(CNN) – Greg Hicks, former deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, told congressional investigators that the State Department internal review of the catastrophe at the mission in Benghazi "let people off the hook," CNN has learned.
The Accountability Review Board "report itself doesn’t really ascribe blame to any individual at all. The public report anyway," Hicks told investigators, according to transcript excerpts obtained by CNN. "It does let people off the hook."FULL STORY
(CNN) - Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform have located individuals who have evidence about the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya – ones whom they describe as whistleblowers – and are asking federal agencies to allow the witnesses to be able to share classified information with their attorneys without fear of retaliation.FULL STORY
(CNN) - "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner says the George Romney criticism early in the fifth season is based on actual events. One of the show's characters, Henry Francis, is a political operative working for New York City Mayor John Lindsay.
In a phone call, Francis vetoes the idea of Lindsay traveling to Michigan, "because Romney is a clown and I don't want him standing next to him."
The year is 1966.FULL STORY
(CNN) - President Barack Obama heads to Denver, Colorado, Wednesday to make a push for improved background checks for handgun purchases, legislation that the National Rifle Association opposes.
The one priority that everyone in the gun debate seems to agree on is that the laws on the books should be enforced to keep guns out of the hands of those whom, society has ruled, should not have them – felons, or those with adjudicated emotional and mental problems, or those with domestic violence restraining orders.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Actress and activist Ashley Judd is "very serious" but hasn't made a decision yet about running for the U.S. Senate in 2014, according to a knowledgeable source.
A Democrat, Judd would challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell, the most powerful Republican in the upper chamber, for his seat in Kentucky. Judd spent part of her childhood in the Bluegrass State and went to the University of Kentucky.
(CNN) – The former Army staff sergeant who was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama Monday is declining the first lady's invitation to be her guest at Tuesday's State of the Union address.
Clint Romesha, who was awarded the prestigious medal for uncommon valor in Afghanistan, told CNN that he has decided to spend the evening with friends from his former unit, Black Knight Troop, 3-61 CAV, his wife Tammy - with whom he celebrates a wedding anniversary Tuesday - and their families.
Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.FULL STORY
(CNN) - In his State of the Union speech Tuesday, President Obama will announce that by this time next year, 34,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will have returned home, according to sources with knowledge of the president's speech.
The move will reduce the number of U.S. forces in the country by half.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Former Staff Sergeant Clint Romesha, who will be awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama in a White House ceremony Monday afternoon, will also be honored by the Obamas as a guest of the first lady at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, administration officials tell CNN.
Romesha, who left the Army in 2011, will be only the fourth living service member from the war in Afghanistan to be awarded the Medal of Honor, three other troops having been given this highest of honors posthumously.
Watch CNN's comprehensive coverage of President Barack Obama's State of the Union address starting Tuesday night at 7 p.m. ET on CNN TV and follow online at CNN.com or via CNN's apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. Follow our real-time State of the Union live blog at cnn.com/conversation.
Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama called the widow of Sean Smith the day following the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, promising to "avenge" the deaths of her husband and the three other Americans killed, according to a new book by reporter Michael Hastings.
Communications specialist Smith was among four killed in an attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Washington (CNN) - Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Tom Nides is leaving the Obama administration, Nides told CNN this afternoon.
Nides, a longtime friend of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, started the job in 2010, leaving the position of chief operations officer at Morgan Stanley to do so. He always estimated he would serve in the position for roughly two years.