June 5th, 2014
05:19 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for June 5, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for June 5, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

LAWMAKERS TOLD BERGDAHL WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IF DEAL WAS LEAKED ... Senators were informed at a classified Sen ate briefing on Wednesday with the White House that the U.S. obtained credible information that if anything about the Bergdahl prisoner exchange swap became public, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would be killed. Obama administration officials showed a so-called "Proof of Life" video of Bergdahl at the briefing, but the session failed to convince numerous skeptics that swapping Taliban terror detainees for the captured Army sergeant was the right thing to do. Meanwhile, other senators said they believed that Bergdahl’s health appeared to be in poor condition in the video. (See reactions from both sides in HOT SOTS below.)

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May 30th, 2014
04:34 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 30, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 30, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

VETERANS AFFAIRS SECRETARY ERIC SHINSEKI RESIGNS ... In the end, even Eric Shinseki knew he had to go, President Barack Obama said Friday in announcing the resignation of his only Veterans Affairs secretary over a growing scandal involving sometimes deadly waits for care at VA hospitals.

Obama went before reporters shortly after meeting with Shinseki at the White House and said the retired Army general told him that "the VA needs new leadership" to address the widespread problems chronicled in new reports this week, adding that Shinseki "does not want to be a distraction" to fixing the situation.

"That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans, and I agree. We don't have time for distractions. We need to fix the problem," Obama said.

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May 29th, 2014
05:23 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 29, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 29, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

MORE DEMOCRATS CALL FOR SHINSEKI TO RESIGN ...The Democratic dam has burst. It started Wednesday afternoon when Mark Udall became the first Democrat in the Senate to call for embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign. Udall was soon joined by other members of the chamber, including John Walsh of Montana, an appointee, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Warner of Virginia and Tim Kaine of Virginia.

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 27, 2014
May 27th, 2014
05:41 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 27, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 27, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA: COMBAT IN AFGHANISTAN TO END IN 2014 …  President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he wants more than 9,800 U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan after the end of 2014, with the number cut roughly in half by the end of 2015. By the end of 2016, he said, the military "will draw down to a normal embassy presence in Kabul, with a security assistance component."

Obama said this is a "pivotal year" in Afghanistan, noting that 2014 will mark the conclusion of the U.S. combat mission there. "We will bring America's longest war to a responsible end," he said. – Tom Cohen

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 23, 2014
May 23rd, 2014
05:31 PM ET
2 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 23, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 23, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

OBAMA TAPS CASTRO FOR HUD, DONOVAN FOR OMB … President Barack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro to be his next secretary of Housing and Urban Development on Friday, a move that comes as part of a wider cabinet shakeup and has stepped up interest in the rising Democratic star. The 39-year old, three-term mayor first gained national recognition when he delivered the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention – the first Hispanic to do so … If confirmed by the Senate, Castro will replace Shaun Donovan, who the President will nominate as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Donovan is an original member of Obama's cabinet, starting with the president in 2009. – Jim Acosta and Dan Merica

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CNN's GUT CHECK for May 14, 2014
May 14th, 2014
05:08 PM ET
3 months ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for May 14, 2014

CNN’s POLITICAL GUT CHECK | for May 14, 2014 | 5 p.m.
—  n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BILL CLINTON DEFENDS WIFE OVER ROVE’S COMMENTS … Although Bill and Hillary Clinton were reportedly furious over Karl Rove’s suggestion that Hillary Clinton has ‘brain damage’ from a 2012 blood clot, Bill Clinton dismissed the comments Wednesday at an event in D.C. “First they say she faked her concussion and now they say she’s auditioning for a part on the Walking Dead,” theformer President said at Peter G. Peterson Foundation Fiscal Summit. Clinton assured the audience that his wife is “strong” and even went on to defend her for never “low-balling” the American people by pretending the injury didn’t happen. He brushed off Republican attacks in general saying, “They’ll get better and better at it. I am still waiting for them to admit there was nothing to Whitewater. It is just part of the deal.”

ON BENGHAZI … Bill Clinton went even further to defend his wife saying she, “did what should have been done” at the time by empaneling a high-level review committee, and asserted that secretaries of State, for better or worse, “never were involved” in security decisions. Clinton also noted that “most Americans don’t even know how many American diplomatic personnel were killed when President Bush was president.”

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