(CNN) – Janet Napolitano just started her first Washington job - but speculation lingers over whether she might be interested in a more permanent post in the nation's capital.
The Homeland Security secretary continued to shrug off questions Sunday over whether or not she'd be willing to serve on the Supreme Court if she were tapped by President Obama to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice David Souter.
"You know Chris, I got to tell you, I got my hands full with the flu right now and I’m just going to stick with that," she told Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace.
Under further questioning, she didn't clarify. "The president has many, many excellent choices before him. And that’s his choice," she said.
The former Arizona governor has long been considered by some political observers to be a possible pick for the high court. On Friday, she also did not indicate whether or not she would consider serving on the high court.
“I’m fully engaged as the Secretary of Homeland Security,” she told reporters. “In fact, I hadn’t heard that he’d actually resigned so you just broke some news for me today.”
(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continued to defend her agency's recent report warning of right-wing extremist groups, saying the U.S. has active intelligence suggesting such groups are actively targeting disgruntled veterans.
"The report is not saying veterans are extremists, far from it," she told CNN's John King Sunday on State of The Union. "What it is saying is returning veterans are targets of right wing extremist groups that are trying to recruit those to commit violent acts within the country. We want to do all we can to prevent that."
The agency's report, "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," was published last week and said right-wing extremist groups may be using the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members.
Prepared in conjunction with the FBI, the report was distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement officials. Mainstream media picked up the story after it was reported by conservative bloggers.
In the interview with CNN, Napolitano did not name particular groups the report was referencing, but said "Some of them indeed want to do what happened in Oklahoma city, that is commit violent acts within the homeland."
The Homeland Security Secretary also expressed regret that in "the politicization of everything that happens in Washington, DC," some have taken offence to the report.
"But when you read the report, what it was saying is that, look, we have a threat of terrorism within our own shores and one of the groups being targeted to see if they will be aligned with that are some of our veterans," she said.
Napolitano also said the report's language is "is consistent with other reports that have been issued before."
They were issued before Obama was president and they are being issued now and meant to give people what is called situational awareness and they are certainly not intended to give offense, far from it."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano apologized Thursday after some veterans groups said they were offended by a department report about right-wing extremism.
The report angered some veterans by saying that extremists groups may try to reach out to veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It also said extremists also may use the recession and the election of the nation's first African-American president to recruit members.
The American Legion was among those who raised concerns by the report's mention of veterans.
"I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are," the organization's national commander, David K. Rehbein, said in a letter to Napolitano.
Napolitano apologized on CNN on Thursday morning.
"I know that some veterans groups were offended by the fact that veterans were mentioned in this assessment so I apologize for that offense. It was certainly not intended," she told CNN's "American Morning."
(CNN) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will name a "border czar" on Wednesday to help deal with the drug cartel violence that has exploded along the U.S.-Mexico border, according to several administration officials.
The officials said Napolitano will name Alan Bersin, a former Justice Department official, to the newly-created post.
The move comes on the eve of President Obama's first visit to Mexico since being sworn into office. He will be in Mexico on Thursday to meet with President Calderon on his way to Trinidad for the Summit of the Americas.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - In her first full week as the nation's homeland security secretary, Janet Napolitano got a full dose of the job's diverse responsibilities - responding to ice storms in the Midwest, dealing with Congress on budget matters and scrutinizing security plans for the Super Bowl.
During it all, she said, she tried to learn her way around Washington.
Napolitano, who stepped down as governor of Arizona to accept the job, said her routine includes morning security briefings followed by visits to Department of Homeland Security agencies and interviews with job candidates.
In addition, she called the governors of Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky to make sure they were getting the help they needed to cope with ice storms, she said.
Napolitano described the ice storms as the "most pressing issue" during her first week in office.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell defended his recent off-microphone remark about Homeland Security Secretary-designate Janet Napolitano, calling the comment “100 percent true.”
While having a private conversation at the National Governor’s Association meeting in Philadelphia on Tuesday, an open microphone picked up Rendell labeling Gov. Napolitano, D-Arizona, as “perfect” for the cabinet position because she has no family, and the position requires a person with “no life.”
On Tuesday CNN’s Campbell Brown railed against the governor, commenting that it was a sexist statement that would have never been uttered had Napolitano been a man.
But the outspoken Pennsylvania Democrat shrugged off the criticism in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday.
“What I said about Janet is true. I think she's the gold standard for governors. She works hard, she's dedicated, she's focused,” he said on Late Edition.
“Campbell Brown, who I love, as a person and respect as a newsperson, couldn't have been more wrong. She said that it was somehow sexist or a comment on single women. Let me tell you—If Janet Napolitano was Jim Napolitano and had no family, I would have said the exact same thing,” Rendell confidently stated.
Though Rendell claimed that he sent the Arizona governor a hand-written note apologizing for any discomfort he caused her, he strongly defended his controversial comment.
“Wolf, we've gotten really far off field in the way we cover news if that statement which is absolutely 100 percent true is construed as something. I would have said it about man or woman in similar position. It was meant to comment on how tough the job is and how great a choice Janet is,” Rendell told Blitzer.