Home » Archives by category » Political News (Page 8)

Senate Democrats Filibuster Human Trafficking Bill

Senate Democrats Filibuster Human Trafficking Bill

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A human trafficking bill once considered to be a legislative slam dunk is now ensnared in a political fight that looks unlikely to be resolved any time soon.On Tuesday morning, Senate Democrats filibustered a bill to aid victims of human trafficking due to abortion restrictions included in the measure.The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which establishes a fund for victims of human trafficking, has garnered bipartisan support. But Senate Democrats objected to moving forward with the bill due to a provision that would subject it to the Hyde amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer funds on abortions.The Senate failed to move forward on the bill with a vote of 55-43 Tuesday morning. Sixty votes were needed to advance the measure.  Four Democrats voted for cloture -- Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Joe Manchin, D-W.V. Two Republicans and potential presidential contenders were not present for the vote -- Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also voted against the bill in a procedural move that allows him to bring it up for a vote in the future.Republicans have criticized Democrats for standing in the way of passing legislation that would help women and children who have been subjected to trafficking.“Democrats filibustering help for terrified children and abused women would represent a new low,” McConnell, R-Ky., said ahead of the vote.Over the weekend, McConnell threatened to delay a vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general until the Senate moves forward on the trafficking bill. The move angered Senate Democrats who are insisting a vote be held this week, four months after Lynch was nominated to the top post at the Department of Justice.“It's now been 129 days since her nomination was announced,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference. “What's the excuse that the hard right members of the Republican party have for not wanting to vote on her? Well first it was the president's executive action. Now it's the trafficking bill. What do those two things have in common? They have nothing to do, absolutely nothing to do with Loretta Lynch. That's about the only thing they have in common.”Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighed in on the fight Monday, tweeting that Republicans are leading a “congressional trifecta against women.”

Congressional trifecta against women today: 1) Blocking great nominee, 1st African American woman AG, for longer than any AG in 30 years…

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 16, 2015

...2) Playing politics with trafficking victims… 3) Threatening women's health & rights.

— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 16, 2015

Follow @ABCNewsRadio

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Boehner Demands Hillary Clinton Turn over Email Server to Third Party

Boehner Demands Hillary Clinton Turn over Email Server to Third Party

Caleb Smith / Office of the Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday demanded Hillary Clinton turn over her private email server to a third party administration but stopped short of directing House Republicans to subpoena the former secretary of State’s records. “The way forward is for the secretary to turn over all of her emails that pertain to the public,” Boehner, R-Ohio, insisted during a news conference on Capitol Hill. “But some neutral third party's gonna have to make some decision about what documents are 'personal' and which ones are public record. And thus far she's been unwilling to do this.”  Boehner said he believes that turning the server over to an independent party “is the fairest way” to ensure all public documents are turned over, particularly in regard to the deadly terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.“The American people deserve all the facts about what happened in Benghazi,” Boehner said. “That's why it's so important for Secretary Clinton to turn over her personal server to a neutral third party.”Boehner said the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will continue examining Federal Open Records law, but he indicated it is premature to subpoena the records from Clinton.“Nothing has changed,” Boehner said. “The Benghazi committee is the committee that found this personal email usage and the Benghazi committee is focused on getting the facts about what happened with regard to Benghazi.”“We have rigorous oversight activities of both the Benghazi committee and the Government Reform Committee, and I don’t think there's any changes that need to be made,” he added.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Secret Service Chief ‘Frustrated’ by Latest Incident, Concedes It’s His ‘First Test’

Secret Service Chief ‘Frustrated’ by Latest Incident, Concedes It’s His ‘First Test’

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The new head of the Secret Service conceded Tuesday that the latest allegations of misconduct within his agency are his "first test" as he tries to chart a new course for the service.Speaking before a House panel, director Joseph Clancy also expressed concern that he learned about the allegations five days after initial reports that two senior-level Secret Service agents were "inebriated" and crashed into the White House grounds."I should have been informed ... and there will be accountability," Clancy said after intense questioning from members of the House Appropriations Committee. "I'm frustrated. I'm very frustrated that we didn't know about this until Monday."As soon as he and his staff found out about the allegations -- through an "anonymous email" -- Clancy says he held a meeting discuss why there was such a delay."We had a good stern talk about that," he said. "There's no excuse for this information to not come up the chain," he said.Nevertheless, he said he has "been impressed" by those within his ranks, despite recent scandals like the one that erupted last week, after two senior agents on President Obama’s protective detail allegedly drove a government vehicle under the influence of alcohol and collided with a White House barricade before leaving the scene, administration and Capitol Hill sources told ABC News.The agents, Mark Connolly and George Ogilvie, have been reassigned while the investigation is pending, according to the Secret Service.The March 4 incident took place at the southeast entrance to the White House complex at 15th Street and E Street in downtown Washington, D.C.  No one was charged and no police reports were filed.In particular, ABC News learned the agents drove through crime scene tape that was set up at that location from an earlier investigation of a suspicious package. The vehicle collided with an orange plastic barrel but sustained no damage, sources said. Multiple sources insisted there was no "crash," but that the behavior was suspicious enough to raise concerns of uniformed officers on the scene."Apparently two agents who have supervisory roles had been at a retirement party, and they left that party and went to the White House in a vehicle, in a Secret Service vehicle, and when they got to the entrance of the White House, they apparently flashed their badges or whatever, and it was obvious that...to the guards that were there, that they may have been a bit impaired," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, told ABC News."They went on to go through what was then an active crime scene investigation," Cummings said.When uniformed officers confronted the agents, a supervisor ordered them to let the agents go without charge, government sources said. House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told ABC News unlike the agents in the car, the supervisor is still on the job and has not been reassigned pending the investigation.

