intelligence

Democrats Join GOP Warnings On Iran As Sanctions Eased

Obama faces new political fire for Saturday's developments in Iran. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama's legacy became further tied to Tehran on Saturday when Iran released four American prisoners and U.N. inspectors cleared the way for the easing of some painful sanctions on the Middle Eastern power.  

Obama is taking new political fire from Republican presidential hopefuls and lawmakers -- joined by some notable Democrats -- over the nuclear deal his administration and other world powers inked with Iran that made the sanctions lifting possible. Now, he is under new attacks after swapping seven Iranians for Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other Americans.  

Rubio: ISIS Would've Lobbied for USA Freedom Act

Rubio, a presidential candidate, slammed the USA Freedom Act on Monday.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

"If ISIS had lobbyists in Washington, they would have spent millions to support the anti-Intelligence law that was just passed with the help of some Republicans now running for president."  

That's what Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said Monday in a foreign policy speech of the surveillance overhaul that he's long opposed, drawing a contrast with his Republican presidential rivals from the Senate. But the rhetoric against the USA Freedom Act has not led to concern by supporters of his White House bid who also backed — or even advocated for — to have concerns about Rubio or his message.  

Obama and the Mythical Arab Ground Force

Pro-Iraqi government forces wait next to armored vehicles on Tuesday in the al-Aramil area before pushing into Anbar province's capital Ramadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama and Republicans agree on at least one foreign policy issue, calling for Arab countries to do more against the Islamic State. But there are reasons aplenty to see holes in what is a key part of their strategies for defeating the violent extremist group.  

Despite a new Saudi Arabian-led coalition to fight ISIS, the U.S. has gotten little in return from bipartisan calls for its friends in the Middle East to help raise an Arab ground force. And some experts and lawmakers doubt that will dramatically change, further giving the 2016 election the look of a national security referendum. Earnest: Saudi Arabia Human Rights a 'Significant Concern' 

Cruz Remarks Draw Intel Panel Attention

Burr said the committee was reviewing Cruz's comments. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr said his staff was reviewing comments about the Patriot Act's metadata program made by Sen. Ted Cruz during Tuesday's GOP presidential debate.  

Burr said that any time there are specific references to numbers related to intelligence programs it sets off concerns among those who handle classified information, but a review is necessary to determine if there was an open source for the data.  

Donald Trump, the Accidental Populist

Trump responds to a cheering crowd of supporters on Tuesday in Las Vegas. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's brash campaign-trail tactics are an accidental stumble into a brash and unprecedented populist presidential bid rather than the convictions of a true believer, campaign observers say.  

“I think he has stumbled on this populist campaigning style," said GOP political strategist John Feehery. "I don't think he's that ideological."  

Did Ted Cruz Disclose Classified Information?

Cruz and Rubio sparred over possibly classified information at the debate Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Did Sen. Ted Cruz disclose classified information on national television?  

Those without access to the intelligence itself probably won't know for sure, but that seemed to be the implication in the reaction from presidential campaign rival and fellow Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during a portion of Tuesday's CNN debate that focused on their differing views on the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs. Rubio said that in transitioning to a system without bulk collection of phone metadata that existed under the Patriot Act, the intelligence community lost tools to prevent terrorist attacks. That prompted Cruz, a Texas Republican, to snap back.  

Obama Looking for a 'Mulligan' on ISIS Speech

Obama's prime-time speech on the war against terror was largely panned. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

The unofficial theme of President Barack Obama’s week is the fight against the Islamic State, but there are questions whether the public will give him a do-over after his recent prime-time address fell flat.  

Obama made a rare appearance Monday in the Pentagon briefing room, warning leaders of the group “you’re next” after ticking off a list of their predecessors killed by U.S. and coalition air strikes.  

Cruz Strikes Back on Rubio's Patriot Act Attacks

Cruz is hitting back on criticism from his presidential rival Rubio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Facing accusations from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida that he's supported weakening surveillance powers, presidential rival and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas hit back against his rival on Thursday.  

The two Republican presidential candidates have been at each other over their differing views on reauthorization of provisions of the Patriot Act. The provisions in question involve the bulk collection of telephone metadata by the National Security Agency. Rubio is in a contingent led by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., that is blasting people who supported ending the bulk collection, claiming the practice is key to fighting terrorist threats.  

Which Terror List Are Democrats Tying to Gun Control, Exactly?

An aide to Feinstein said her bill has always referred to the terror database. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The White House and congressional Democrats are referring to two very different lists of potential terrorists interchangeably in their push for stricter gun laws, further complicating a politically white-hot issue.  

Since an Islamic State-inspired California couple used several legally purchased firearms to kill 14 people and injure nearly two dozen more, President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats have proposed linking the gun-purchasing process to two separate databases of terrorism suspects.