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October 1st, 2014
08:04 AM ET

"Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira – October 1, 2014

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!

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September 30th, 2014
12:40 PM ET

Mom of Jailed Marine Speaks Out

The mother of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a U.S. Marine jailed in Mexico, is speaking out before a hearing in Washington Wednesday to discuss his case.

"We’re hoping to build momentum,” Jill Tahmooressi told CNN's Michaela Pereira.

Jill will be testifying at the hearing tomorrow, along with talk-show host Montel Williams.

Andrew Tahmooressi has spent the last six months in a Tecate, Mexico, prison on a weapons charge.

He was arrested at a checkpoint in Tijuana, Mexico, after Mexican customs agents found three firearms in his truck, including a .45-caliber pistol, a pump shotgun and an AR-15 rifle.

The Marine reservist's mother said they have had four hearings in Mexico on his case so far, but she was still awaiting the results of a court report on his mental health at the time of the interview.

The session tomorrow is being called by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), a lawmaker who has visited Andrew in his prison cell and has called for his release.

“At least there are quite a few dots that are connected so I am feeling more optimistic,” Jill Tahmooressi said.

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RELATED: Marine jailed in Mexico 'highly despondent,' mom says

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September 29th, 2014
12:21 PM ET

McCain: ISIS' Rise Like 'Watching a Train Wreck'

Sen. John McCain slammed President Barack Obama on Monday over his comments that U.S. intelligence underestimated ISIS.

McCain countered Obama's assertions made on CBS' "60 Minutes," saying that ISIS' expansion in Syria and Iraq was tied to the President's decision not to leave a residual U.S. military force in Iraq and his refusal to arm moderate Syrian rebels last year despite urgings from his national security advisers.

"We predicted this and watched it," McCain said on CNN's "New Day." "It was like watching a train wreck and warning every step of the way that this was happening."

In the "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday, Obama admitted that a chaotic Syria became "ground zero for jihadists around the world" and that the United States also underestimated the strength of Iraqi security forces.

The Republican senator from Arizona also reserved some criticism for his fellow legislators who went on recess to focus on the November midterm elections without voting on U.S. military action in Syria.

"It's an act of cowardice on the part of Congress," McCain said. "They didn't want to vote before the election."

After adjourning without a vote more than a week earlier, House Speaker John Boehner told ABC News on Sunday that he would be "happy" to call lawmakers back to the House floor for a vote if Obama submits a resolution to Congress.

"I'd bring the Congress back," Boehner said.

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, criticized the President for his "political failure" rather than a failure of the intelligence community, saying Obama needs to lead.

"It is incumbent upon the commander in chief to lay out the strategy that he wants," Royce said. "We have given him those tools."

McCain also called on the Obama administration to take on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, renewing calls for a no-fly zone over Syria and saying the United States should "take out his air force" if the Syrian ruler doesn't keep his planes out of the air.

McCain said Obama has the authority to attack al-Assad's regime without congressional authorization and said not doing so would be "immoral."

"They want to train 5,000 Free Syrian Army people in Saudi Arabia and send them back. But are we going to do anything about Bashar al-Assad's air attacks?" McCain said. "Are you going to ask these young people ... to fight against ISIS but not against Assad. It's not only unworkable, it's immoral."

McCain and fellow hawk Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, first advocated for a no-fly zone in Syria in the summer of 2013 when Obama was considering military action against the Syrian regime, which McCain said is responsible for the death of 192,000 Syrians.

McCain agreed with the Obama administration that the United States is at war with ISIS - a statement that only 40% of Americans agree with, according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday.

"Of course, we are," McCain said.

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September 29th, 2014
06:24 AM ET

"Morning Minute" with Michaela Pereira – September 29, 2014

Need to get today's top stories on-the-go? Watch Michaela Pereira's morning minute now!

 

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