Obama asked Uruguay to send message on jailed American in Cuba
June 20th, 2014
07:56 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama asked Uruguay to send message on jailed American in Cuba

(CNN) - During their meeting at the White House last month, President Barack Obama asked Uruguay's president, Jose Mujica, to send a message to Cuban President Raul Castro to free imprisoned U.S. government contractor Alan Gross.

"Cuba's continued incarceration of Alan Gross represents a significant impediment to a more constructive bilateral relationship and securing his immediate release remains a top priority of the United States," National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.

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Filed under: Cuba • Obama administration
June 8th, 2014
12:09 PM ET
4 months ago

Marine general: Taliban worse off after Bergdahl swap

Washington (CNN) - While most in Washington fret about the potential return of five former Guantanamo detainees to the front lines in Afghanistan, the former head of U.S. operations in the war-torn country says the Taliban is now worse off after the swap for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, the former chief of the U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that President Barack Obama's decision to trade five Taliban hardliners for Bergdahl should give the United States military more latitude to combat the Taliban.

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June 8th, 2014
10:19 AM ET
4 months ago

Kerry defends Bergdahl swap

(CNN) - In his first public comments on the issue, Secretary of State John Kerry was unequivocal when discussing the Obama administration's commitment to monitoring the five Taliban figures exchanged for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"I'm not telling you that they don't have some ability at some point” to return to fighting, Kerry said in an interview that aired Sunday. "But they also have an ability to get killed doing that. And I don't think anybody should doubt the capacity of the United States of America to protect Americans."

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Filed under: Bowe Bergdahl • John Kerry • Obama administration
White House avoids bundlers in recent round of ambassador nominations
June 5th, 2014
03:34 PM ET
4 months ago

White House avoids bundlers in recent round of ambassador nominations

Washington (CNN) – Move along, nothing to see here.

That's the message President Barack Obama and his administration are sending with its most recent ambassadorial nominations after facing scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats over the questionable credentials of some recent picks to represent the United States abroad.

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Filed under: Ireland • Obama administration • White House
May 28th, 2014
07:32 PM ET
4 months ago

Valerie Plame: CIA outing 'colossally stupid'

(CNN) - Another CIA official whose cover was blown by a presidential administration said the inadvertent outing of an intelligence official in Afghanistan by the White House was “colossally stupid” and will have repercussions for the intelligence community.

But Valerie Plame, whose identity was infamously leaked by the Bush administration in 2003 and touched off a scandal, said on Wednesday it’s an apples to oranges comparison as it appears to be a mistake, rather than a malicious takedown.

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House Republicans get chance to grill administration on immigration enforcement
May 28th, 2014
03:03 PM ET
4 months ago

House Republicans get chance to grill administration on immigration enforcement

Washington (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is expected to be grilled on the administration¹s immigration enforcement policies when he testifies Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee.

This comes as the political battle over immigration reform heats up.

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Filed under: Immigration • Latinos • Obama administration • President Obama
May 23rd, 2014
04:51 PM ET
4 months ago

Obama taps Castro for HUD, Donovan for OMB

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, a move that comes as part of a wider cabinet shakeup and has stepped up interest in the rising Democratic star.

The 39-year old, three-term mayor first gained national recognition when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - the first Hispanic to do so.

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Filed under: Julian Castro • Obama administration
FIRST ON CNN: Congressman: Obama should let some vets get private care
May 21st, 2014
01:18 PM ET
4 months ago

FIRST ON CNN: Congressman: Obama should let some vets get private care

(CNN) – The chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee is calling on the Obama administration to permit veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals to seek treatment outside that system, if they want.

Rep. Jeff Miller, a Florida Republican, called on President Barack Obama to issue an executive order that would allow those veterans to act on their own and charge the government for outside care.

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Controversial Obama nominee expected to clear Senate hurdle Wednesday
May 20th, 2014
06:36 PM ET
4 months ago

Controversial Obama nominee expected to clear Senate hurdle Wednesday

(CNN) – The judicial nomination of a former Justice Department official, who has drawn the ire of senators on the right and left for legal memos he wrote justifying the killing of an American terrorism suspect overseas with drones, is expected to clear a major hurdle on Wednesday.

Senators are likely to break a filibuster of Harvard Law professor David Barron to be a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which is based in Boston.

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Filed under: Congress • Obama administration • Senate
Source: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be tapped as HUD secretary
May 17th, 2014
02:29 PM ET
4 months ago

Source: San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be tapped as HUD secretary

Updated 7:26 p.m., 5/17/2014

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama intends to nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next secretary of Housing and Urban Development, a government source said Saturday.

The 39-year old, three-term mayor first gained national recognition when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention - the first Hispanic to do so.

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Filed under: Obama administration
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