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Jul 19, 2013

Obama says ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Friday jumped into the debate over the acquittal of the man who killed black Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, declaring that Martin “could have been me, 35 years ago,” and urging Americans to understand the pain that African-Americans feel over the case.

Obama came into the White House press briefing room to offer his thoughts on the case involving George Zimmerman, the Florida man who was found not guilty of murder on Saturday after shooting 17-year-old Martin during a struggle.

Jul 17, 2013

U.S. vague on whether Obama will go to Moscow amid Snowden flap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House is deliberately leaving it vague as to whether President Barack Obama will attend talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin if the saga involving former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is unresolved.

Putin has invited Obama for face-to-face talks in Moscow ahead of a St. Petersburg summit in September with leaders of the G20 nations, and the White House announced on June 17 that Obama would both attend the summit and go to the Russian capital.

Jul 13, 2013

Obama urges Republican-led House to pass immigration overhaul

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama stepped into the fray in the U.S. Congress over immigration on Saturday, urging Americans to press the Republican-led House of Representatives to approve a plan that is at risk of stalling.

Obama used his weekly address to make his case for an immigration overhaul that was approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate and would create a pathway to citizenship for as many as 11 million people living illegally in the United States.

Jul 13, 2013

Obama speaks with Putin on Snowden, but no sign of movement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama raised U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday over Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, but there was no sign of a breakthrough on Washington’s demand that Russia expel him.

Obama and Putin spoke by phone in a discussion that White House spokesman Jay Carney said earlier would largely be about Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs. Carney had accused Russia of providing Snowden a “propaganda platform” to air his complaints about the United States.

Jul 12, 2013

Obama to speak with Putin on Friday: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama planned to raise U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and Putin would speak by phone about Snowden later in the day, a conversation that was set up in recent days as Washington seeks to persuade Moscow to send Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Jul 12, 2013

Obama to speak with Putin on Friday, raise Snowden concerns

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama planned to raise U.S. concerns directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday about Moscow’s handling of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing secret surveillance programs.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama and Putin would speak by phone about Snowden later in the day, a conversation that was set up in recent days as Washington seeks to persuade Moscow to send Snowden back to the United States to face espionage charges.

Jul 11, 2013

Obama cautious on his role in Congress immigration debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is treading carefully in deciding how visible a role he should play during perhaps the most delicate stage in the effort to overhaul U.S. immigration laws.

The Democratic president, having fought with conservatives in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives over everything from budget cuts and tax hikes to healthcare reform and environmental policy, is aware they are in no mood to compromise or be lectured.

Jul 9, 2013

Afghan officials skeptical as U.S. mulls complete withdrawal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering pulling out all its troops from Afghanistan next year but is far from making a decision, White House and Pentagon officials said on Tuesday, but Afghan officials expressed skepticism that President Barack Obama would back a complete withdrawal.

Amid tensions between Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the path forward, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that a “zero option” of leaving no U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 is among the policy possibilities under consideration.

Jul 8, 2013

U.S. won’t cut off aid to Egypt immediately: White House

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 his daily briefing, struggled to explain how Washington could avoid calling the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi a coup.

Jul 6, 2013

Obama says U.S. is not aligned with any Egyptian party: White House

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama condemned the violence in Egypt on Saturday and said that the United States was not working with any particular Egyptian political party or group as the country reels from a military takeover.

Obama, spending the weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat, convened a secure conference call with members of his national security team to discuss events in Egypt days after a military ouster of elected President Mohamed Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood-led government.

    • 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."
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