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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

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Holder says he has no intention of stepping down - The interview with NBC's Pete Williams marked the first time Holder has spoken one-on-one with the press since he came under scrutiny for seizing phone records and emails at the AP and Fox News. Holder said labeling Fox News reporter James Rosen a "co-conspirator" in a leak investigation was necessary to obtain a search warrant for his records, but the attorney general admitted that he was not "comfortable" making that designation.
Holder did not rule out a future transition to a new attorney general in the interview, but asserted that he will not be stepping down anytime soon.

"There are things I want to do, things I want to get done that I have discussed with the president," Holder told Williams. "Once I have finished that, I will sit down with him and we’ll determine when it is time to make a transition to a new attorney general.”

Williams asked Holder to clarify: “But to be clear, you’re not stepping down now?”
“No, I have no intention of doing so now,” Holder replied. has more here.


Obama in North Carolina Today - President Barack Obama will head to North Carolina on Thursday for the latest stop in "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour."
Obama will travel to Mooresville Middle School in Mooresville, N.C., where he is expected to deliver remarks at 2:55 p.m. ET.


Verizon providing call data to NSA - The National Security Agency appears to be collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of American customers of Verizon, one of the nation’s largest phone companies, under a top-secret court order issued in April.

The order appears to require a Verizon subsidiary to provide the NSA with daily information on all telephone calls by its customers within the United States and from foreign locations into the United States.

The order, which was signed by a judge from the secret court that oversees domestic surveillance, was first reported on the Web site of the Guardian newspaper. The Web site reproduced a copy of the order, which two former U.S. officials told The Washington Post appears to be authentic.  The Washington Post has more here.


Markey-Gomez Debate in Massachusetts Senate Race - The Massachusetts Senate candidates squared off in their first televised debate on Wednesday night, an aggressive exchange that saw both candidates hold their own, but neither delivered a knockout blow needed to ensure a win just three weeks out from Election Day.

The Wednesday-night exchange is the first of three televised debates in advance of the June 25 special to replace Secretary of State John Kerry (D).

The exchange most likely to prevail past Wednesday night was Republican Gabriel Gomez and Rep. Edward Markey's back-and-forth on abortion, which came in the final 10 minutes of the debate.

In response to a question from the moderator, Gomez expressed support for a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, and said he'd be willing to support a pro-life Supreme Court nominee.

"If a judge comes in front of me and they follow the constitution. and they're ethical and they're pro-choice and they've done a good job, I'll vote for them," he said.

Gomez is personally against abortion, though he insisted Wednesday night, as he has throughout the campaign, that he won't change any laws on abortion. has more here.


Rep. Labrador Leaves House Imminigration Group - Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) — a key conservative who had been engaged in secret negotiations over immigration reform — said Wednesday that he will drop out of the so-called House Gang of Eight.

The problem, Labrador said, was an impasse over how the pending legislation would address the issue of health care for undocumented immigrants. That issue had recently emerged as a major sticking point between Democrats and Republicans, and the negotiations had teetered on the edge of collapse at least three times in the last several weeks before drawing closer to an agreement again. has more here.


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