Many consider the episode the first major test for Clancy, a Secret Service veteran who assumed the post last month.  In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas three weeks ago, Clancy vowed to chart a new course for the Secret Service.“We have not received an unfair rap,” he conceded. “I think when you fail, and we have failed, we own it. Now, it’s up to us to correct it.”In September, a man with a small knife in his pocket jumped the White House’s perimeter fence and made it deep inside the presidential building. That incident came more than two years after the Secret Service was shaken by the 2012 prostitution scandal out of Cartagena, Colombia.At the time those scandals and others unfolded, Clancy was the head of security for Comcast, having left the government in 2011 after 27 years with the Secret Service. He was “shocked” by those incidents, he said.Then, last month, a small drone flew over the fence and crashed on the White House grounds, prompting a pre-dawn security scare. President Obama was in India at the time, and although the incident turned out to be a recreational flight gone awry, Clancy said he's “certainly concerned” about the threat a drone like that could pose. The newly-appointed Secret Service director was with President Obama in India at the time, and said the president “was very concerned, as he should be” about the breach."He wanted to know what happened," and he "had very specific questions," Clancy recalled. "But he has faith in the work that we’re doing."In retrospect, Clancy said, the poor judgment in Cartagena and the failures at the White House five months ago came down to one thing: “Just a lack of self-discipline.” He dismissed suggestions the high-profile scandals were the product of a culture within the Secret Service that condones poor behavior. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

President Obama’s Enormous Watch Has Everyone Talking

President Obama’s Enormous Watch Has Everyone Talking

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — File this under the “presidents-they’re-just-like-us” category.By the looks of the clunky electronic watch he’s been sporting, it seems even President Obama has been caught up in the craze over fitness trackers.

 

President O'bama is ready for St. Patrick's Day. pic.twitter.com/ngf50W4Ntu

— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 17, 2015

 

Obama’s a workout fanatic and prides himself on his high-tech presidency, so it only seems natural that he would want to test drive the latest gadgets.“I don’t have a Fitbit yet, but I work out hard,” Obama told Re/code in a recent interview. “Word is these Apple Watches might be a good companion for my workouts. So I’m gonna see, I’m gonna test it out.”

It’s unclear from the photos which brand the president decided to test drive. But it seems that, for now, his regular timepiece, a Jorg Grey 6500 Chronograph, according to Watchalyzer, is taking a back seat.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

St. Patrick’s Day and What the Obamas Do to Celebrate

St. Patrick’s Day and What the Obamas Do to Celebrate

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is quite festive when it comes to holidays -- decking the halls for Christmas, hosting the traditional Easter egg hunts, and turning spooky for Halloween.Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, and the Obamas are going green.

Here are seven ways the first family is celebrating the Irish holiday, and how they have in the past, including old presidential traditions and new ones they've introduced:Host the Irish Prime MinisterIt’s a tradition that the two leaders spend this holiday together, and for the fifth time since elected in 2011, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will travel to the White House on St. Patrick’s Day. Another tradition that dates back to Truman’s presidency is the Shamrock Ceremony, during which the Irish prime minister gives the U.S. president a bowl of shamrocks as a gift.Dye the White House Fountains GreenThe Obamas decided to add their own touch to the White House St. Patty’s Day traditions. Inspired by Illinois, the state where President Obama served as senator, first lady Michelle Obama first requested in 2009 that the White House fountain be dyed green, similar to Chicago's tradition of dying the Chicago River green.  Accordingly, the fountain on the South Lawn of the White House was dyed green at 5 a.m. Tuesday.Have a BeerIt’s unknown whether President Obama, who has Irish roots on his mother’s side, will enjoy a pint of Ireland’s most famous brew. But in 2012, he enjoyed a Guinness at a Washington pub called the Dubliner. The White House is also known to brew its own beer, and served the honey ale to guests on St. Patrick’s Day 2011.Traditional Irish foodTo go with the beer, the holiday wouldn’t be complete without some traditional Irish food. This year's menu of what the White House is serving will be released later Tuesday, though in 2009, the White House went as far as serving green champagne to its guests at the St. Patrick’s Day reception.Wear GreenEvery year, people around the globe celebrate St. Patrick’s Day while decked out in green, including the Obamas. The president sports a green tie every year as part of a political tradition for male politicians, and the first lady has gone all-out in past years on St. Patrick’s Day. Whether it’s her green boots or green dresses, or her green eye shadow and earrings, Mrs. Obama always lives up to her stature as a fashion icon.Turn the East Room GreenThe White House St. Patrick’s Day reception takes place at the East Room every year. The room is immersed in a soft green light as the final touch.Listen to Irish MusicThe White House St. Patrick’s reception is often accompanied by live Irish music performances. There have been a series of musicians and singers in the past years, including The MollyHawks, a Washington, D.C.-based duo who performed at the White House in 2012, and Irish singer Glen Hansard, who performed the year before.The morning of St. Patrick's Day in 2009, Chicago’s Shannon Rovers, a Irish bagpipe group, played the pipes in front of the White House before their performance at the St. Patrick’s reception later that night. It was the first time the group has been invited to play at the White House.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Fewer than Four in 10 Favor Either Major Party

