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Jul 9, 2013

Senior senator questions White House secrecy on Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday said the White House was harming U.S. national security interests by being too secretive about its plans to arm Syrian rebels.

Responding to a Reuters story, Senator Bob Corker said President Barack Obama’s administration has fully briefed only members of the Senate and House of Representatives Intelligence committees on details of its plans to aid to rebels fighting the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Jul 8, 2013

U.S. will not cut off aid to Egypt immediately

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House refused to label the military ouster of Egypt’s president a coup on Monday and said there would be no immediate cut-off in U.S. aid to Egypt in a move that distances Washington from the country’s toppled Muslim Brotherhood leadership.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, peppered with questions about Egypt at a daily briefing, struggled to explain how Washington could avoid calling the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi a coup.

Jul 8, 2013

Key U.S. senator presses for suspension of aid to Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senator John McCain pressed on Monday for the United States to suspend its $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt, saying the removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from office appeared to be a coup led by the military.

McCain said he understood that Mursi’s removal was undertaken with broad public support and could eventually lead to a more representative civilian government.

Jul 4, 2013

When is a coup not a coup? Obama faces tricky call in Egypt

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Egyptian military’s overthrow of elected President Mohamed Mursi left President Barack Obama grappling with a difficult question of diplomacy and language in dealing with the Arab world’s most populous nation: was it a coup?

At stake as Obama and his aides wrestle with that question in the coming days is the $1.5 billion in aid the United States sends to Cairo each year – almost all of it for the military – as well as the president’s views on how best to promote Arab democracy.

Jul 3, 2013

Obama expresses deep concern, doesn’t condemn Egyptian military intervention

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama expressed deep concern about the Egyptian military’s removal of President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday but stopped short of condemning a move that could lead to a cut-off in U.S. aid.

Obama issued a written statement responding to dramatic events in Cairo after huddling with his top national security advisers at the White House. The session took place shortly after the Egyptian military made its move.

Jul 3, 2013

U.S. declines to criticize Egypt’s military as Mursi is ousted

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declined on Wednesday to criticize Egypt’s military, even as it was ousting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from power.

Minutes before Egypt’s army commander announced that Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the U.S. State Department criticized Mursi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army’s action.

Jul 3, 2013

U.S. declines to criticize Egypt’s military as it ousts Mursi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States declined on Wednesday to criticize Egypt’s military, even as it was ousting Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi from power.

Minutes before Egypt’s army commander announced that Mursi, the country’s first democratically elected president, had been deposed and the constitution suspended, the U.S. State Department criticized Mursi, but gave no public signal it was opposed to the army’s action.

Jun 28, 2013

The Snowden affair: Whatever happened to the blame game?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Edward Snowden’s revelations about top-secret U.S. surveillance programs and his globe-trotting flight from prosecution have created an international furor, but there is one place the outcry has been muted: Capitol Hill.

Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate, who have attacked President Barack Obama’s administration over the 2012 Benghazi attacks and the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups, have so far largely held their fire over the Snowden case.

Jun 26, 2013

U.S. senator says Snowden case risks Ecuador trade status

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on Wednesday he would seek to end preferential treatment for Ecuadorean goods if the South American nation offers political asylum to fugitive former spy agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the foreign relations panel, warned in a statement that accepting Snowden “would severely jeopardize” preferential trade access the United States provides to Ecuador under two programs that are up for renewal in Congress.

Jun 25, 2013

Republicans blast Obama over Snowden as case turns partisan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Republican lawmakers criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the Edward Snowden case on Tuesday, calling President Barack Obama weak for failing to persuade Russia and China to return the fugitive intelligence contractor to the United States.

Snowden’s weekend departure from Hong Kong to Moscow angered and frustrated members of Congress, especially after Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Tuesday that Snowden was at a Moscow airport. He ruled out handing him over, dismissing U.S. criticism as “ravings and rubbish.”

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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