Obama calls injured reporter Lara Logan
President Obama Wednesday at the White House.
February 16th, 2011
07:05 PM ET

Obama calls injured reporter Lara Logan

WASHINGTON (CNN) –President Obama called injured CBS correspondent Lara Logan today according to a White House official.  Logan, who had been covering the Egyptian revolution, was separated from her camera crew Friday in Tahrir Square as thousands of Egyptians gathered to celebrate President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.  A statement released Tuesday by CBS News said the correspondent "suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers." 

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called on the Egyptian government to bring the people who attacked Logan to justice.  "During those events, the 18 days, the President made clear that our position was violence was unacceptable," Carney said at the  White House briefing.   "Specifically harassment, detention - violence against journalists was unacceptable, and that the perpetrators of violence needed to be held accountable.  And that remains our position."


Topics: President Obama • The News
Bill Burton to leave the White House
February 16th, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Bill Burton to leave the White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) - On the same day that Jay Carney stepped up to the podium for his first official briefing as the successor to Robert Gibbs as White House press secretary, the man who lost out to Carney for the coveted post officially announced he's bolting the administration on Friday.

Bill Burton, who was the principal deputy press secretary to Gibbs, revealed in an e-mail that he is leaving President Obama's staff at the end of the week to start a new political and strategic consulting firm with Sean Sweeney, an ex-adviser to two former White House chiefs of staff, Rahm Emanuel and Pete Rouse.

"I will never forget the hardworking and decent people I worked with here - and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have been a part of it," Burton wrote in the e-mail to colleagues and members of the White House press corps.

Burton, whose wife Laura is expecting the couple's first child this spring, said he had an epiphany this weekend as he prepared their Washington home for the new baby's arrival.
FULL POST


Topics: Bill Burton • President Obama • The News • White House
February 16th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Obama and Zuckerberg...wonder if he'll 'friend' him

WASHINGTON (CNN) –President Obama will meet with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other business leaders when he visits San Francisco Thursday according to a source familiar with the arrangements.

But at today's first press briefing by new press secretary Jay Carney reporters wanted to know if Zuckerberg and the president might discuss Facebook and other social media's role in the Egyptian revolution and similar unrest in other North African countries. Carney's answer- "the purpose of the discussion is on innovation. You know, obviously, other topics could come up."

The primary focus however will be the administration’s "Win the Future" initiative which the president introduced at his State of the Union address. He compared the need to keep America competitive with the rest of the world in technology, education and innovation to the race for space in the 1950's and 60's. FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News
Briefing Bites
Jay Carney briefs the White House press corps for the first time on Wednesday
February 16th, 2011
03:15 PM ET

Briefing Bites

After a wish of good luck from President Obama, Jay Carney, a former White House correspondent for Time magazine, got his first taste of the other side of the podium on Wednesday as he conducted his first briefing in the James S. Brady briefing room.

While reporters welcomed him to his new role, there was no easing into anything as questions from a wide range of issues – both foreign and domestic in nature – were thrown his way immediately.

Here is a sampling from Wednesday's briefing:
FULL POST


Topics: Briefing Bites • Jay Carney
POTUS phones parents of slain agent
Photo of ICE agent Jaime Zapata who was killed in the line of duty in Mexico on Tuesday
February 16th, 2011
01:51 PM ET

POTUS phones parents of slain agent

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama phoned the parents of a U.S. Immigration agent Wednesday who was shot and killed in Mexico on Tuesday.

“The president has been fully informed on what happened in Mexico and earlier this morning the president called the parents of special agent Jaime Zapata to send his and Michelle’s heartfelt condolences on the loss of their son yesterday,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in his first briefing from the podium. “The president told them that no words could express the sadness of the loss of a loved one. Their son served our country admirably the president said and assured the parents that the entire country was grateful for his selfless service and contribution to our nation.”

Zapata, along with another unnamed agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement encountered an attack from gunmen as the two men were driving between Mexico City, and Monterrey, Mexico on Tuesday. The other agent traveling with Zapata was in stable condition after being shot in the arm and leg, according to a written statement from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News
February 16th, 2011
12:04 PM ET

Weekly Wednesday poll


Topics: Poll
POTUS schedule for February 16, 2011
February 16th, 2011
07:11 AM ET

POTUS schedule for February 16, 2011

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Wednesday marks the first time we'll see the new White House Press Secretary Jay Carney behind the podium. Yesterday at the presser, POTUS said  "I figured that I’d give Jay one more taste of freedom before we lock him in a room with all of you, so I’m here to do a little downfield blocking for him." Carney's first briefing will be at 12:30pm. 

President Obama starts his day with a series of the usual closed press meetings with his senior advisors and regular briefings. This afternoon, he'll have two other closed meetings- one with Secretary Clinton and the other with the Senate democratic leadership.

The only time we'll see Mr. Obama on camera is later this afternoon when he gives remarks in the East Room for America's Great Outdoors Initiative. The president signed a Presidential Memorandum last April in order to promote conservation of America's outdoor spaces through community involvement. He'll update those efforts in his comments this afternoon.

FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The Vault • White House
February 16th, 2011
06:46 AM ET

POTUS's sister's new book

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama's sister is joining the ranks of her brother by becoming a published author. 

"Ladder to the Moon" a children's book by Maya Soetoro-Ng, the president's half-sister, was inspired by her daughter, Suhaila's questions about her grandmother, the president's and Soetoro-Ng's mother, Ann Dunham.

According to the publisher, Candlewick Press, the story is about little Suhaila who longs to meet her grandmother and has her dream come true when she's met with a golden ladder outside her window to join "Grandma Annie" for a magical journey.

The book is due out in mid-April and is targeted to young elementary school students.


Topics: Maya Soetoro-Ng • The Family