Fewer than Four in 10 Favor Either Major Party

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Just two months into the new Congress and the public already doesn't like what it's seeing from the new Republican majority.A Gallup poll says that although just 39 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of Democrats, fewer than that -- 37 percent -- approve of what GOP lawmakers are doing.To get an idea of the dissatisfaction that now exists, Gallup says that this is the first time in 23 years that favorability for both major parties has dipped below the 40 percent threshold.In the poll of more than 1,000 adults taken earlier in March, 53 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Republicans while 51 percent say the same about Democrats.Gallup believes that constant disagreements between the White House and Congress are responsible for this development.Since 2010, neither party has had a majority of Americans viewing them favorably.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mitt Romney to Fight Evander Holyfield in Charity Bout

Mitt Romney to Fight Evander Holyfield in Charity Bout

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SALT LAKE CITY) -- He's not going to run for president for a third time, but Mitt Romney is still in for a bruising fight, but this time it could actually hurt. The former GOP presidential nominee is set to box former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. Yes, you read that right. The bout is scheduled for May and the two will get in the ring to raise money for charity, an aide to Romney confirms to ABC News. The Salt Lake City Tribune first reported the news of the fight, and in an interview, Romney told them: "It will either be a very short fight, or I will be knocked unconscious." "It won't be much of a fight. We'll both suit up and get in the ring and spar around a little bit," Romney said. The match, scheduled for May 15, is part of a several-bout evening in Salt Lake City to raise money for Charity Vision, a group the Romney family has been active with. They traveled with the group last year to Peru, and the 68-year-old former Massachusetts governor just returned from a trip to India with the group. The charity donates medical equipment to doctors and facilities in poverty-stricken areas around the world to aid with the eye surgeries. One of Romney's sons, Josh, described the evening to the Tribune as a "black-tie event" and said the fundraiser will be "patterned after a 1920s-style event." "We just thought it would be a lot better to provide this kind of entertainment rather than just have dinner and listen to speakers," the elder Romney said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Death Master File Under Review by Congress

Death Master File Under Review by Congress

zimmytws/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Congress is now taking a closer look at the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File, which has incorrectly paid federal benefits to dead people and listed living people as dead. It is estimated that the discrepancies cost U.S. taxpayers $125 billion last year.Senator Tom Carper, D-DE, said on Monday he is introducing legislation to help clear up some of the mistakes that are costing taxpayers billions.“We just can't afford making $125 billion dollars in improper payments like we've apparently made last fiscal year,” he said. Alabama resident Judy Rivers, who testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Monday, told the committee she first learned of her incorrect status while visiting a bank.“The information they receive is directly from the Social Security Administration and that I was listed as dead in 2008,” she said. “Without a Social Security number you can do nothing in the United States,” she said.Rivers said without a working or credible Social Security number, her life was destroyed.“I could never have imagined I would reach the point of hopelessness, homelessness, financial destitution, loss of reputation and credibility, unable to find a job, an apartment, a student loan or even buy a cell phone,” she told the committee.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Vice President Biden Touts Funding for Rape Kit Testing

Vice President Biden Touts Funding for Rape Kit Testing

Pete Souza / The White House(PIKESVILLE, Md.) -- Vice President Joe Biden highlighted the Obama administration’s new initiative to reduce the nationwide backlog of rape kit processing while visiting the Maryland State Police Forensic Science Lab on Monday.The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative would accelerate testing of the estimated 400,000 rape kits that have been backlogged in law enforcement storage rooms and crime labs across the country. “Testing rape kits should be an absolute priority for the United States of America.  It works, it matters, it brings closure; it brings justice,” said Biden.Biden added that being able to catch up on the backlog and test the rape kits would result in additional crimes being solved.“Based on statistical analysis, we could probably, just by doing that and matching them to existing DNA database, solve 50 percent of the rapes that are now unsolved,” he said. The Obama administration has secured $41 million for the rape kit initiative to help state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors’ offices take action to reduce the backlog of kits. The Department of Justice is accepting applications for the grant through May 7.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

