July 4th, 2014
11:33 AM ET

McDaniel: 'Better We Learn to Stand and Fight'

The tea party-backed challenger who narrowly lost a Republican primary runoff in Mississippi to longtime Sen. Thad Cochran says he plans to file a legal challenge contesting those results "any day now."

State Sen. Chris McDaniel said Friday on CNN's "New Day" that "the integrity of the process matters. We believe on that night of June 24 there were thousands of irregularities and we've already found thousands of irregularities in the process."

McDaniel also defended his campaign's offer – announced Thursday – of rewards of $1,000 each for individuals providing "evidence leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in voter fraud."

And McDaniel said "we condemn any racist comments what so ever," when asked by CNN anchor Kate Bolduan about a bizarre Cochran campaign conference call on Wednesday that included borderline racist comments by an unidentified caller who appeared to be a supporter of the challenger's campaign.

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March 10th, 2014
09:51 AM ET

CNN Poll: 59% Approve of Sanctions Against Russia

Slightly more Americans approve than disapprove of how President Barack Obama has so far handled the crisis in Ukraine, but that has not affected the President's overall job approval rating, according to a new national poll.

The CNN/ORC International survey released Monday also indicates that economic sanctions against Russia appears to be the only option that a majority of Americans support that's available to the U.S. to try and end the crisis in the Ukraine.

Forty-eight percent of people questioned in the poll say they approve of how the President has so far handled the Ukraine crisis, with 43% giving Obama a thumbs down and 9% unsure.

According to the poll, 43% of the public approves of how Obama is handling his overall job in the White House and 53% disapproves. Obama's approval/disapproval rating stood at 45%-50% a month ago. The President's current approval rating is slightly higher than where it stood in November and December, when his numbers hovered at or near all-time lows in CNN polling (41%) and many other national surveys.

Nearly six in 10 of those questioned say they support economic sanctions against Moscow by the U.S. and its allies in an attempt to force Russia to remove its forces from Ukraine's autonomous Crimean peninsula, and try to prevent Russia from sending forces to other parts of Ukraine. Nearly four in 10 oppose economic sanctions. Last week the Obama administration laid the groundwork for sanctions against Russia.

"All demographic groups support economic sanctions except the youngest Americans.  More than six in 10 older Americans support sanctions, but 55% of Americans under the age of 35 oppose them," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "It's possible that generation gap is due to older Americans' memories of the Soviet Union as the chief threat to the U.S.; many younger Americans may have no memory at all of the Cold War and most of those under the age of 25 were not even born when the Soviet Union collapsed."

By a 52%-46% margin, Americans are against economic aid to Ukraine. Nearly six in 10 say no to canceling the G-8 summit meeting between the leaders of Russia, the U.S., and its Western allies. Just over three-quarters oppose sending weapons and other military supplies to Kiev.

"And there's a big 'no' to the U.S. launching either air strikes against Russian troops in the Ukraine or to sending U.S. ground troops to the Ukraine," Holland added. "Only one in eight support sending U.S. ground troops to Ukraine – a pretty good indication that the public would prefer a measured response to a forceful one."

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from Friday through Sunday, with 801 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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January 17th, 2014
12:07 PM ET

Former Prosecutor Points to Another Case Against Christie Administration

As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration deals with an unfolding political scandal involving top aides, another case involving accusations of cronyism has attracted new attention.

Bennett Barlyn, a former New Jersey assistant prosecutor, alleges he and other prosecutors were fired in 2010 for going after a local sheriff who happened to be close to Christie and the lieutenant governor.

Barlyn said the Hunterdon County sheriff and her staff were indicted on 43 counts involving corruption and abuse of power.

But then New Jersey's attorney general "swooped in and basically killed the case abruptly," Barlyn said on CNN's "New Day."


Then-Attorney General Paula Dow had claimed one of the prosecutors mispresented the case to the grand jury and had errors in his presentation, Barlyn said. All 43 counts were dismissed.

"There's no way that serious errors could have justified the dismissal of every count in the indictment," he argued. "In New Jersey, case law is very clear. It takes a tremendous amount of error to justify the dismissal of an indictment. It's very different than a jury trial."


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January 9th, 2014
10:16 AM ET

White House: Obama Believes in Afghanistan Mission

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' criticism of his former boss President Barack Obama on Afghanistan doesn't align with the commander-in-chief's views, the White House said Wednesday.

In his memoir, which arrived at the White House on Tuesday evening, Gates states Obama "doesn't believe in his own strategy" in Afghanistan.

"For him, it's all about getting out," the former defense chief writes.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, argued Obama had helped "refocus" troops and commanders on the United States' mission in the country.

"The President devised the mission and has great faith in the troops who carry out the mission and in the mission itself, that it's the right mission to pursue in Afghanistan," Carney said in response to a question from CNN Senior White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar. "I think that's been borne out. That doesn't mean it's not a challenge. Of course it is."

Critics have faulted the timing of the memoir's release, though sources familiar with Gates' thinking say he stands by the book and his choice to publish the memoir next week.

He argued the book should be taken in full context, noting a considerable amount of praise for Obama, in addition to the tough criticisms.

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