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June 6th, 2013
08:58 AM ET

Fmr. FBI Assistant Director Tom Fuentes: Court order giving NSA access to Verizon phone records 'will raise questions'

The United States government has reportedly obtained a top secret court order requiring Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of Americans to the National Security Agency on a daily basis. CNN Law Enforcement Analyst Tom Fuentes weighs in on the gravity of the order.

“It's a blanket order so that you could go back at another time and look specifically at a particular phone number or group of phone numbers to see if it appears that there’s some type of a group connection,” Fuentes says. “And it will raise questions as to whether the government should have that kind of blanket coverage ahead of time without suspicion about a particular number.”

The former FBI Assistant Director adds that it would be helpful to go back to Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s phone records “and look at who did he call, who called him, even locally within the United States, and go back through a certain period of time.”

June 6th, 2013
08:58 AM ET

NSA access to Verizon records, Rice named new national security advisor to president – Candy Crowley weighs in

The White House is reacting to a report claiming the government has obtained a top secret court order making Verizon turn over the telephone records for millions of Americans.

This comes just as President Obama has selected embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be his new national security advisor, replacing the outgoing Tom Donilon.

CNN Chief Political Correspondent and host of “State of the Union” Candy Crowley weighs in on the developments on “Starting Point” this morning.

May 20th, 2013
01:13 PM ET

CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King weighs in on White House's response to current scandals

Three scandals have the White House playing defense. CNN’s John King is on 'Starting Point' talking with John Berman about how the White House is responding to the IRS investigation, Benghazi talking points, and AP reporters’ hacked phone records.

Filed under: Politics • White House
April 10th, 2013
09:35 AM ET

VIDEO: Booker T. Jones reflects on rocking the White House with Memphis soul

Booker T. Jones, co-founder, Booker T. & the MG's, on performing at Tuesday's "White House: Memphis Soul" event.

Filed under: Music • White House
December 28th, 2012
08:47 AM ET

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) talks fiscal cliff standoff: 'problem...can't be shifted onto the middle class'

The countdown continues with just four days to go. Not just to New Years Day, but to the day the country falls over the fiscal cliff—unless leaders in Washington can reach a deal to avoid it. Key lawmakers will attempt to do that in a high-stakes meeting later today at the White House. President Obama is meeting with the four congressional leaders—Boehner, Pelosi, Reid and McConnell—at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. But the rhetoric is only getting more angry and disconnected in these final moments. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat from Michigan, joins “Starting Point” with more live from D.C.

Sen. Stabenow believes that there is more bipartisan talk in the Senate than in the House. “We're having a lot of very important, very good, positive conversations between Democrats and Republicans, I believe the president does. The tough part is in the House, where they have taken this very extreme position about protecting the wealthiest Americans at all costs, even holding middle class families hostage to do it. And that really isn't rhetoric,” Sen. Stabenow says. “That’s what we're seeing over and over again. We have one bottom line, and that is when we get all done, we gotta solve the problem and can't be shifted onto the middle class one more time. Other than that, we want to sit down and continue to solve it.”

December 24th, 2012
08:43 AM ET

"Christmas With The First Ladies" Author Coleen Christian Burke: Christmas decorating at the White House is 'an enormous undertaking'

Celebrating Christmas at the White House is more than about lighting the national Christmas tree, a longstanding tradition. Each First Lady who comes to the White House brings with her a different style and set of traditions during the holidays. But they do get some help.

Coleen Christian Burke spent a year researching secrets of some of the most famous First Ladies when it comes to decorating the White House. Burke was even part of the 2008 White House decorating team, a long-time dream come true for her. The experience inspired her to write "Christmas With The First Ladies: The White House Decorating Tradition From Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama". She comes to “Starting Point” this morning to share some rare photos and talk about what goes into decorating the White House for the holidays.

“It’s an enormous undertaking,” Burke says about prepping and planning the White House Christmas. “And I like to say the First Lady is the Commander-in-Chief of Christmas. It’s her vision; we execute it, but it’s done with almost military precision.”

Burke explains that planning the White House Christmas theme begins in February or March of the year before. “And then a lot of work actually happens off-site where you’re pre-building and assembling everything,” she says. “Once the decorations are all put together, they are moved to the White House and there’s an enormous two-day install that goes on.” She describes it “like moving day at the White House.”

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Filed under: Christmas • Holiday • White House