White House Still Asks Petraeus For Advice

White House Still Asks Petraeus For Advice

DoD photo by Cherie Cullen(WASHINGTON) -- The White House acknowledged on Monday that its officials are still asking retired General David Petraeus for advice, even though he recently pleaded guilty to leaking classified information to his mistress. “I think it's, it makes a lot of sense for senior administration officials to, on occasion, consult for him advice,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday.Petraeus leaked notebooks known as "black books" to his then-mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell. He resigned from government in 2012, but is still advising administration officials on the fight against ISIS. Asked whether those officials take any security precautions when talking to Petraeus, Earnest said he wasn't aware of any.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bristol Palin’s Engagement to Dakota Meyer: Five Things About Palin’s Fiancé

Bristol Palin’s Engagement to Dakota Meyer: Five Things About Palin’s Fiancé

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bristol Palin, the daughter of 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, had big news this weekend: She’s engaged to Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer. The couple has been excited about their engagement and sharing the happy news on social media. Palin, 24, described her kind of man on her blog in December: “He smells like wood. Loves being out in nature. Wears a full beard, leather boots, denim, plaid - and of course, flannel." No word of whether Sgt. Meyer smells like mahogany -- and he doesn’t have a beard. But here are a few things to know about Palin’s soon-to-be hubby: First Living Marine to Receive Medal of Honor for Iraq, Afghanistan ServiceIn 2011, Marine Corps Meyer, then 21, was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Obama. He is the third living recipient of the highest military honor for military members who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Kentucky native received the award for his service on September 8, 2009, when he charged into a kill zone in Afghanistan to save 36 Afghan and U.S. service members. Enjoyed a Beer With President ObamaA day before he was presented with the Medal of Honor, Meyer got to kick it with the commander-in-chief. Meyer requested the meeting and Obama obliged. The two shared a White House-brewed Honey ale beer on the patio outside the Oval Office, where they chatted about the future and Meyer asked the president for advice, Meyer told a local paper. "President Obama is a successful guy, so I asked him, 'What would you do if you were 23 years old and in my shoes right now?'" Meyer recalled. "He said, 'Get an education. You've got to have something you can fall back on.' And then he went into, 'Don't make any rash decisions. Take your time.'" Challenged ISIS on Social MediaWhen the FBI warned last year of a potential ISIS attack against the U.S. military and urged members to scrub their social media accounts of posts that might attract unwanted attention from violent extremists, Meyer did the opposite. He tweeted a picture of him lounging on the couch holding a sword and reading “Handbook for Marine NCOs,” and invited ISIS to his “book club.”

 

Wonder if any ISIS members want to drop by and join my book club @ScoutMedia pic.twitter.com/Wft72YYM0I

— Dakota Meyer (@Dakota_Meyer) December 3, 2014

"I refuse to let these idealistic, radical bullies change the way that I live," Meyer told ABC News. "I'm not saying I want ISIS to go attack the military. I'm speaking on behalf of myself.” Flirted With a Run For CongressUpset by the government shutdown in 2013, Meyer posted this intriguing tweet:

Congress 2016, POTUS 2024!

— Dakota Meyer (@Dakota_Meyer) October 1, 2013

In an interview with Marine Corps Times, he revealed that he was interested in running for Congress. “I love Americans and I believe in this country...I really appreciate the overwhelming support and encouragement, and I hope to someday serve America again,” Meyer told the Marine Corps Times. More recently, he told The Daily Beast, “If someday down the road, if people feel like that’s the way to go, I’ll look into it more seriously.” Surely his future mother-in-law can provide some insight into campaigning. Loves RacingAdjusting to life after service, Meyer found happiness in car racing (and more recently, off-road racing) and a way to fill the void left by knowing he can’t return to the battlefield, according to ESPN. "I can't ever go over there and fight. I can never do anything like that again, like I want to do,” Meyer told ESPN. I came home and didn't think I'd ever enjoy anything again, ever be happy.”

 

 

Excited as it gets closer to the race tomorrow! Thanks @binkdesigns for the pic! @robertsracingllc

A photo posted by Dakota (@dakotameyer0317) on Feb 6, 2015 at 1:37pm PST

 

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hillary Clinton Makes No Mention of Emails at Luncheon

