Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama's approval rating dropped eight percentage points over the past month, to 45%, the president's lowest rating in more than a year and a half, according to a new national poll.
The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning comes as the White House has been reacting to controversies over a massive U.S. government surveillance program; the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of tea party and other conservative groups who applied for tax-exempt status; the administration's handling of last September's attack in Benghazi that left the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead; and the Justice Department's secret collection of journalists' phone records as part of a government investigation into classified leaks.
CNN: Federal investigators called in as Colorado firefighters make progress
As hundreds of firefighters began to get the upper hand on a huge blaze near Colorado Springs, Colorado, investigators stepped up their probe into the cause of the most destructive wildfire in the state's history. The 16,000-acre Black Forest Fire, which was 65% contained Sunday, is now considered a crime scene, according to El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa, who said it will be some time before residents will be allowed to go home permanently.
NYT: Choice of Health Plans to Vary Sharply From State to State
When a typical 40-year-old uninsured woman in Maine goes to the new state exchange to buy health insurance this fall, she may have just two companies to choose from: the one that already sells most individual policies in the state, and a complete unknown — a nonprofit start-up. Her counterpart in California, however, will have a much wider variety of choices: 13 insurers are likely to offer plans, including the state’s largest and best-known carriers. With only a few months remaining before Americans will start buying coverage through the new state insurance exchanges under President Obama’s health care law, it is becoming clear that the millions of people purchasing policies in the exchanges will find that their choices vary sharply, depending on where they live.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama does not feel that he has violated the privacy of any American, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, confirmed Sunday.
Asked directly if Obama feels that way regarding the government's controversial surveillance programs, McDonough said simply, "He does not."
(CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney vehemently defended the National Security Agency surveillance programs that started under President George W. Bush but argued the current administration has lost credibility.
"Part of the problem is the administration's credibility - because of Benghazi and the IRS scandal - is less effective. Nonexistent, if you will, when you get over to the NSA program, which ought to be defended," he told CNN.
(CNN) - Former first lady Barbara Bush famously said in April that she wasn't a fan of the idea of another Bush running for president, answering a question about her son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and his potential 2016 aspirations.
But how does his father, former President George H.W. Bush, feel about the idea? Jeb Bush says there's a "split ballot amongst the Bush senior family" over the issue.
"Pretty sure that's the case," Bush said with laughter in an interview that aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."
(CNN) - While the future of immigration reform is still in question, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, predicted the Senate will pass the bill with 70 votes or more.
“I think we're going to have a political breakthrough, that Congress is going to pass immigration reform. I think we're going to get plus 70 votes,” he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I've never been more optimistic about it.”
(CNN) – Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, talked Sunday about his decision not to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014, saying he wanted to focus on his role as chairman of the House intelligence committee.
"That is a huge responsibility. It takes time to learn the programs, understand the programs. Some of them are very complicated and technical," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."
(CNN) - The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said Sunday President Barack Obama was making a sound call in his decision to provide military support to Syrian rebels and suggested such support should include taking out Syrian government airstrips.
"The reality is, we need to tip the scales, not simply to nudge them," Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, said on CNN's "State of the Union," adding that any involvement would best be done with U.S. partners in Europe and in the Gulf region.
Updated 8:22 p.m. ET, Sunday, 6/16
(CNN) – The chairman of the House intelligence committee strongly asserted Sunday that the National Security Agency is not recording Americans’ phone calls under U.S. surveillance programs, and any statements suggesting differently amount to “misinformation.”
Lining up with Obama administration officials — and the president himself — Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said the NSA “is not listening to Americans’ phone calls” or monitoring their e-mails.