White House Correspondent, Washington, DC
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Mar 2, 2015

Exclusive: Obama sharply criticizes China’s plans for new technology rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday sharply criticized China’s plans for new rules on U.S. tech companies, urging Beijing to change the policy if it wants to do business with the United States and saying he had raised it with President Xi Jinping.

In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing’s plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security “backdoors” in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access.

Mar 2, 2015

Exclusive: Obama says Iran must halt nuclear work for at least a decade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that Iran should commit to a verifiable freeze of at least 10 years on its nuclear activity for a landmark atomic deal to be reached, but said the odds were still against sealing a final agreement.

In an interview with Reuters at the White House, Obama said that a rift over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned speech to Congress opposing the Iran deal on Tuesday was a distraction that would not be “permanently destructive” to U.S. Israeli ties.

Feb 25, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline, leaving it in limbo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday, as promised, swiftly vetoed a Republican bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

The U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, after receiving Obama’s veto message, immediately countered by announcing the Republican-led chamber would attempt to override it by March 3.

Feb 24, 2015

Obama vetoes Keystone XL pipeline bill

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on
Tuesday swiftly delivered on his vow to veto a Republican bill
approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, leaving the
long-debated project in limbo for another indefinite period.

The Senate received Obama’s veto message and Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell immediately countered by announcing the
Republican-led chamber would attempt to overturn the veto by
March 3.

Feb 23, 2015

Obama presses new rule for broker advice on retirement investments

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will direct the Department of Labor on Monday to proceed with new rules that would rein in conflicts of interests among Wall Street brokers who advise clients on retirement investments, administration officials said.

The change would mandate that brokers follow a “fiduciary standard” to prioritize clients’ interests over brokers’ interests, they said. The proposal is opposed by many Republicans and financial firms, which are fearful that the plan will limit broker compensation.

Feb 19, 2015

Obama picks State’s Psaki to lead White House communications

WASHINGTON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has
picked U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to take over
as White House communications director, bringing someone with
whom he has a long history back into his inner circle as other
long-time aides depart.

“Jen worked on both my campaigns, she’s served in the White
House and she’s traveled the world as an advisor to Secretary
(John) Kerry,” Obama said in a statement.

Feb 17, 2015

U.S. delays Obama’s immigration steps after judge’s rebuke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s administration on Tuesday delayed implementing his unilateral steps to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation after a judge blocked the actions at the urging of 26 states accusing Obama of exceeding his powers.

In a setback to the president, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the Texas border with Mexico, issued a temporary court order on Monday stopping Obama’s executive actions that bypassed a gridlocked Congress.

Feb 17, 2015

U.S. judge in Texas blocks Obama’s immigration plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama’s orders to shield millions of people who are in the United States illegally, backing 26 states that argued Obama had overstepped his legal authority.

The White House said on Tuesday that the Department of Justice would appeal the action by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the Texas border with Mexico.

Feb 15, 2015

While Obama talks cyber security, his hotel’s computer system fails

By Jeff Mason

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (Reuters) – It may not have been a hacking, but a computer outage at the hotel where U.S. President Barack Obama resided this week could not have come at a more inconvenient time.

The president flew to San Francisco on Thursday to preach the benefits of better corporate cybersecurity practices. The entire two days he was in town, the computer system at his upscale hotel, The Fairmont, was down.

Feb 14, 2015

Obama urges execs to cooperate more against cyberattacks

, Feb 13 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
asked U.S. executives on Friday for closer cooperation in
defending against hackers after high-profile attacks on
companies like Sony that exposed weaknesses in
America’s cyber defenses.

Speaking at Stanford University, Obama told Silicon Valley
and financial services CEOs that they needed to share more
information more quickly both with each other and with his

    • 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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