Hillary Clinton Makes No Mention of Emails at Luncheon

Yana Paskova/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Hillary Clinton was back to her regular scheduled programming on Monday, and made no mention of the email controversy surrounding her during an appearance at the Irish America Hall of Fame luncheon Monday afternoon in New York City.  The event -- where Clinton was one of the honorees, alongside Pat Quinn, the founder of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge -- was Clinton’s first public appearance since her press conference last week. Clinton is not Irish, but was chosen for the Hall of Fame because of her “role in helping to broker the Good Friday Agreement” as first lady. She said it felt “almost like a family reunion” to be at the event.Dressed in green, Clinton spoke for roughly 15 minutes and received a standing ovation.During her remarks, she spoke primarily about her work in Northern Ireland while she was first lady and said she was accepting the honor “on behalf of all the remarkable women that I met and admired in Northern Ireland.”She credited her husband for giving “momentum” to the peace process when he made the decision in 1993 to grant a visa to the president of Sinn Fein, Gerry Adams, and specifically cited a memorable Vital Voices program she helped develop, in which she brought women from all walks of life in Northern Ireland together to discuss. “That opened the door” for peace, she said. Clinton then broadened her remarks and argued that if women are included in the peace making process -- not just in Ireland, but everywhere -- there will be a much better chance of success.As part of this, she weaved her granddaughter, Charlotte, into the speech, saying Charlotte serves as an “important reminder” to her that work still needs to be done to make the world a better place for future generations.“We get so busy…it’s easy to forget why we do what we do,” Clinton said. “When I look at Charlotte, I am reminded that she will have many opportunities…but I would like that for every child, not just in the United States and Ireland, but for every child everywhere.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

What Happened When Ted Cruz Told Girl, 3, the ‘World’s on Fire’

What Happened When Ted Cruz Told Girl, 3, the ‘World’s on Fire’

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(BARRINGTON, N.H.) -- Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, came face to face with one of his littlest questioners yet in New Hampshire when he had to explain to a 3-year-old girl why the "world's on fire."“The Obama economy is a disaster. Obamacare is a train wreck, and the Obama Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind. The whole world’s on fire,” Cruz said at an event in Barrington, New Hampshire on Sunday.That’s when a little girl, who the Concord Monitor identified as 3-year-old Julie Trant, interrupted the senator’s speech with a voice full of astonishment.“The world’s on fire?” Trant said.Her interjection drew laughter from the crowd, and Cruz repeated his claim -- but offered assurances to the young girl that her mother and others are working to make the world safe.“The world’s on fire. Yes. Your world’s on fire,” he said to more laughter. “But you know what your mommy’s here and everyone’s here to make sure that the world you grow up in is even better."

Zane Andrew, the YouTube user who posted the exchange, said the little girl wasn't frightened by Cruz's statement."I was there, right behind this little girl, and she wasn't frightened in the least," Zane Andrew wrote on the video page. "As a matter of fact, she was smiling and looking around, and after, when the Senator went on with his speech, the little girl just went back to calmly playing games on a phone. She wasn't upset at all."

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

State Department Hopes to Have Email Restored by Monday Night

State Department Hopes to Have Email Restored by Monday Night

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The State Department hopes to have its computer network back up by sometime Monday."We hope to have our email up and running by the end of tonight," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.The department shut down large parts of its unclassified email system last Friday in a final attempt to rid it of malware believed to have been inserted by Russian hackers in what has become one of the most serious cyber intrusions in the department’s history, U.S. officials told ABC News.Last November, the State Department conducted similar repairs to its system stemming from a cyber-attack it suffered the month before. The attack targeted the unclassified email system and is believed to have been executed by Russian hackers."It was about further enhancing our security capabilities. So we obviously did -- took steps in November. These were further steps to do -- to follow up on that," Psaki said of the latest repairs.Officials stress that throughout this process, including the attack in October, there was never any compromise to the department’s classified systems.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

State Department Official Facing New Batch of Voyeurism, Stalking Charges

State Department Official Facing New Batch of Voyeurism, Stalking Charges

State Dept photo(WASHINGTON) — A State Department official is facing more scandal and new charges after police found voyeuristic videos of women on his cell phone. Daniel Rosen, who was charged earlier this year with soliciting a juvenile for sex in Fairfax County, Virginia, has been charged in Washington, D.C. with voyeurism and stalking, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. Rosen, 44, will make an initial appearance in D.C. Superior Court later Monday.  Bill Miller of the U.S. Attorney’s office said a search of Rosen’s cell phone after his arrest in Virginia revealed video files that depicted many acts of voyeurism. Rosen was put on administrative leave from the State Department after his first arrest in February.Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Why It’s Taking So Long to Confirm Next Attorney General

