Blog Posts by Olivier Knox

  • Obama phones Aurora police chief, vows ‘full support’ of FBI

    President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with senior advisors in the Oval Office to discuss the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Kathryn Ruemmler, Counsel to the President, and FBI Director Robert Mueller. (Pete Souza/White House)

    President Barack Obama telephoned Aurora, Colorado Police Chief Dan Oates in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting there and pledged the "full support" of the FBI and other federal agencies in dealing with the suspected gunman's booby-trapped apartment.

    Obama told Oates that he and First Lady Michelle Obama sent their "thoughts and prayers" to the people of Aurora "particularly the local first responders who have performed well under difficult and stressful circumstances," the White House said in a statement.

    "The President also told Chief Oates that he should expect the full support of the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies moving forward, including any resources they need to handle the ongoing situation at the suspect's apartment," according to the statement.

    Obama, who cut short a planned day-long reelection campaign swing through Florida, met with top aides at the White House upon his return, including Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director Robert Mueller, Homeland

    Read More »from Obama phones Aurora police chief, vows ‘full support’ of FBI
  • George W. Bush skipping Republican convention

    Former President George W. Bush at a baseball game in Arlington, Texas. (LM Otero/AP)

    Add former president George W. Bush to the list of no-shows at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. (The Democrats have their own issues on the convention-skipping front).

    Bush, who has mostly kept out of sight since leaving office in January 2009, was "grateful" for an invitation to the gathering that will formally nominate Mitt Romney. "But in keeping with his desire to stay off the political stage at this point in the post-presidency, he respectfully declined the invitation," spokesman Freddy Ford said in a statement.

    "He supports Governor Romney and wants him to succeed.  President Bush is confident that Mitt Romney will be a great President," Ford said.

    Read More »from George W. Bush skipping Republican convention
  • Pentagon: Alleged Colorado shooter never served in armed forces

    The Defense Department confirmed that one sailor and two airmen were injured in the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., shortly after midnight on Friday and said that alleged gunman James Holmes never served in the military.

    "The Department of Defense is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic incident at the Aurora Mall Movie Theater in Aurora, Colo. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families of those impacted by this event," the Pentagon said in a statement.

    "One sailor was injured and one, known to have been at the theatre that evening, is currently unaccounted for. Two airmen were injured in the incident. The Navy and the Air Force are working with the families of these service members to ensure they have the care and attention they need," it said.

    "We can also confirm that the alleged gunman in this incident, James Holmes, is not a past or current member of any branch or component of the U.S. Armed Forces."

    Read More »from Pentagon: Alleged Colorado shooter never served in armed forces
  • Obama orders flags at half-staff after Colorado shooting

    President Barack Obama ordered the American flag flown at half-staff over the White House and all public buildings and grounds, as well as embassies and military bases overseas and naval vessels, to honor the victims of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., on Friday.

    In a proclamation released by the White House, Obama said he meant the gesture to be "a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless violence" in Aurora. The flags will fly at half-staff until sunset on July 25.

  • Obama leads moment of silence for Colorado victims

    President Barack Obama pauses during a moment of silence for the victims of the Aurora, Colo., shooting. (Susan Walsh/AP)

    President Barack Obama called Friday for a truce in the political war that is the 2012 campaign as he led an emotional silent tribute to the victims of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., and urged a country often divided to unite "as one American family."

    "The people we lost in Aurora loved and they were loved," he told a crowd gathered in Fort Myers, Fla., for a boisterous campaign rally now refashioned as a somber moment of national mourning. "They were mothers and fathers, they were husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They had hopes for the future. And they had dreams that were not yet fulfilled."

    Obama thanked the crowd for supporting him against Mitt Romney, but declared: "There are going to be other days for politics."

    "This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection," he said. "So what I'd ask everybody to do, I'd like us to pause in a moment of silence for the victims of this terrible tragedy, for the people who knew them and loved them, for those who are still struggling to recover, and for all the victims of less publicized acts of violence that plague our communities every single day."

    The heavy 25-second silence was broken only by the cry of a child in the audience.

    Read More »from Obama leads moment of silence for Colorado victims
  • Obama campaign pulls ads after Colorado shooting

    President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is pulling down all of its ads against Mitt Romney in Colorado in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., officials say. Campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki had earlier said that only Obama's attack ads would go dark.

