March 18th, 2010
10:57 AM ET

Video: Health care kickbacks?

Ed Henry | BIO
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Filed under: Ed Henry • Health Care • Raw Politics
March 17th, 2010
11:40 AM ET

Video: Could Obama's plan backfire?

Ed Henry | BIO
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Henry • Health Care • Raw Politics
March 11th, 2010
11:21 AM ET
February 2nd, 2010
11:19 PM ET

WH reveals secret cooperation with Abdulmutallab's family

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/08/terror.suspect.visa/story.abdulmutallab.jpg.jpg caption="The family of Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab has been secretly cooperating with the White House." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry | BIO
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Senior Obama administration officials revealed late Monday they've secretly gained the cooperation of family members of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in order to help get the alleged Christmas Day airline bomber to provide actionable intelligence that could help prevent future terror attempts on U.S. soil.

The revelation is part of an aggressive attempt by the White House to push back on Republican claims the Obama administration mishandled the terror investigation by reading Abdulmutallab his Miranda rights shortly after he began cooperating with investigators. After giving the U.S. some information in the early stages of the probe AbdulMutallab stopped talking about his attempt to blow up an airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear.

The senior administration officials disclosed that on January 1st, just days after the attempted terror attack, two FBI agents secretly flew to Lagos, Nigeria, to meet with officials of the CIA and the State Department and begin an extensive investigation to try and work with AbdulMutallab's family to gain his cooperation. The U.S. officials later traveled to Nigeria's capital city, Abuja, and eventually gained the trust of two unidentified relatives of the suspect.

Filed under: 360º Follow • Ed Henry • Terrorism
January 27th, 2010
01:05 PM ET

Administration: Obama to boost education funding by $4 billion

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/27/obama.education/story.obama.speaks.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama is expected to ask for an increase in federal education spending during Wednesday's State of the Union." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry | BIO
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

Despite a heavy focus on fiscal discipline in his first State of the Union address, President Obama will announce an increase of up to $4 billion in federal education spending, according to senior administration officials familiar with the speech.

A big chunk of that boost will be an increase of $1.35 billion for Obama's signature "Race to the Top" grant program, aimed at sparking innovation in schools across the country, the officials said.

An additional $1 billion will be targeted at overhauling the No Child Left Behind Act, former President George W. Bush's signature program, which has come under criticism from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.

The budget plan will "improve outcomes for students at every point along the educational pipeline," and will include attempts to squeeze out some savings, one of the senior administration officials said.

Keep reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Henry • Education
January 21st, 2010
05:46 PM ET

Obama to focus hard on economy after Democratic loss

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/21/obama.economy/t1larg.obamabank.gi.jpg caption="President Obama delivers remarks on financial reform Thursday." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

President Obama already was planning to put a heavy focus on jobs and the economy in next week's State of the Union address, but his top aides are signaling that pivot is going to be even sharper in the wake of the Democrats' stunning election defeat in Massachusetts.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs noted the president has been dealing with the financial crisis long before Tuesday's Senate race, but he acknowledged the administration could have done a better job of conveying that message to the public and will now redouble its efforts.

"The president works each and every day on making our economy stronger and putting us in a position to where we're creating jobs, businesses are hiring again," Gibbs said. "I can certainly assure the American people that that is the chief focus of the president of the United States."

That message, however, was at least partially obscured by Obama's heavy focus on overhauling health care for much of his first year.

Keep Reading...

Filed under: Barack Obama • Ed Henry • Haiti
January 20th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Obama's first year: Strong foundation or house of cards?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/13/obama.bank.fees/smlvid.obama.gi.jpg width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

He was talking about health care, but President Obama could have just as easily been summing up his entire first year when he made some blunt comments in a closed-door meeting with House Democrats last week.

Democratic sources who were in the room say Obama, pressed by liberals angry about the reform package getting watered down, decided to quote Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who said recently: "What we're building here is not a mansion, it's a starter home. It's a starter home, but it's got a great foundation for expanding health care coverage to 31 million Americans."

Obama's point was that he believes the health bill - if it can pass (and that's in real doubt now) - would be a dramatic step forward but is just the first draft. He hopes to come back later in his presidency to pass a second reform package that finishes the job.

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Filed under: Ed Henry • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
January 7th, 2010
02:27 PM ET

Obama to lay out 'warts' and say 'I'm responsible'

Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/07/art.obama01062.gi.jpg caption="President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration makes when he releases a new report on the December 25 terror incident."]

President Obama will take direct responsibility for administration mistakes when he releases a new report on the Dec. 25 terror incident, but he is not planning to fire anyone for the foul-up, according to a senior administration official familiar with the president's remarks.

"He will say, 'Here are the warts, I'm responsible," said the senior administration official, who requested anonymity because aides were not authorized to discuss the remarks before they're delivered by the president.

The official said President Obama believes that previous administrations would "play hide the ball" and not come clean with the American people when things wrong so he wants to be direct about what needs to be fixed, but the official said the president does not want this process to devolve into finger-pointing.

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November 13th, 2009
11:30 AM ET

Officials: Top White House lawyer to be pushed out

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/11/13/obama.staff.shakeup/story.gregcraig.gi.jpg caption="White House Counsel Greg Craig is reportedly leaving his post over his handling of plans to close Guantanamo Bay." width=300 height=169]

Ed Henry
CNN White House Correspondent

In the first major shakeup among President Obama's senior staff, White House Counsel Greg Craig announced his resignation Friday.

The resignation will take effect on January 3, according to a letter Craig sent to Obama.

Craig is being pushed out in favor of veteran Democratic lawyer Bob Bauer because of a dispute over plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, CNN learned Thursday.

"I want to tell you how proud I am of all that your legal team has accomplished on your behalf," Craig wrote in the letter. "It has been a busy first year (for the administration), and I feel very lucky to have been part of it."

Obama, in a written statement, called Craig a "close friend and trusted adviser who tackled many tough challenges."

Keep Reading...

November 4th, 2009
12:26 PM ET

Gibbs dismisses losses as "local elections"

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/13/obama.candidate.president/art.obamaflash.gi.jpg caption="White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs believes Democratic electoral defeats in New Jersey and Virginia say nothing about President Obama's standing with the American people." ]

Ed Henry| BIO
CNN Senior White House Correspondent

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed Democratic electoral defeats in New Jersey and Virginia as "two very local elections" that say nothing about President Obama's standing with the American people right now.

"It's hard to pick national trends out of local elections," Gibbs told reporters at a Wednesday briefing with reporters just hours after incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine was knocked out despite Obama's two appearances in New Jersey on Sunday. Obama previously campaigned for Creigh Deeds, the Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, who also lost his bid.


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