Why It’s Taking So Long to Confirm Next Attorney General

US Dept. of Justice(WASHINGTON) -- It’s been four months and eight days since President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch to replace current Attorney General Eric Holder, but the Senate has yet to confirm her to the post as hurdle after hurdle has emerged in her confirmation battle.It’s a combination of unexpected factors -- from immigration to human trafficking -- that have put a wrinkle in Lynch’s nomination process.In November, Senate Democrats agreed not to process Lynch’s nomination, which was announced within a week of the midterm elections, until Senate Republicans took control in January. Once the New Year came and Republicans were in the majority, the Senate Judiciary Committee held Lynch’s confirmation hearing, but Republicans quickly used Lynch’s confirmation as a tool to try to fight Obama’s executive actions on immigration.The tactic only amounted to delay, and Lynch was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of February with the support of three Republicans. But Lynch’s nomination has been put on the back burner as other issues have dominated the Senate’s agenda -- from approving funding for the Department of Homeland Security to an anti-human trafficking bill.Democrats are objecting to the anti-human trafficking legislation due abortion restrictions included in the measure. On CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said a vote on Lynch would not occur until the Senate moves forward on the trafficking bill.“I had hoped to turn to her next week, but if we can't finish the trafficking bill, she will be put off again,” McConnell, R-Ky., said. “They need to come to grips with this.”The threat of another delay angered Democrats who believe Lynch has waited long enough to be confirmed."For months and months, Republicans have failed to move forward with her nomination using any excuse they can, except for any credible objection to her nomination itself. It's time for Republicans to stop dragging their feet on Loretta Lynch," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said."Loretta Lynch, and the American people, don't deserve this," he added. "At a time when terrorists from ISIS to Al-Shabab threaten the United States, the nominee to be attorney general deserves an up or down vote."Democrats have pointed out Lynch’s confirmation process is the longest of any attorney general nominee in recent history. The longest confirmation process was for Attorney General Edwin Meese III, who was confirmed in 1985 after 13 months due to questions relating to his ethical conduct."Senator McConnell is choosing to delay Lynch's confirmation despite having already kept her waiting longer than any Attorney General nominee in three decades,” Adam Jentleson, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, said. “No more excuses, no more delays. Confirm Loretta Lynch now.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Obama Jokes About Hillary Clinton, Biden, the GOP at Dinner

Obama Jokes About Hillary Clinton, Biden, the GOP at Dinner

Pete Souza / The White House(WASHINGTON) -- When President Obama trots out his comedy chops, both Republicans and Democrats beware.Speaking at the Gridiron Club’s annual dinner on Saturday, a white-tie affair that includes skits, songs, and a whole lot of schmoozing, Obama let loose over the weekend, predicting his audience (mostly journalists, lawmakers and public officials) would “laugh harder than ever.”“I’m not saying I’m any funnier -- I’m saying weed is now legal in D.C.,” the president quipped at this weekend’s event in Washington, D.C.Obama, who last week poked fun at Hillary Clinton on Jimmy Kimmel Live, didn’t shy away from further digs at his former secretary of State, currently under fire for using a private email address and server.“Think about how things have changed since 2008. Back then, I was the young, tech-savvy candidate of the future. Now I’m yesterday’s news and Hillary has got a server in her house,” he joked.“I think 2016 will come down to the issues. For example, equal pay. Did you know that the average male presidential candidate earns $150,000 less per speech than a woman doing the same job?” he continued, an apparent jab at Clinton’s high-dollar speaking fees.“It’s terrible. We got to fix that,” he added.Obama also ribbed his own vice president, who was criticized for getting a little too cozy with the Defense secretary’s wife, Stephanie Carter, last month.“Joe rubs my shoulders, too,” the president said. “I just wanted everybody to know, he does. It’s not bad, it feels pretty good. I don’t let him give me a pedicure, but...”The president also couldn’t resist few shots at Republicans, naturally, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the GOP’s official speaker for the evening and a potential 2016 presidential candidate.“Governor Walker got some heat for staying silent when Rudy Giuliani said I don’t love America -- which I also think is a problem. Think about it, Scott -- if I did not love America, I wouldn’t have moved here from Kenya!” he teased.“Governors Walker and [Rick] Perry are not the only possible 2016ers here tonight. We also have Dr. Ben Carson. He wants to make it clear that being here was a choice,” Obama said. (Carson recently said that prison proves homosexuality is “absolutely” a choice.)“The fact is, doctor, embracing homosexuality is not something you do because you go to prison,” he continued. “It’s something you do because your vice president can’t keep a secret on Meet the Press.”But one issue didn’t leave Obama laughing:“I got flak for appearing on a video for BuzzFeed, trying to reach younger voters. What nonsense. You know, you don’t diminish your office by taking a selfie. You do it by sending a poorly-written letter to Iran,” he said, referencing the open letter 47 senators wrote warning the leaders of the Iran that any nonproliferation deal they struck with Obama wouldn’t last after the president left office.“Really, that wasn’t a joke,” the president said.

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Hillary Clinton’s Deleted Emails Were Individually Reviewed After All, Spokesman Says

Hillary Clinton’s Deleted Emails Were Individually Reviewed After All, Spokesman Says

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — How exactly did Hillary Clinton's team decide which of her emails should be saved and which ones should be deleted?Three days after Time magazine initially reported on Team Clinton’s review process to determine which of her emails were work-related and which were personal, the former secretary of state's people are now saying the examination did include opening and reading each email.They did not confirm or deny Time's reporting for three days, with no explanation for why it took so long to clarify their deletion process.Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill has released a statement saying that “in wanting the public to understand how robust of a search was conducted, the fact sheet laid out several examples of the methods used by the reviewers to double and triple check they were capturing everything."The “fact sheet” refers to a question-and-answer document given out after the news conference last week.The statement continues: "It was not meant to be taken as a list of every approach performed to ensure thoroughness. Those subsequent steps were in addition to reading them all, not in lieu of reading them all. (No different than our explaining such terms were used but not listing every search term used.) We simply took for granted that reading every single email came across as the most important, fundamental and exhaustive step that was performed. The fact sheet should have been clearer every email was read, which we are doing now.”The big headline from Clinton’s news conference Tuesday was that, although she claims to have turned over all work-related emails, she deleted the rest of her emails and it appears they are gone forever.A Time magazine cover story about the email scandal released last week reported: "This review did not involve opening and reading each email. Instead, Clinton’s lawyers created a list of names and keywords related to her work and searched for those. Slightly more than half the total cache -- 31,830 emails -- did not contain any of the search terms, according to Clinton’s staff, so they were deemed to be 'private, personal records.'”

