WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney had his facts wrong when he blasted Attorney General Eric Holder last week for launching an investigation into past CIA interrogation techniques, an administration official asserted Monday.
Holder's decision to review waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques was politically motivated, Cheney claimed in remarks broadcast on FOX News Sunday. Cheney made clear in the interview, conducted last Friday, that he believes President Barack Obama directed Holder to launch the review in response to pressure from left-wing Democrats.
But the administration official, who asked not to be identified, said, "The attorney general made a determination independently, based on the facts and the law."
The official also objected to Cheney's statement that "the president is the chief law enforcement officer in the land."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – The Obama administration is revoking a Bush-era regulation that officials say "undermined" the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
The decision by the Commerce and Interior Departments means federal agencies will once again be required to consult with federal wildlife experts at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before taking action that might affect threatened or endangered species. Environmental groups had argued the Bush rule severely weakened the Endangered Species Act.
"By rolling back this eleventh-hour regulation, we are ensuring that threatened and endangered species continue to receive the full protection of the law," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a written statement announcing the decision.
Last month, as part of the omnibus spending bill, Congress authorized the Commerce and Interior Departments to revoke the regulation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – On Inauguration day, there's one scene at the White House that won't be playing out exactly as it has during past transitions: the traditional moving of the outgoing First Family's belongings. Anita McBride, Chief of Staff to First Lady Laura Bush, tells CNN that the Bushes have moved almost all their things out of the White House ahead of schedule.
"There won't be ... the moving trucks for the Bushes coming here," McBride said, adding, "the only things really left for President and Mrs. Bush are their personal belongings and luggage that they'll take that day."
McBride said Mrs. Bush directed residence staff early – in the summer of 2008 – to prepare the White House for the personal transition.
"It's probably the librarian in her," McBride said of Mrs. Bush, a former librarian. "Maybe we've got a bit of a Dewey decimal system of move-out process, but that certainly made it easier for the residence staff, and they very much appreciate it."
SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) - Thousands of protesters packed the streets of the South Korean capital Tuesday as President Bush arrived for the start of his Asian tour.
While some of the demonstrations were peaceful, violence erupted at other protest sites. In one instance, riot police fired a water cannon to keep the crowds at bay.
Police said they detained about 80 protesters. They estimated about 2,700 people were participating in the protests, which included a candlelight march and a sit-in. But the organizers said some 10,000 were taking part in the demonstrations.
Bush's week long trip to the region is his ninth visit as president. His stop in Seoul comes just a few months after violent street protests erupted over worries about the safety of U.S. beef imports.
While those tensions seem to have eased, the United States' nuclear disarmament deal with North Korea is also a concern.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush will nominate Steve Preston to replace Alphonso Jackson as secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, a senior administration official said Friday.
The nomination must be voted on by the Senate.
Preston administers the Small Business Administration, a job he began in July 2006. That agency advocates on behalf of small businesses, helps advance the economy and assists in rebuilding efforts following a disaster.