August 27th, 2014
04:17 PM ET
3 hours ago

McConnell to CNN: Obama would have ‘a lot of congressional support’ for action against ISIS

Nicholasville, Kentucky (CNN) – Sen. Mitch McConnell knew how surprising it was going to sound to room full of Kentucky voters that he backs President Barack Obama on something.

"I think the President now, at this point - this will shock you when I say it - at this point, is doing the right thing,” he said Wednesday in a speech to the Chamber of Commerce here.

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Filed under: 2014 • Mitch McConnell • President Obama
McCaskill: If communities want federal law enforcement funds, cops should wear cameras
August 27th, 2014
12:09 AM ET
9 hours ago

McCaskill: If communities want federal law enforcement funds, cops should wear cameras

(CNN) – Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said Tuesday that police officers across the country should be required to wear body cameras in order for their departments to qualify for federal funds.

McCaskill believes that the ubiquity of cameras gives way to incidents in which only part of the story is recorded, seen or understood. So, a body camera on every officer will not only protect citizens against police misconduct, but also protect officers from wrongful accusations.

"Everywhere I go people now have cameras," said McCaskill, a Democrat. "And police officers are now at a disadvantage, because someone can tape the last part of an encounter and not tape the first part of the encounter. And it gives the impression that the police officer has overreacted when they haven't."

McCaskill made the comments at an event in Springfield, Missouri, where she answered questions about the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, CNN affiliate KOLR reported.

In the wake of the shooting and community outrage to the response from Ferguson police, McCaskill has called for congressional hearings to examine a Defense Department program that allows local police departments to acquire military weaponry.

Already, President Barack Obama has called for a review of programs that allow for the transfer of military weapons to the police.

Section 1208 in the National Defense Authorization Act has allowed the Defense Department to grant military hardware to local law enforcement since 1990. A law enforcement support program, the military's Defense Logistics Agency, was established in 1999 to facilitate law enforcement militarization.

McCaskill said Thursday she hopes the Senate will embrace her body camera proposal and that it will eventually become law.

"I would like to see us say, 'If you want federal funding in your community, you've got to have body cams on your officers,'" she said. "And I think that would go a long way towards solving some of these problems, and it would be a great legacy over this tragedy that's occurred in Ferguson, regardless of what the facts say at the end as to whether or not anyone is criminally culpable."

Obama announces new efforts for vets in politically tinged North Carolina visit
August 26th, 2014
07:15 AM ET
1 day ago

Obama announces new efforts for vets in politically tinged North Carolina visit

Updated 2:05 p.m. ET, 8/26/2014

Charlotte (CNN) – President Barack Obama detailed Tuesday how his administration is attempting to rectify shortfalls in caring for war veterans, just as new threats abroad could require more sacrifices for American military families.

Speaking at the annual American Legion conference in Charlotte, Obama announced new executive actions aimed at improving mental health services and financial opportunities for servicemen and women, months after allegations of massive wrongdoing surfaced at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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Filed under: President Obama • Veterans • Veterans Affairs
As vacation winds down, Obama faces calls for stronger leadership on ISIS
President Barack Obama speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group.
August 24th, 2014
03:41 PM ET
3 days ago

As vacation winds down, Obama faces calls for stronger leadership on ISIS

(CNN) Washington - On President Barack Obama’s last day of a troubled vacation, politicians criticized his leadership and called for action in the growing threat of terrorist group ISIS.

“The President has got to come forward with a cohesive, comprehensive strategy, not only in Iraq, but also in Ukraine, also in other parts of the world. This is an administration - which the kindest word I can use is feckless - where they have not outlined a role that the United States of America has to play, and that’s a leadership role,” Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

In the wake of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, administration officials made clear that they are shifting from defensive operations against ISIS in Iraq to weighing an attack on ISIS where they are strongest, in Syria. But politicians on both sides of the aisle are impatient for the President to construct a plan and consult with Congress on what many see as an imminent threat from ISIS, which calls itself the Islamic State and is called ISIL by some U.S. government officials.
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Filed under: ISIS • Jack Reed • John McCain • Kelly Ayotte • Lindsey Graham • Mike McCaul • Obama administration • President Obama
Obama on hiatus from vacation with Iraq, Ferguson on his agenda
August 18th, 2014
09:24 AM ET
1 week ago

Obama on hiatus from vacation with Iraq, Ferguson on his agenda

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama returned to the White House late Sunday night, taking the unusual step of interrupting his Martha's Vineyard vacation for two days.

The short visit was announced on August 6, the day before Obama authorized targeted airstrikes in Iraq aimed at protecting U.S. personnel and preventing a potential genocide of minorities by terrorist group ISIS.

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Filed under: President Obama
Rogers: ‘Never say never’ for combat troops in Iraq
August 17th, 2014
02:56 PM ET
1 week ago

Rogers: ‘Never say never’ for combat troops in Iraq

Washington (CNN) - Republican Rep. Mike Rogers told CNN Sunday he’ll “never say never” to the possibility of U.S. combat troops returning to the ground in Iraq to fight Islamic extremists.

The question has come up in recent weeks as the Obama administration has watched the Iraqi leadership stumble in a bitter war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Rogers, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, cautioned that he doesn’t think sending in combat troops is necessarily beneficial at this point. But he also said President Obama is giving away too much strategically by placing such strict limits on the U.S. military role up front. FULL POST


Filed under: Iraq • ISIS • Mike Rogers • President Obama
August 14th, 2014
03:05 PM ET
2 weeks ago

Obama takes measured tone on clashes in Ferguson

Updated 4:34 p.m. ET, 8/14/2014

(CNN) – President Obama on Thursday urged calm and peace in Ferguson, Missouri, where clashes between protestors and police continue to escalate in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown.

The President condemned all parties involved in the recent unrest.

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Filed under: Missouri • President Obama
No word on hug, Clinton says all's good with Obama
August 13th, 2014
05:55 PM ET
2 weeks ago

No word on hug, Clinton says all's good with Obama

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Vineyard Haven, Mass. (CNN) – The foreign policy rift between Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama that played out publicly this week was not enough to ruin the birthday party of a mutual friend.

She may have sharply chastised his foreign policy this week, but all remains well between Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, the former secretary of state insisted, and the two were happy to spend time together, along with 150 other guests, in Martha's Vineyard Wednesday at a party thrown by longtime friend Vernon Jordan for his wife Ann.

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Filed under: 2016 • Foreign Policy • Hillary Clinton • President Obama
August 12th, 2014
04:37 PM ET
2 weeks ago

'Hugging it out’: Hillary Clinton calls Obama to calm tensions

Updated 12:55 p.m. ET, 8/15/2014

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton reached out to President Barack Obama on Tuesday to tell him that headline-grabbing comments she made about his foreign policy were not meant as a political attack.

The potential presidential candidate called Obama to “make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership," Nick Merrill, a spokesman for the former secretary of state, said.

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Filed under: 2016 • Foreign Policy • Hillary Clinton • President Obama
Obama won't be pouring ice water on his head
August 12th, 2014
12:03 PM ET
2 weeks ago

Obama won't be pouring ice water on his head

Washington (CNN) - President Obama is opting to stay dry.

Ethel Kennedy, the matriarch of the Kennedy family, challenged the President to dump a bucket of ice water on his head as part of the increasingly popular Ice Bucket Challenge campaign to raise money for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – or Lou Gehrig's disease.

"The President appreciates Mrs. Kennedy thinking of him for the challenge – though his contribution to this effort will be monetary," Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz said Tuesday.

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Filed under: President Obama
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