Steve's Feed
Jun 12, 2014

Obama rejects argument that Cantor loss means immigration overhaul is dead

By Steve Holland

WESTON Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama weighed in on the shock election defeat of Republican Eric Cantor on Wednesday, rejecting the argument that the ouster of the House of Representatives’ No. 2 will spell the death knell for immigration reform.

Cantor’s ouster by a Tea Party-backed conservative in his Virginia district on Tuesday has sent political shock waves coursing through Washington, and a leading school of thought is that the move means Obama’s long-sought attempt to rewrite immigration laws is dead.

Jun 11, 2014

White House adopts steps to avoid snafus such as naming of CIA chief in Kabul

By Steve Holland

WESTON Mass. (Reuters) – The White House said on Wednesday it has put corrective measures in place in response to the accidental public outing of the CIA station chief’s name during President Barack Obama’s trip to Afghanistan late last month.

During the trip, personnel at Bagram Air Base gave to White House communications personnel at list of people who were meeting Obama. The White House gave the list to reporters covering the trip and among the names was that of the CIA official.

Jun 9, 2014

Clinton uses book tour to test waters for 2016 White House run

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With a high-profile book tour this week, Hillary Clinton is looking to define herself as a foreign policy pragmatist who is willing to chart a different course from that of President Barack Obama.

The reception Clinton gets is likely to help her decide whether to launch a bid to be elected the first woman U.S. president. Polls show she is the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination should she run.

Jun 5, 2014

Inside the White House’s decision to free Bergdahl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For President Barack Obama, it seemed like the right thing to do, according to officials in his administration: Release five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay prison in return for Bowe Bergdahl, the only known American prisoner of war in Afghanistan.

As a political firestorm engulfs the White House over that deal, Reuters interviews with current and former Obama administration officials involved in the negotiations, along with U.S. lawmakers, reveal how a close-knit circle in the Obama administration pursued the plan despite intense discord in the past over similar proposals.

Jun 2, 2014

At D-Day event, Obama to connect World War Two, Sept. 11 veterans

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will draw a connection between the “Greatest Generation” that fought in World War Two to the “9/11 generation” that emerged after the Sept. 11 attacks when he marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion this week.

“There’s a continuum of patriotism and sacrifice that you see in this generation and that you saw in the ‘Greatest Generation,’” said Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser.

May 28, 2014

Obama fights foreign policy critics, pledges aid to Syria groups

By Steve Holland

WEST POINT N.Y. (Reuters) РPresident Barack Obama fought back against critics of his foreign policy on Wednesday by insisting U.S. reliance on diplomacy over military intervention was working to resolve global crises like Ukraine and Iran, and he pledged to ramp up support for Syria’s opposition.

In a commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York, Obama laid out a broad approach to foreign affairs for the remainder of his presidency that shifts the fight against terrorism from Afghanistan to more diffuse threats elsewhere in the world.

May 28, 2014

Obama to answer foreign policy critics in Military Academy speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will seek to counter unrelenting criticism of his foreign policy on Wednesday in a speech that may open the door to a slightly deeper U.S. involvement in Syria.

In the commencement address to graduates at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., Obama will lay out a broad vision for America’s role, one that is reliant on international diplomacy and avoids over-reaching or unilateral action.

May 28, 2014

Obama plans to end U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan by 2016

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined a plan to withdraw all but 9,800 American troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and pull out the rest by the end of 2016, ending more than a decade of military engagement triggered by the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

The decision means that Obama will leave office in early 2017 having extricated the country from the longest war in U.S. history. He ended Washington’s combat presence in Iraq in 2011.

May 27, 2014

Obama to announce plans to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will announce on Tuesday that he wants to leave 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan after the formal troop drawdown at the end of this year, senior administration officials said.

The number emerged after Obama held talks with U.S. military commanders at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Sunday as the United States winds down a war begun in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

May 26, 2014

Obama, in Afghanistan, hopeful on security pact

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit U.S. forces who are wrapping up a 13-year mission and signaled that he intends to keep a small number of troops in the country for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Cheers erupted among the hundreds of U.S. troops gathered in a Bagram hangar when Obama said that at the end of this year, “America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.”

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
    • More from Steve

    • Follow Steve