November 10th, 2013
11:31 AM ET

Graham to keep holds on Obama nominees

By CNN's Jason Seher

Sen. Lindsey Graham vowed on Sunday that he would continue to block President Barack Obama's nominations until Congress hears from Benghazi survivors.

The South Carolina lawmaker told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that he will place holds on any nomination put forth by the administration unless it makes available five survivors of the September 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, who have been interviewed by State Department investigators but remain out of Congress' reach.

"I've been trying for a year to get these interviews without holds," Graham said.

Graham scoffed at any notion his maneuver amounts to political grandstanding, portraying his actions as a last resort and couching them as part of "trying to perform oversight."

"I don't want to hold anybody. All I want to do is talk to the survivors," Graham insisted. "I'm not trying to prosecute a crime."

Graham announced his intention to hold all of Obama’s nominations the day after CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a controversial report on the attacks. The newsmagazine has since pulled its report, saying that its eyewitness, a British contractor stationed in Libya, lied to reporter Lara Logan about what he saw on the ground.

When pressed by Crowley about whether the debunking of the piece would impact his stance, Graham told her it wouldn’t.

"I never asked for the British contractor. I didn't know he existed," Graham said.

November 10th, 2013
10:38 AM ET

Graham: New sanctions on Iran needed

By CNN's Jason Seher

After three days of talks focused on halting Iran's uranium enrichment efforts broke down Sunday morning, Sen. Lindsey Graham said Congress would not wait for the next round of negotiations.

Graham said he intends to put forward a measure that would mandate more sanctions on Iran, aimed at forcing the Middle Eastern nation to dismantle its nuclear weapons program - a move that runs counter to the interim steps sought by the negotiating parties gathered in Geneva, Switzerland.

"We're worried about the endgame, not some interim deal," Graham told CNN's chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, on "State of the Union," repeatedly asserting that "you can't trust the Iranians" and questioning whether they actually intend to abandon their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Graham said Iran's President Hassan Rouhani would have to comply with four separate preconditions in order to avoid a new round of crippling sanctions: Stop enriching uranium and other nuclear materials; dismantle centrifuges used in nuclear production; halt the country's plutonium-producing reactor; and place its fuel cycle under international control.

FULL POST

November 3rd, 2013
02:33 PM ET

McCaul: TSA, law enforcement need better coordination

By CNN's Joe Sterling and Jason Seher

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said Sunday that Transportation Security Administration officers at the nation's airports need to work better with local law enforcement to help prevent incidents like Friday's shooting at Los Angeles International Airport.

"The coordination with the local police is key because, remember, TSA officers are not armed," the Texas Republican told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

In the wake of the shooting at LAX's Terminal 3 – where a gunman, identified by police as 23-year-old Paul Ciancia, killed a TSA officer and wounded three other people – McCaul said he had already referred his suggestions to TSA Administrator John Pistole.

FULL STORY
October 27th, 2013
12:48 PM ET

Rogers to European allies: NSA keeps you 'safe'

By CNN's Jaosn Seher

The House Intelligence chief emphatically told CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday that the NSA's foreign intelligence gathering operations keep allies "safe."

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said on CNN's "State of the Union" that the vision being presented to the American public of a nation spying on its closest allies does not jibe with reality. According to Rogers, the U.S. counterterror operation abroad "keeps the French safe."

Full Story

March 3rd, 2013
09:44 PM ET

Iran is open to direct talks with U.S., its UN ambassador says

By Adam Levine

Iran would be willing to sit down for direct talks with the United States, the country's ambassador to the United Nations said in an interview broadcast on CNN.

"I can confirm it here with you, and also for your distinguished audience, that Iran will come negotiation and direct talks with the United States provided that we make sure that U.S. is serious and do not act differently," Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told CNN's Fareed Zakaria in an interview that aired on Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Khazaee said Iranians felt that at last week's negotiation with the United States and other aligned nations, "both sides are getting closer to each other."

FULL POST

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Filed under: CNN Programs • Fareed Zakaria GPS • Iran • Middle East
February 18th, 2013
07:30 PM ET

Budget Cuts: real crisis or scare tactics

Time is running out: unless Congress acts by March first - $85 billion in massive spending cuts will kick in automatically. Two million federal workers face furloughs.

But one way or another the impact may be felt by most Americans.

The White House warns that 10-thousand teacher jobs would be at risk and 70-thousand children could be removed from Head Start.

The cuts would hit during tax season - meaning millions of taxpayers would have an even tougher time getting  answers from the IRS.

CNN's Chris Lawrence has been looking at other areas where you may feel the sting.

As he leaves, Panetta says sequester is biggest concern
February 3rd, 2013
04:54 PM ET

As he leaves, Panetta says sequester is biggest concern

By: CNN's Ashley Killough

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Sunday his "biggest concern" right now is the uncertainty over budget issues on Capitol Hill.

"If the sequester is allowed to go into effect, I think it could seriously impact on the readiness in the United States," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "And that's a serious issue."

The U.S. military could face the start of $500 billion in budget cuts in about a month if Congress fails to come up with a budget plan that avoids the so-called sequester, a serious of automatic, across-the-board spending cuts spread out over the next decade.

FULL STORY

January 12th, 2013
02:20 PM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Karzai doubts all U.S. troops will leave post-2014

By Samuel Burke, CNN

In the only interview that President Hamid Karzai granted while he was in the United Sates, he expressed confidence to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Afghan people will accept the United States’ demand for immunity for American troops left in place there after the 2014 withdrawal.

Karzai rejected the notion that has been floated that the U.S. might leave “zero troops” in Afghanistan after the pullout is completed at the end of 2014.

He told Amanpour that Afghans need some type of U.S. presence for “broader security and stability” after the withdrawal. For that reason, Karzai believes Afghans will have to grant the U.S. troops left there immunity.

“The United States will need to have a limited number of forces in Afghanistan,” he said, but was unwilling to give an exact number. “That’s not for us to decide. It is for the United States to decide what number of troops they will be keeping in Afghanistan and what strength of equipment those troops will have.”

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Afghanistan • Amanpour • CNN Programs • Karzai
January 4th, 2013
04:19 AM ET

Report: Iranian spies have global reach

CNN's Brian Todd looks at a new report on Iran's 30,000-strong intelligence service and its international activities.

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Filed under: Iran • Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer • Spying
December 28th, 2012
08:11 PM ET

Mother tells of secrecy surrounding Ft. Myer child abuse allegations

Two former caregivers at an army day care center at Ft. Myer, Virginia are charged with assaulting children at the facility just next door to the Pentagon.

And at least 30 other childcare workers have been taken off the job after background checks found criminal records including sexual assault and drug use.

Military families are shocked and telling CNN’s Barbara Starr that the military kept them in the dark about many of the problems at Ft. Myer.


Filed under: Army • Barack Obama • Erin Burnett OutFront • Military • Panetta • Pentagon • Security Brief
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