White House Correspondent, Washington, DC
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May 26, 2015

U.S. does damage control after defense chief’s remarks on Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi of the U.S. commitment to help fight Islamic State militants in an effort at damage control on Monday after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops’ desire to fight.

Carter told CNN on Sunday that Iraqi forces showed no will to battle against Islamic State militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly.

May 25, 2015

Biden reassures Iraq prime minister after U.S. defense secretary remarks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi on Monday of the U.S. commitment to Iraq’s fight against Islamic State militants after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops’ will to fight.

Carter told CNN on Sunday that Iraqi forces showed no will to fight against Islamic State militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly.

May 15, 2015

Obama vows to ‘stand by’ Gulf allies amid concern over Iran threat

By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton

CAMP DAVID, Md. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed on Thursday to back Gulf allies against any “external attack,” seeking to reassure them of Washington’s iron-clad commitment to their security amid Arab anxiety over U.S.-led efforts to reach a nuclear deal with Iran.

Hosting the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council for a rare summit at Camp David, Obama pledged that the United States would consider using military force to defend them and would also help address Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region.”

May 14, 2015

Obama seeks to reassure Gulf allies on Iran, security at summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will seek to convince Gulf allies including Saudi Arabia on Thursday that the United States is committed to their security despite deep concern among Arab leaders about U.S. efforts to broker a nuclear deal with Iran.

During a rare, high-profile summit at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, Obama will meet with representatives from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, to discuss security cooperation.

May 13, 2015

Obama meets two Saudi princes after King sent regrets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday went out of his way to praise two of Saudi Arabia’s top leaders before meeting privately with them at the White House and played down the absence of King Salman, who pulled out of the visit last week.

“The United States and Saudi Arabia have an extraordinary friendship and relationship that dates back to (President) Franklin Roosevelt,” Obama said at the start of the meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office.

May 12, 2015

Obama targets hedge funds in personal remarks on poverty, race

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama addressed U.S. struggles with class and race in personal terms on Tuesday and renewed his call to close tax loopholes enjoyed by wealthy hedge fund managers as a way to reduce poverty among Americans.

“The top 25 hedge fund managers made more than all the kindergarten teachers in the country,” Obama said at a panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University. He advocated for a higher tax rate on the fees that hedge fund managers collect.

May 8, 2015

‘Best for last': Obama visits South Dakota, his 50th U.S. state

By Jeff Mason

WATERTOWN, S.D. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama crossed the last state off his presidential bucket list on Friday with a stop in South Dakota, the final of the 50 U.S. states he has visited since taking office in 2009.

Fresh from a trip to Oregon, where he advocated for a trade agreement with Asian countries during a speech at Nike Inc’s headquarters, Obama made a stop in Watertown, South Dakota, to give a commencement address at Lake Area Technical Institute, considered one of the top community colleges in the nation.

May 8, 2015

Nike backs Obama on trade with pledge to create 10,000 U.S. jobs

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) – Sports shoe maker Nike Inc put its weight behind President Barack Obama’s push for a trade deal with Asian countries on Friday with a promise to create up to 10,000 U.S.-based manufacturing jobs if the pact is approved.

In an announcement that coincided with a visit by Obama to Nike’s Oregon headquarters, the company said footwear tariff relief within the proposed 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement would allow it to speed up investment in “advanced footwear manufacturing” in the United States.

May 7, 2015

White House says will let Nike “share their news” on Obama visit

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, May 7 (Reuters) – The White House
declined to say on Thursday whether Nike Inc would be
making a company announcement to coincide with President Barack
Obama’s visit to the company’s Oregon headquarters on Friday.

The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday that Nike “is
likely to make its own manufacturing announcement” on Friday
“around the time that Obama speaks at the Nike headquarters.”
The newspaper did not provide a source for the assertion.

Apr 29, 2015

Majority of Republicans would attend a loved one’s gay wedding -Reuters/Ipsos poll

WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters) – A majority of U.S.
Republicans would attend the same-sex wedding of a loved one, a
Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Wednesday, highlighting the
political risks for Republican presidential candidates who stake
out positions against gay marriage.

Though some Republican White House hopefuls have tried to
insert nuance into their positions on gay marriage – something
that polling shows most Americans back – their opposition is

    • About Jeff

      "Jeff Mason covers the White House for Reuters. He was the lead correspondent for President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and has been posted in Washington since 2008, when he covered the historic race between Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, traveling with all three candidates. Jeff has also been posted in Frankfurt, Germany, where he covered the airline industry and Brussels, Belgium, where he covered climate change and the European Union. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, BBC, and NPR. Jeff is a graduate of Northwestern University and a former Fulbright scholar."
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