Like a lot of two-term presidents nearing the last bend in the road, Barack Obama seems guided by equal parts conviction and whimsy these days, without much regard for political consequence. The president has expounded publicly on race and political civility, shaken hands with a Cuban Castro, commuted a slew of sentences for drug offenders, plunged the federal government into the debate over transgender Americans in restrooms. Obama clearly isn’t going to declassify the full text of the Senate’s mammoth, landmark report on torture, and maybe that’s the right call — I don’t know.
Newly published documents reveal that “American Sniper” Chris Kyle was not part of the elite group of U.S. fighters to earn one of the nation’s top three combat medals on more than one occasion during the global war on terrorism, as he claimed in his bestselling autobiography. Kyle, a former Navy SEAL who was murdered by a disturbed fellow veteran in 2013, wrote that he had received two Silver Stars and five Bronze Stars. The Silver Star, the third-highest combat decoration, is awarded for gallantry in action.
Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, previously the deputy to Mansur, will take command of the extremist group, according to a Taliban spokesperson. The group released a photo of Akhundzada with the announcement. Just hours after Akhundzada’s leadership was announced, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of a minivan in Kabul, which killed at least 10 people.
Politico obtained an email from Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo to the Republican National Committee asking a researcher to provide information on the Whitewater real estate scandal, and the email came to light when Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded instead to Politico reporter Marc Caputo — no relation.
A report by the State Department inspector general sharply criticizes Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system, concluding that the former secretary of state violated federal rules and ignored warnings from underlings that she was putting her communications at risk of foreign hacking. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the chairman of the committee investigating the 2012 attack on American diplomats in Benghazi, immediately issued a statement saying the findings vindicate his panel’s efforts.
Unconventional #18: Inside the new book that details how GOP delegates could wriggle out of nominating Trump (and more!)
In his new book, a Republican National Committee official claims that his fellow delegates don’t have to nominate Trump in Cleveland. Curly Haugland is on a mission: He wants every one of the 2,472 delegates heading to this summer’s Republican convention to know that the press, the party leaders and even the chairman of the GOP are wrong. According to the longtime RNC committeeman and pool-supply magnate from Bismarck, N.D., Republican delegates are not obligated by the outcome of their state’s primary or caucuses to vote for a certain candidate on the first ballot in Cleveland — despite what almost everyone else seems to believe.
By Emily Stephenson LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police in Anaheim, California, braced for protests at a Donald Trump rally on Wednesday, a day after violence broke out at an event for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee in New Mexico. Hundreds of protesters tried to swarm the convention center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Trump spoke on Tuesday, knocking down barricades and hurling rocks and bottles at police officers dressed in riot gear. Police said they made arrests both outside and inside the rally, where protesters continually interrupted the billionaire New York developer's speech.
By Matt Spetalnick HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama sought on Wednesday to ease growing Asian worries about the raucous election campaign to succeed him which has been dominated by the incendiary rhetoric of mogul Donald Trump, now the Republican Party's nominee. "I think other people sometimes look at our election system and say 'what a mess'," Obama told a townhall meeting with young leaders in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon. Obama made the comments just before ending a three-day trip to Vietnam, whose high point was an announcement that Washington's ban on sales of lethal weapons to the country - a vestige of the Vietnam War - would be completely lifted.