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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

Charlie Rose Interviews Obama -  In an interview that aired Monday evening, President Barack Obama defended the National Security Agency's sweeping surveillance programs while once again insisting that Americans shouldn't worry that their government is snooping on them.
Obama told Charlie Rose that the NSA programs — brought to the fore by a series of bombshell reports published recently by The Guardian and The Washington Post — are part of the balancing act as president.

"The way I view it, my job is both to protect the American people and to protect the American way of life which includes our privacy," Obama said. "And so every program that we engage in, what I've said is "Let's examine and make sure that we're making the right tradeoffs."If, you missed it, you can watch entire interview here.


Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calf.)
Senate Intel Committee Blocks Former Staffer From Talking To Press About Oversight Process - The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has taken the unusual step of actively blocking a former committee aide from talking to TPM about congressional oversight of the intelligence community. At issue isn’t classified sources and methods of intelligence gathering but general information about how the committee functions — and how it should function. The committee’s refusal to allow former general counsel Vicki Divoll to disclose unclassified information to a reporter was the first and only time it has sought to block her from making public comments, based on her experience as one of its most senior aides, since she left Capitol Hill in 2003. has more here.


Military to Add Women into Military Combat Jobs By 2015 - Military leaders are ready to begin tearing down the remaining walls that have prevented women from holding thousands of combat and special operations jobs near the front lines.

Under details of the plans obtained by The Associated Press, women could start training as Army Rangers by mid-2015 and as Navy SEALs a year later.  The Washington Post has more here.


Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke May Step Down in 2014 - President Obama strongly suggested Monday that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will not be extending his stay as head of the U.S. central bank.

The president said in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose that Bernanke has done an "outstanding job", but has "already stayed a lot longer than he wanted or he was supposed to." 

The president's comments should fuel the widely-held expectation that Bernanke will not be seeking a third term as Fed chairman when his term expires at the beginning of 2014. has more here.


Obama, Putin to sign new deal on reducing nuclear threat - President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin said they would sign an agreement on securing and destroying nuclear material to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, replacing a 1992 deal that expired on Monday.

Obama and Putin met privately at the G8 summit to talk about pressing security issues and agreed to work together to protect, control and account for nuclear weapons.

"I think it is an example of the kind of constructive, cooperative relationship that moves us out of a Cold War mindset," Obama said after meeting with Putin. has more here.


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