in Washington with this comprehensive roundup of all things political:
(CNN) – President Barack Obama congratulated Michael Sam on Saturday for being the first openly gay football player taken in the National Football League draft, the White House said in a statement.
"From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are," Obama said. He also congratulated the NFL and the St. Louis Rams, the team that drafted Sam.
(CNN) – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers tells Brian Stelter why he’s trading the halls of Congress for a radio studio.
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave his support to embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki on Sunday as he has come under scrutiny over allegations of deadly delays in health care treatment for veterans.
While Hagel said accountability was paramount, the potential for a backlog treating returning veterans should have been seen.
Updated 1:37 p.m. ET, 5/11/2014
(CNN) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Sunday that he's open to a review of the U.S. military's policy prohibiting transgender individuals from serving.
"I do think it continually should be reviewed," Hagel told ABC's Martha Raddatz.
(CNN) – Marco Rubio said that if someone wants to be president, they should fully commit to just that, adding that candidates shouldn't try to hold their congressional seats while pursuing the White House.
The Florida Republican said in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC that, should he decide to launch a 2016 campaign, he won't run simultaneously for re-election for his seat in the U.S. Senate.
(CNN) - Secret Service agents assigned to a Washington investigative team were asked to monitor the safety of an aide to the agency’s director, the Washington Post reported Sunday, though the duties of the agents and the length of observation were disputed by a Secret Service spokesman.
The Post, in an article citing three people familiar with the operation, reported that agents within the service’s “Prowler” program went twice per day to the Maryland home of Lisa Chopey, the assistant to then-Director Mark Sullivan. In its article, the newspaper said the “Prowler” agents were diverted from patrolling the White House perimeter to instead check in on Chopey’s wellbeing.
(CNN) – As he considers another run for the White House, Rick Santorum is reaching out to working-class voters, bucking the GOP on the minimum wage and touting his new book in hopes of rebranding the Republican Party.
In an interview with CNN's Candy Crowley that aired Sunday on "State of the Union," the former senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 Republican presidential candidate was candid on the possibility of launching another White House bid in 2016.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama turns his attention this week to the state of America’s roads and bridges as the clock ticks toward a funding gap on infrastructure projects nationwide.
The White House said Sunday that Obama and his deputies would spent multiple days this week calling on Congress to pass a bill to improve the country’s crumbling infrastructure before existing funding runs out at the end of this summer.
(CNN) – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Republicans are digging up the issue of the 2012 attack in Benghazi to drive turnout this election year.
Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that as the issue of health care fails rile up their base, House Republicans are refocusing their attention on the assault that left four Americans dead, including the ambassador to Libya.