President Barack Obama met Pope Francis for the first time on Thursday and invited the pontiff to visit the White House. "If you have a chance, you can come to the White House and you can see the garden," Obama said to the pope as he was explaining the gift in the presence of reporters. The Pope, responding in Spanish, said "Como no?" (For sure). The Catholic Church in the United States wants the pope to visit Philadelphia in 2015 for an international gathering of families. At the end of their private talks, Obama gave the pope a custom-made seed chest featuring a variety of fruit and vegetable seeds used in the White House Garden. The chest is made from leather and reclaimed wood from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore, which is one of the oldest Catholic cathedrals, built in the United States. Apart from the symbolic seeds donated to the pope on Thursday, the White House said seeds would be donated in the … [Read more...] about Obama invites pope to White House
Visiting the white house
A Texas teenager taken away in handcuffs this week for bringing to his Dallas-area school a homemade clock that staff mistook for a bomb won a personal invitation from President Barack Obama on Wednesday to visit the White House. Ahmed Mohamed, 14, was accused of making a hoax bomb, police in Irving said. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said he is Muslim and the case serves as an example of the climate of hate and manufactured fear around the religion. The bespectacled Mohamed is a ninth grader who was led away in handcuffs and a NASA T-shirt from MacArthur High School on Monday for a project he put together to impress his new high school classmates and teachers. On Wednesday, he became an Internet sensation. "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great," a message on Obama's Twitter feed said. The White House invited Mohamed to participate in its astronomy night next … [Read more...] about Obama invites Texas student arrested for homemade clock to White House
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. … [Read more...] about Inside the White House’s decision to free Bergdahl
Barack Obama will make his first visit to the White House as president-elect on Monday for talks with President George W. Bush on crisis issues including Iraq and the economy, officials said. In the first confirmed appointment of the nascent Obama administration meanwhile, sharp-elbowed congressman Rahm Emanuel agreed to serve as White House chief of staff after agonizing over family concerns. The president-elect announced that he would hold his first news conference since Tuesday's historic election win over Republican John McCain on Friday, after meeting his team of high-powered economic advisors. Bush said he had directed there to be "unprecedented" cooperation between the White House and Obama before the president-elect is inaugurated on January 20. "In the coming weeks, we will ask administration officials to brief the Obama team on ongoing policy issues ranging from the financial markets to the war in Iraq," Bush said at the White House. "I look forward to discussing those issues … [Read more...] about Bush, Obama to meet Monday at White House
Myanmar President Thein Sein on Monday becomes the first leader of his country to visit the White House in nearly half a century, in one of the most symbolic US gestures yet to support his reforms. Myanmar President Thein Sein (L) arrives at Yangon International Airport May 17, 2013, before leaving for a visit to the US. Thein Sein on Monday becomes the first leader of his country to visit the White House in nearly half a century, in one of the most symbolic US gestures yet to support his reforms. In a scene that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago, the former general will meet with President Barack Obama and later seek to woo US businesses that see a lucrative market in the former Western pariah nation. Critics say that Obama's invitation was premature and takes pressure off Myanmar to address still-alarming abuses such as recent anti-Muslim violence to which security forces allegedly turned a blind eye. Thein Sein, who took office as a nominal civilian in 2011, … [Read more...] about Myanmar leader heads to White House
It seemed like the beginning of a beautiful friendship -- or at the very least a functional relationship. President Barack Obama attends a DNC Moving America Forward Rally at Cleveland State University in Ohio, October 31, 2010 … [Read more...] about White House to business: Can’t we be friends?
Ivanka Trump said on Wednesday she would work in the White House in an unpaid, informal advisory role to the president as she sought to allay ethics concerns about working there. “I have heard the concerns some have with my advising the president in my personal capacity while voluntarily complying with all ethics rules and I will instead serve as an unpaid employee in the White House office, subject to all of the same rules as other federal employees,” she said in a statement. Questions about possible conflicts of interest arose after it was announced on March 20 that Trump, 35, would become an informal adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, with an office in the West Wing. She has been an increasingly influential adviser to the president and her husband, Jared Kushner, is a powerful Trump adviser. Jared Kushner will testify A Russian bank under Western economic sanctions over Russia's incursion into Ukraine disclosed on Monday that its executives had met Jared … [Read more...] about Ivanka Trump becomes unpaid White House employee
President Barack Obama says he could have been reelected for a third term and that the nation still largely embraces his political vision despite last month's election of Donald Trump to succeed him. The U.S. leader's remarks were made in an interview posted on the podcast "The Axe Files," produced by CNN and the University of Chicago. Obama, who ends his second and final term in office in just over three weeks, said he believes the American public still supports his progressive vision, despite having voted for Trump -- his political opposite. "I am confident in this vision because I'm confident that if I had run again and articulated it, I think I could've mobilized a majority of the American people to rally behind it," Obama tells the interviewer, his former senior adviser David Axelrod, in the most recent of several exit interviews he has been conducting. But President-elect Donald Trump took to a favored platform, Twitter, to reject Obama's supposition. 'No way!': Trump "President … [Read more...] about Obama confident he could have won the White House again
Former secretary of state and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton ended months of speculation with Sunday's announcement of her 2016 presidential bid, the accomplished politician’s second attempt to become the country's first female president. Don Emmert, AFP I Hillary Clinton speaks about women’s empowerment on March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York Clinton, the former secretary of state who lost the 2008 presidential nomination, announced her bid in a video message posted on YouTube and on her new . "Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion," Clinton said as she launched her second run for the presidency. "Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top." Soon after her announcement, Clinton tweeted that she was heading to Iowa, the first state to vote in next year's primaries. "I'm hitting the trail to earn your vote," she said. The White House hopeful will be … [Read more...] about Can Hillary Clinton’s ‘smart power’ take her to the White House?
WASHINGTON – Myanmar President Thein Sein on Monday becomes the first leader of his country to visit the White House in nearly half a century, in one of the most symbolic US gestures yet to support his reforms. The former general will meet with President Barack Obama and later seek to woo US businesses that see a lucrative market in the nation. Speaking at the office of Voice of America, Thein Sein said he would tell Obama that the reform path is stable and call for a complete end to the economic sanctions which the United States has mostly suspended. "Relations have greatly improved thanks to the policies of President Obama," he told a forum at the broadcaster on Sunday. "For our political reforms, we also need more economic development." Obama has made Myanmar a key priority and visited in November. In recent weeks, the United States ended sweeping restrictions on visas and top trade official Demetrios Marantis visited Myanmar to start discussions on economic measures … [Read more...] about In symbolic landmark, Myanmar leader heads to White House