(CNN) - Then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates was “very uncomfortable” with the idea of a Guantanamo prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl when it was raised in 2011, a former senior Defense Department official familiar with Gates’ thinking told CNN.
The “fundamental discussion,” the source said, “was over the notion of negotiating with terrorists and hostage takers.” It was a position, the source confirmed, that was shared by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director Leon Panetta-a powerful triumvirate.
Washington (CNN) – The Chamber of Commerce, which is vowing to be more aggressive this election year, is planning to buy more ads in next month's contentious special election in Florida, a source familiar with the Chamber's activities told CNN.
In a couple of days, the Chamber will air new ads with a message of checks and balances on behalf of Republican Dave Jolly. Jolly is facing Democrat Alex Sink, Florida's former chief financial officer and the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, in the March 11th election to fill the remainder of the term of Rep. Bill Young, who died last October.
Washington (CNN) – The White House, which has been set back on its heels for months due to the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, is voicing some real optimism about the recent uptick in enrollment numbers, as well as the demographic trends.
“We’re very encouraged, because this is trending in the right way,” says a senior administration official. “The fact that millions have signed up is good—and it also makes it more likely that others will sign up.”
Washington (CNN) – A prime seat at the Super Bowl. A flattering documentary. A funny turn on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” No doubt about it: Mitt Romney has been back in the spotlight recently. But does it all add up to him making a third run for the Republican presidential nomination?
No, according to multiple sources close to the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
While the ex-candidate is clearly enjoying all the good karma - which comes amid a bad month for Chris Christie —sources close to Romney say the nascent draft-Mitt idea, such as it is, is organic and not coming from him or his wife, Ann, or anyone close to them.
(CNN) – It's a cliche of American presidential politics - the president we elect is always a reaction to what came before. As in: Nixonian shenanigans eventually gave rise to Jimmy Carter's self-righteousness. Clintonesque parsing gave way to George W. Bush's plain speaking. Bush's plain speaking begat Barack Obama's lofty speechifying.
Oversimplified? Yes. But true nonetheless.FULL STORY
(CNN) – A series of e-mails obtained by CNN show that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop – a Democrat who considered endorsing Gov. Chris Christie for reelection but declined to do so – questioned whether important meetings with state officials were canceled because of his political decision.
Having been informed of meeting cancellations simultaneously after he chose not to endorse Christie in 2013, Fulop wrote in an e-mail to a senior Port Authority official appointed by the governor expressing his frustration.
Washington (CNN) – Former New Jersey Republican Governor Tom Kean tells CNN that Chris Christie's statement on the George Washington bridge controversy leaves unanswered questions and isn't enough to settle the matter.
"He's not accepting responsibility," Kean told CNN. "He doesn't answer any of the main questions."
Washington (CNN) - Shirley MacLaine’s career spans six decades – on stage, in the movies and as an author detailing beliefs on everything from reincarnation to life on other planets.
This weekend she will be one of the stars receiving the prestigious Kennedy Center Honors for their contributions to American culture.FULL STORY
(CNN) – In the irony that has become part of health care reform, the White House and the insurance companies find themselves in “not the happiest of marriages, but one that will have to last,” according to a senior administration official.
The insurance companies, as we know, were not happy about today’s events. But neither, says this official, was the White House.
(CNN) – As the story of the Obamacare website fiasco unfolds, senior administration aides tell me that the President is "mad, frustrated and angry."
Mad that his signature legislative achievement is stuck at the gate, frustrated that he's running out of time to fix it and angry that he's got a second-term agenda now going nowhere. He's so furious, in fact, that he stepped out of character to vent to an assembled group of top aides, saying he would have delayed the website if he had known it was a mess.FULL STORY