    "We have asked affiliates in Colorado to pull down all of our advertising for the time being.  Not just contrast spots.  It takes time for stations to be able to do this, but we are making every effort," a campaign official told reporters traveling with Obama back to Washington. The official was quoted in a pool report from the Washington Post's David Nakamura.

    Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have canceled planned campaign appearances in response to the shooting.

    UPDATE 2:11 p.m.: This post has been updated to reflect that all of the Obama campaign ads are being taken down in Colorado, not just the attack ads.

    Read More »from Obama campaign pulls ads after Colorado shooting
  • White House: No apparent ties between Colorado shooting and terrorism

    The White House said Friday that it had no evidence of ties between the tragic mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and organized terrorism.

    "This is a local law enforcement investigation at this point, and what we can say is that we do not believe at this point that there is an apparent nexus to terrorism," press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.

    Obama, who was cutting short a campaign swing through Florida in response to the shooting, received his first briefing on the incident from homeland security adviser John Brennan at 5:26 a.m. A few hours later, he heard from FBI Director Robert Mueller, White House chief of staff Jack Lew, and Brennan.

    "The president was told that, at approximately 12:30 a.m. Mountain time, or 2:30 a.m. Eastern time, a male suspect entered a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and opened fire on people watching the midnight premiere of the movie 'The Dark Knight Rises,'" said Carney.

    Read More »from White House: No apparent ties between Colorado shooting and terrorism
  • Boehner: America stands with Colorado in face of ‘incomprehensible evil’

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner vowed Friday in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting in Colorado that America would pull together in the face of "incomprehensible evil."

    "I join President Obama, and every American, in sending my thoughts and prayers to the victims of this awful tragedy," Boehner said in a statement emailed to reporters. "We will all stand with them, as one nation, in the days ahead."

    "Confronted with incomprehensible evil, Americans pull together and embrace our national family more tightly," Boehner said.

  • Obama scraps Florida campaign stop after Colorado shooting

    President Barack Obama will address the tragic mass shooting in Colorado during remarks to supporters in Fort Myers, Fla., but has canceled the rest of his political swing in the Sunshine State, his re-election campaign announced Friday morning.

    "President Obama will address the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado in remarks in Ft. Myers, Florida this morning. Then he will return to the White House. In light of the tragedy in Colorado, the event in Winter Park, Florida will be cancelled," his campaign press office announced.

    Obama is scheduled to speak in Fort Myers at 11:20 a.m.

  • Obama backs Olympics moment of silence for Israelis killed at Munich games

    President Barack Obama strongly supports holding a formal moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in tribute to 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by Palestinian extremists at the 1972 games in Munich, the White House said Thursday.

    "We absolutely support the campaign for a moment of silence at the Olympics to honor the Israeli athletes killed in Munich," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told Yahoo News by email.

    The son of slain Israeli wrestling coach Moni Weinberg, Guri Weinberg, welcomed the news on Twitter. "I'm literally crying right now. Thank you, President Obama," he said.

    The International Olympic Committee has rejected the proposal, and said that the victims—killed by extremists of the Palestinian "Black September" group—would be honored at a separate ceremony. In years past, the IOC has said that the Games are no place for what might be seen as a political statement. But supporters of the homage have not given up, and a global campaign has been under way to convince the IOC to reverse its decision. The opening ceremonies begin July 27.

    The Senate unanimously approved a resolution on June 25 calling on the IOC to hold such a tribute. A similar measure sailed unopposed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee in early June, but it was not clear on Thursday whether the full House would vote on the measure before the games begin.

    "I hope this is the final impetus to get the International Olympic Committee to agree that a minute should be set aside at the Opening Ceremonies next Friday to honor those murdered Olympians," said Democratic Representative Eliot Engel.

    A spokeswoman for Mitt Romney, Andrea Saul, said the Republican standard-bearer had taken no public stance on the issue. When Romney ran the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials marked the 30th anniversary of the massacre (and, separately, American athletes carried a tattered American flag from the World Trade Center). But there was no moment of silence for the victims of Munich, despite entreaties from relatives of the victims. (The Salt Lake City games did, however, feature an elaborate dance number in memory of the late Florence Griffith-Joyner.)

    NBC sportscaster Bob Costas told The Hollywood Reporter this week that he will stage his own personal protest of the IOC decision.

    "I intend to note that the IOC denied the request," he tells THR. "Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here's a minute of silence right now."

    Read More »from Obama backs Olympics moment of silence for Israelis killed at Munich games

Pagination

(1,326 Stories)