May 30th, 2009
06:00 PM ET
14 years ago

A date night for soccer dad-in-chief

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama may hold the title of commander-in-chief, but on Saturday he donned another cap: Soccer dad.

The president, dressed in jeans and a navy polo shirt, and first lady Michelle Obama ventured from the White House to watch daughter Malia's soccer team - the Tsunamis - take to the field, according to pool reports. For the record: Malia's team won.

The first couple, known for having weekend date nights, later made a visit Saturday night to New York City for what the White House is calling a personal visit. The New York Times reports that the Obamas are seeing the Broadway show, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.”

According to a White House spokesperson, Obama said he was taking his wife to the Big Apple "because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished."

Instead of taking the larger Air Force One plane for their trip north, the Obamas took a smaller plane, a G-3, which became Air Force One once he boarded.

The press traveled in a separate aircraft, a G-5, and a G-3 carried White House support staff, according to the pool report.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest cites “efficiency” - as in fuel efficiency - as the reason the big plane is staying in the hanger and the smaller planes are being utilized, the pool report said.

But not everyone is excited about the NYC trip.


Filed under: Michelle Obama • President Obama
May 30th, 2009
03:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Steele: 'Republican Renaissance' starts in Virginia

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell will face the winner of the June 9 Democratic primary."]
(CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele praised Bob McDonnell Saturday for receiving the official party nomination in the state's gubernatorial race, and said he is part of a "Republican renaissance that starts this year in Virginia."

“I would like to congratulate Bob McDonnell for being selected by Virginia Republicans today as their candidate for governor," Steele said in a statement. "It is going to be a tough fight, but we are well positioned for victory in November."

Steele said the RNC is committed to devoting its "full attention and significant resources" to helping McDonnell take back the governor's mansion in November.

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe is now in the final weeks of a tough three-way primary battle for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. He has received an enthusiastic endorsement this year by former President Bill Clinton.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Michael Steele
May 30th, 2009
02:30 PM ET
14 years ago

U.S. vows to keep using 'state secrets' defense

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration has informed a federal judge it will continue to invoke the "state secrets" privilege in a legal battle with an Islamic charity suspected of funding terrorism.

The United States has designated the Oregon-based al-Haramain Islamic Foundation as a terrorist organization. The group, which has sued the government over alleged warrantless wiretapping, is demanding classified information about the program.

U.S. officials have refused to tell the charity's lawyers whether the group was subjected to presidentially authorized, warrantless, foreign intelligence surveillance in 2004 and, if so, what information was obtained.

In a court document filed overnight in San Francisco and released early Saturday in Washington, the Justice Department said its case-by-case review of the government's use of the state secrets defense has not changed its position in the al-Haramain case.

The defense allows courts to block lawsuits against the government on grounds that the litigation could harm national security.

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Filed under: Justice Department
May 30th, 2009
10:30 AM ET
May 30th, 2009
10:15 AM ET
May 30th, 2009
09:35 AM ET
14 years ago

Gates: Nuclear-armed N. Korea not acceptable

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, meets with other world leaders at a conference Saturday in Singapore."]
(CNN) - The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday at an international conference.

"We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in the region - or on us," said Gates, speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Singapore.

"Our goal is complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and we will not accept North Korea as a nuclear weapons state," he said.

His comments came amid growing concern across the globe over North Korea's latest nuclear test and test-firings of short-range missiles.

On Friday, two Defense Department officials said the latest U.S. satellite imagery has spotted "vehicle activity" at a North Korean ballistic missile facility.

"North Korea's nuclear program and actions constitute a threat to regional peace and security. We unequivocally reaffirm our commitment to the defense of our allies in the region," Gates said in Singapore.

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Filed under: North Korea • Robert Gates
May 30th, 2009
09:02 AM ET
14 years ago

Oklahoma congressman checks into Betty Ford Center

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. John Sullivan speaks to the Tulsa Press Club in this undated photo."]
(CNN) - U.S. Rep. John Sullivan, of Oklahoma, checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California on Thursday night for treatment for alcohol addiction, according to a written statement from his office.

Sullivan, a Republican from Tulsa, said in the statement that he will be taking a leave of absence from Congress while he seeks treatment.

"I value my relationship with the citizens of Oklahoma's First Congressional District, whom I am privileged and honored to have served for the past eight years," Sullivan said in the statement, released Friday evening. "So, I wanted to be open and honest on this tough situation."

Sullivan is married with four children, according to the biography on his Web site.

"My family is going through a difficult time right now, and I ask that you respect their privacy and keep us in your thoughts and prayers," he said. "With God's help and strength, I will get through this most challenging time in my life."

The Betty Ford Center, named for the former first lady, opened in 1982. It specializes in treatment of dependency on alcohol and other drugs.

Filed under: Congress