Clinton's team is now saying this is not true.Time didn't disclose how it determined that each email wasn't opened individually, but says it seemed to be consistent with a written explanation provided by Clinton's spokesman after the news conference this week. During the news conference, Clinton did not go into the details of how the review was conducted, but said it was “thorough” and that she went “above and beyond” what she was required to do in turning over many of her emails to the State Department."We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department," she said, adding that all other emails were personal and pertained to matters such as "yoga routines," "family vacations," and "planning Chelsea's wedding."But later, after the news conference, Clinton’s team distributed a lengthy question-and-answer document that detailed the “multi-step” process. The process appeared to have included an extensive, nuanced search of Clinton’s inbox, but the document did not make clear how many of the emails were opened and read in the review.Sunday, however, Clinton's team said that all the emails were opened and read.According to that document from the earlier news conference, here is a summary of how Clinton’s attorneys, whom she tasked with the job, said they sorted through, but it specifically did not say each e mail was read.

 

First, a search was done of all emails Clinton received from a .gov or state.gov account during the period she was secretary of state -- from 2009 to 2013. Then, with the remaining emails, a search was done for names of 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials who Clinton may have had correspondence with during her tenure. Next, the emails were organized and reviewed by sender and recipient to “account for non-obvious or non-recognizable email addresses or misspellings or other idiosyncrasies.” Lastly, of the emails still left over, a "number of terms" were searched, including “Benghazi” and “Libya.”

 

The results of the searching were that Clinton’s attorneys found 30,490 work-related emails and 31,830 emails that were deemed “private and personal.”Clinton said on Tuesday she deleted all of the personal emails because she thought she “had no reason to save them.”The revelation has only raised more questions among Clinton’s detractors about what was in those emails and why she used the private account in the first place.On Sunday, ABC News’ Jon Karl reported House Speaker John Boehner is expected to announce this week a new investigation into Clinton's email practices as Secretary of State, according to top House Republicans.Meanwhile, Clinton is hoping to move past her email issues as she prepares for a more-than-likely presidential campaign that she is expected to announce next month. Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Face Off in New Hampshire

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Face Off in New Hampshire

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are two possible presidential candidates who were in New Hampshire this weekend for the same reason: to introduce themselves to voters.

Though there were some similarities in the schedules of the two would-be front-runners, the men received starkly different reactions. The former Florida governor faced the challenge of not only using his family name to his advantage, but adapting his issues on hot-button topics like the Common Core and immigration to appeal to the Granite State’s conservative voters.

The Wisconsin governor simply had to tell his personal story to motivate his audience. The enthusiasm that Walker earned at his address to the 2016 Kickoff Grassroots Training Session hosted by the New Hampshire GOP Saturday was missing at the house party held for Bush Friday night.

At the house party, the crowd of roughly 100 invited guests and upward of 60 media attendees packed the home of Fergus Cullen, the state’s former GOP chairman, forcing everyone to stand throughout because there was simply no room to sit down. On Saturday, the high school auditorium filled with volunteer activists for Walker’s speech all had a seat but chose to get on their feet multiple times throughout his nearly 45-minute speech. Another show of support at Walker’s event that was lacking at Bush’s was a smattering of “hallelujah” affirmations throughout his talk. “I think he’s a man of great courage,” Denis Cronin told ABC News after Walker’s speech. “I thought he was great. Very articulate.” Walker generated more passion – on both sides – because of his fight against unions in Wisconsin. There were several dozen union workers protesting outside the high school where Walker held his event Saturday, though they dispersed when it started lightly snowing an hour before the governor arrived. There were no such protests at either public Bush function, only interest in seeing the next member of the political family try to win over Granite State voters. “He’s somebody you have to see and listen to him, but I don't agree with a lot of his immigration stuff,” said Ken Hawkins, a former state representative who spoke to ABC News before Walker’s speech at the New Hampshire GOP event. “I think that people are tired of Bushes just like they're tired of Clinton's just like they were tired of Kennedy's,” Hawkins said. The son and brother of former presidents is going to have a tougher time portraying himself as an “everyman” than the son of a preacher who flipped burgers growing up and whose sons went to public school. Walker talked about his love of Kohl’s cash, boasting that he bought the sweater he was wearing for $1 Friday, while Bush talked about a conversation he had with the founder of Uber and how new self-serve soda machines at his movie theater in South Coral Gables, Florida, will lead to fewer low-income jobs. When it comes to policy, Bush has the hurdle of reaffirming himself as a conservative in spite of his support for immigration overhaul and Common Core education standards. In tackling those particular issues, he won the support of moderate Republicans or self-proclaimed independents -- like Brian Lenzi, who attended the party at Cullen’s house and thought Bush “presented himself very well” – but will lose conservatives at the same time. “I think based on what I am hearing, he’s trying to appeal to the center and that’s not what I’m looking for,” fellow Cullen party attendee Fenton Groen told ABC News. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in New Hampshire at the end of last week as well, making stops at VFW Halls upstate, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to address a technology company as one of his stops today.

