News / USA

Obama Administration Faces 3 Controversies

x
Obama White House Dealing With Three Controversiesi
X
May 15, 2013 11:22 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the Internal Revenue Service members who improperly targeted some conservative groups and says those responsible will be held accountable. The Obama administration is facing growing pressure from opposition Republicans, after reports that the IRS gave extra scrutiny to some conservative groups, and that the Justice Department seized telephone records of Associated Press reporters. Zlatica Hoke reports that Republicans also continue an investigation into whether the administration concealed some of the facts surrounding last year's killings of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi Libya.
Kent Klein
President Barack Obama’s administration is facing tough questions on three separate matters, most recently the government seizure of telephone records from news reporters.

Reporters peppered White House Press Secretary Jay Carney with questions Tuesday about each of the three issues.

The Associated Press news agency said Monday the U.S. Department of Justice seized two months of telephone records for many of its reporters and editors.

U.S. officials say the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into who may have provided information for a 2012 AP story about a CIA operation in Yemen that stopped an al-Qaida bomb plot.

Carney said Tuesday the president supports the constitutional right of freedom of the press. He said it would be inappropriate for the president, though, to involve himself in a criminal investigation.

“The president is committed to the press’s ability to pursue information, to defending the First Amendment. He is also, as a citizen and as commander-in-chief, committed to the proposition that we cannot allow classified information that can do harm to our national security interests or to endanger individuals to be leaked. And that is a balance that has to be struck,” said Carney.

Attorney General Eric Holder said he played no direct role in the Justice Department’s review of the phone records, but called it part of an investigation into what he called a grave national security leak. Holder removed himself from the investigation, and assigned a deputy attorney general to handle the case.

Holder has also ordered an investigation into allegations the U.S. tax collecting agency, the Internal Revenue Service, targeted politically conservative non-profit groups for scrutiny during Obama’s first term.

Carney said the president finds the alleged IRS behavior “outrageous,” but that the administration cannot act on it until another probe, by an independent government inspector, has concluded.

“But this is a matter, when it comes to the IRS, that is under review by the independent Inspector General. We have not seen that report. It is our understanding that its release is fairly imminent, and once we have that report, we will be able to assess next steps,” said Carney.

Republican lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are calling for congressional hearings into both the AP phone records and the IRS.  

“So this morning I am calling on the president to make available, completely and without restriction, everyone, everyone who can answer the questions we have as to what has been going on at the IRS, who knew about it and how high it went,” said McConnell.

And Republican-led committees in the House of Representatives are continuing their probe into the events surrounding the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other diplomats at a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya last September.

While Republicans have sharply criticized the administration’s handling of the situation, Carney called their inquiries a “political sideshow.” He charged that Speaker of the House John Boehner is “obsessed” with exploiting the incident for political gain.

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid