- David Kerley, Matt Hosford, and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players6 days ago
When you think about airport security these days, do you think about long lines and babies being patted down? Or has your view of the Transportation Safety Administration softened? The man who thinks he has changed the “TSA brand” is retiring.
“Our protocols were such that we were literally doing a pat down of a 95-year-old great-grandmother with cancer in a wheelchair, because she might be a terrorist,” TSA Administrator John Pistole told “Power Players.” “So, what we've done is replace some of those policies that, frankly, didn't make any sense, with a policy of saying, ‘Let's try to pre-screen as many people as we can.’”
Pistole said expediting the security process for certain categories of people, such as high-level government employees or those who have undergone screening through TSA pre-check, not only makes the security lines faster; it makes flying safer.
“There's whole groups of people that are benefiting from these changes we've made, which allows us to be more precise and more focused, possibly looking for that one-in-a-billion terrorist in the haystack. That needle in the haystack, that's our mission,” he said.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players9 days ago
The Fine Print
As the wife of a former presidential candidate, Callista Gingrich has some advice for the spouses of 2016 presidential hopefuls.
“Focus on the positive, try not to let the negativity get you down, because you really have to keep your [attention] on those issues that are most important to the future of this country. And some days that's a challenge,” Gingrich said. “But just be open-minded and appreciate the moment.”
Gingrich, who is out with a new children’s book, “From Sea to Shining Sea,” said that part of staying positive means steering clear of reading the news if you’re the subject of the report. “Probably avoid that,” she told “The Fine Print” in a joint interview with her husband, Newt Gingrich.
- Jonathan Karl, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players11 days ago
Donald Trump is coming to Pennsylvania Avenue, and he’s set to arrive in 2016.
Washington’s iconic Old Post Office building, located just five blocks away from the White House, is the latest addition to Trump’s expansive real estate empire.
“We're looking to do something really special,” Trump told “Politics Confidential” during an exclusive sneak peek as the building undergoes a $200 million transformation from a largely vacant old post office to a luxury Trump International Hotel . When complete, it will boast a 5,000-square-foot presidential suite and a luxury ballroom that can seat up to 1,000 people.
“Washington has nothing like what we're going to build; it'll be open in July 2016, if not sooner, so in time for your wonderful ride down Pennsylvania Avenue,” he said in reference to the next presidential inaugural parade set for January of 2017.
- Rick Klein, Jon Ward, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players12 days ago
Former Republican presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter is not himself a libertarian, but the former Michigan congressman predicts an approaching libertarian takeover of the Grand Old Party.
At least, that’s the premise of his new book, "Liberty Risen: The Ultimate Triumph of Libertarian-Republicans."
“The reality is you want to conserve what's best but you want to go forward, you want to go forward from the industrial era to the Internet age,” McCotter told “Top Line” in a recent interview. “Government has to be reorganized for the future.”
Though he sees the march toward libertarianism as inevitable with the rise of the millennial generation, which he sees as forcing change within the party, he qualifies that this trend is gradual and has been going on for quite some time.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players16 days ago
The Fine Print
Michele Bachmann may have cast her final vote in Congress on Thursday, but she is already gearing up for her next political venture.
In one of her last interviews as a member of Congress, the Minnesota Republican told “The Fine Print” that she plans to be back up on the political stage come 2016.
“I will be involved in 2016 one way or another,” Bachmann said. “I'm not going to go home and put a sock in my mouth; I'm going to continue to be involved in the national stage.”
And though Bachmann said she’s not running for president “right now,” she’s leaving the door open.
“I am not putting together any team, and I'm not working towards that,” she said. “I'm going to be a part of this debate in one way or another, and I'm going to be helping whoever the people choose to be the nominee.”
When Bachmann first arrived in Congress in 2007, she was a political no-name. But by 2010, she had become arguably one of the most well-known conservative Republicans in Congress. She jumped into the 2012 presidential race, winning the Iowa straw poll before her candidacy quickly faltered.
- Devin Dwyer, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players17 days ago
Turns out a taxman’s house is the oldest building still standing on the National Mall.
The 178-year-old stone structure – known as the Lockkeeper’s House – sits at one of the busiest intersections in Washington, D.C. It’s been dilapidated for decades, but is about to get a multi-million dollar makeover.
“Constitution Avenue was actually the Washington City Canal…food was dropped off here, goods were dropped off here, and the lockkeeper collected the taxes and took notes and took records about what came in and out of this city at this wharf,” Caroline Cunningham, the president of the Trust for the National Mall, said in an interview outside the house, which was once the gateway to commerce in the nation’s capital.
More recently it served as a jail, storage hut and even a public restroom before being shuttered entirely in the 1970s. “A place for dead birds,” said Cunningham. “It’s deeply sad that it’s been closed for such a long time.”
“Power Players” got a rare peak inside the decrepit Lockkeeper’s House, which is nestled between the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial.
- Jeff Zeleny, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players19 days ago
The Fine Print
For every member of Congress who lost his or her job in the midterm elections, there are multiple Capitol Hill staffers also out of work.
And that’s where Tom Manatos comes in.
The former Democratic aide learned first-hand how hard it can be to find work after a new party comes to power. He now makes it his business to help other unemployed workers get back on their feet. His web-based D.C. jobs board, Tom Manatos Jobs, is known among Washington's ambitious as the place to find jobs in the halls of power. In the last month alone, since the midterm elections, Manatos has gained nearly 100 new clients freshly out of work.
“Especially when, at the end of a campaign cycle, people have lost their job, I think you have a camp of people who are proactively looking before just in case their boss lost, and a camp of people who are so loyal to their boss that they didn't even want to start looking,” Manatos told “The Fine Print.” “And you've got to help these people walk through the next steps in their career. It's where do you want to be in two to five years and what next job is going to get you there.”
- Bazi Kanani, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players23 days ago
When Matthew VanDyke set out on a “crash course in manhood” in 2007 – a motorcycle journey that would take him through North Africa and the Middle East – the 27-year-old with obsessive-compulsive disorder was at first afraid to leave his hotel room in Morocco. Four years later, he would become a foreign fighter, taking up arms with Libyan rebels to overthrow then-dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
A new documentary, “Point and Shoot,” tells VanDyke’s story of transformation through footage he shot himself over his years-long adventure.
VanDyke’s odyssey would take him through Iraq, where he spent time embedded with U.S. troops as a war correspondent for a Baltimore-area newspaper. While there, VanDyke said he began to feel that he was “on the wrong side of the camera.”
“I felt that I wanted to affect events, not just document events,” VanDyke said. “I felt not at place necessarily being behind the camera and just filming. Part of me wanted to be with them. When the mission is actually as one of them doing something I felt would have more of a tangible impact.”
- Bazi Kanani, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players26 days ago
What has three legs, a Purple Heart, and fur all over?
Meet German Shepard mix Lucca, a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient (albeit unofficial) credited as a war hero for her work sniffing out IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lucca, who lost a front paw while serving on the front lines, is the subject of new book “Top Dog: The Story of Marine Hero Lucca.” And along with her first handler and current owner, Gunnery Sgt. Chris Willingham, this furry war hero recently sat down for an interview with “Power Players.”
Willingham is part of a special unit of dog handlers within the Marine Corps and was first assigned to be Lucca’s handler when she was still a young, untrained dog. The two quickly became a pair and trained together for a year before being deployed to Iraq, where Lucca quickly put her sniffing skills into action.
- Rick Klein, Richard Coolidge and Jordyn Phelps at Power Players1 mth ago
Here’s a Thanksgiving pop quiz: Who was the nation’s first president?
If you answered George Washington, pass the gravy and get ready for a history lesson. It was actually John Hanson, a founding father whose name is largely forgotten in the pages of American history – until now.
“They were both first presidents. We've had two governments,” said Peter Michael, a descendent of Hanson’s who is working to revive his memory as the first president of the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation, the precursor to the Constitution.
“George Washington was very famously the first president of our second government under the Constitution,” Michael told “Top Line” during a recent interview outside a replica of Hanson’s historic home in Frederick, Maryland. “But for eight years before the birth of that second government, we had an original government chartered under the Articles of Confederation. It had its presidents, the first of whom was John Hanson."