In one of the most surreal moments I have ever seen in nearly seven years covering the beat, Andrei Sitov of the Itar-Tass News Agency pressed Gibbs at his daily briefing about whether "the quote, unquote 'freedom' of a deranged mind to react in a violent way is also American" like the freedom of speech and the right to assembly.
(CNN)–President Barack Obama will travel to Arizona on Wednesday in the wake of the weekend shooting there that left six people dead and 14 wounded, including a member of Congress, two senior administration officials told CNN Monday.
The president will likely attend a memorial service and visit with victims' families in Tucson, the sources said. He has already spoken to many of the family members by phone.
Washington (CNN) - Lobbyist and former Congressional aide Ashley Turton, wife of a top White House staffer, was killed Monday in an early morning fire in her garage, according to sources familiar with the still-unfolding investigation.
D.C. Fire Department spokesman Pete Piringer would not confirm the identity of the victim but said the first emergency calls came in around 5 a.m. ET. He said "the main theory now is that this was a crash event and then a fire" in the garage adjacent to Turton's home on Capitol Hill.
(CNN) - President Obama spoke by phone late Saturday to Mark Kelly, the husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically injured in a mass shooting, a senior White House official said.
The official told CNN that Obama "expressed his deep concern and full support" for the family in the wake of the tragedy.
Washington (CNN) - Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole was in and out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center earlier this week because of an elevated temperature, but the former lawmaker disclosed Saturday that he has now been admitted to the hospital yet again after the fever returned.
In a written statement obtained by CNN, the 87-year-old Dole revealed that he was admitted to Walter Reed on Tuesday because of the initial fever.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New White House Chief of Staff William Daley will be on the job before the State of the Union, according to senior administration officials, and there are early signs he also will be bringing in some of his own senior aides.
The decision is leaving some current White House staffers feeling uneasy about where they will fit in the flow chart.
Several Democratic sources said Daley is planning to bring along to the White House at least some close allies, people who date back to his time as commerce secretary during the Clinton administration as well as other stops in his impressive resume.
(CNN) - Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker is stepping down as chairman of President Obama's outside economic advisory panel, according to Democratic sources familiar with the move, as the reshuffling of the White House's economic team continues.
The announcement comes as senior officials say Obama is expected on Friday to make a much more substantial move by officially naming Gene Sperling to replace Larry Summers as the chairman of the National Economic Council, the key policymaking office inside the White House.
Washington (CNN) - Two senior Democratic officials say William Daley was at the White House Wednesday meeting with President Obama and other officials. Officials said there has been no job offer but that Daley is emerging as the leading contender to be next White House chief of staff.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama signed the 9/11 health bill into law in Hawaii on Sunday, White House spokesman Bill Burton said.
Obama signed the bill during his Hawaiian vacation. No signing ceremony was held.
The bill made a long journey in order to get signed. A printed copy of the bill flew with a White House staffer from Washington to the Hawaiian island of Oahu, so Obama could sign it from his vacation rental in Kailua.
HONOLULU, Hawaii (CNN) – Every day before 8 a.m. Hawaiian time, President Obama gets an extensive briefing about all of the national security threats that have been bubbling around the world overnight while he's been vacationing.
An intelligence official heads over to Obama's vacation rental to deliver the Presidential Daily Brief, the very same classified briefing he receives every day back at the White House, and then a series of White House staffers provide him with extra information throughout the day via secure telephone, video and email lines.