On top of these individual visits, a growing list that now appears to be the entire possible Republican field will be back next month for the First in the Nation summit hosted by the New Hampshire GOP. But the New Hampshire residents who have been through the primary circus for decades know that it is early yet. One indication – besides the calendar – comes from the manager of the Puritan’s Backroom restaurant, a restaurant and ice cream parlor that turns into a regular grip-and-grin stop at the heat of the campaign season. “No one's come yet but it's very early,” she said Saturday afternoon. “They're mostly doing planned events now and they come by here later.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Face Off in New Hampshire

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker Face Off in New Hampshire

Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are two possible presidential candidates who were in New Hampshire this weekend for the same reason: to introduce themselves to voters.

Though there were some similarities in the schedules of the two would-be front-runners, the men received starkly different reactions. The former Florida governor faced the challenge of not only using his family name to his advantage, but adapting his issues on hot-button topics like the Common Core and immigration to appeal to the Granite State’s conservative voters.

The Wisconsin governor simply had to tell his personal story to motivate his audience. The enthusiasm that Walker earned at his address to the 2016 Kickoff Grassroots Training Session hosted by the New Hampshire GOP Saturday was missing at the house party held for Bush Friday night.

At the house party, the crowd of roughly 100 invited guests and upward of 60 media attendees packed the home of Fergus Cullen, the state’s former GOP chairman, forcing everyone to stand throughout because there was simply no room to sit down. On Saturday, the high school auditorium filled with volunteer activists for Walker’s speech all had a seat but chose to get on their feet multiple times throughout his nearly 45-minute speech. Another show of support at Walker’s event that was lacking at Bush’s was a smattering of “hallelujah” affirmations throughout his talk. “I think he’s a man of great courage,” Denis Cronin told ABC News after Walker’s speech. “I thought he was great. Very articulate.” Walker generated more passion – on both sides – because of his fight against unions in Wisconsin. There were several dozen union workers protesting outside the high school where Walker held his event Saturday, though they dispersed when it started lightly snowing an hour before the governor arrived. There were no such protests at either public Bush function, only interest in seeing the next member of the political family try to win over Granite State voters. “He’s somebody you have to see and listen to him, but I don't agree with a lot of his immigration stuff,” said Ken Hawkins, a former state representative who spoke to ABC News before Walker’s speech at the New Hampshire GOP event. “I think that people are tired of Bushes just like they're tired of Clinton's just like they were tired of Kennedy's,” Hawkins said. The son and brother of former presidents is going to have a tougher time portraying himself as an “everyman” than the son of a preacher who flipped burgers growing up and whose sons went to public school. Walker talked about his love of Kohl’s cash, boasting that he bought the sweater he was wearing for $1 Friday, while Bush talked about a conversation he had with the founder of Uber and how new self-serve soda machines at his movie theater in South Coral Gables, Florida, will lead to fewer low-income jobs. When it comes to policy, Bush has the hurdle of reaffirming himself as a conservative in spite of his support for immigration overhaul and Common Core education standards. In tackling those particular issues, he won the support of moderate Republicans or self-proclaimed independents -- like Brian Lenzi, who attended the party at Cullen’s house and thought Bush “presented himself very well” – but will lose conservatives at the same time. “I think based on what I am hearing, he’s trying to appeal to the center and that’s not what I’m looking for,” fellow Cullen party attendee Fenton Groen told ABC News. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was in New Hampshire at the end of last week as well, making stops at VFW Halls upstate, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to address a technology company as one of his stops today.

On top of these individual visits, a growing list that now appears to be the entire possible Republican field will be back next month for the First in the Nation summit hosted by the New Hampshire GOP. But the New Hampshire residents who have been through the primary circus for decades know that it is early yet. One indication – besides the calendar – comes from the manager of the Puritan’s Backroom restaurant, a restaurant and ice cream parlor that turns into a regular grip-and-grin stop at the heat of the campaign season. “No one's come yet but it's very early,” she said Saturday afternoon. “They're mostly doing planned events now and they come by here later.”

Follow @ABCNewsRadio Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Advertise With Us

Would you like to advertise on East Idaho News? Fill out this form to contact a representative.
  • Full and Last
  • The name of your company, business or brand.