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Perry Stein

Perry is a News Writer for Talking Points Memo based in Washington D.C. Prior to TPM, she was a reporter-research at The New Republic and worked for her hometown paper, The Miami Herald. Perry can be reached at perry@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Perry

The State Department extended the closure of a number of embassies and consulates in the Middle East beyond Sunday.

"This is not an indication of a new threat stream, merely an indication of our commitment to exercise caution and take appropriate steps to protect our employees including local employees and visitors to our facilities," State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement Sunday afternoon.

The embassies and consulates were originally closed after the U.S. intercepted a message between senior al Qaeda members that caused concern.

Posts in Abu Dhabi, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Dhahran, Jeddah, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Manama, Muscat, Sanaa, Tripoli, Antanarivo, Bujumbura, Djibouti, Khartoum, Kigali, and Port Louis are instructed to to remain closed Monday through Saturday.

Dhaka, Algiers, Nouakchott, Kabul, Herat, Mazar el Sharif, Baghdad, Basrah and Erbil were shuttered Sunday, but have been authorized to reopen as normal on Monday.

Matt Bevin, the Tea-Partier challenging incumbent Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in the Republican primary, called on the five-term senator to "be a man" and "run on his record."

"I beg him to tell the people of Kentucky anything that he promises to do in the next six years, that he has been somehow unable to get done in the last 30 years," Bevin said Saturday at the Fancy Farm event in Kentucky in an interview with Now This News. "Or one thing in the last 30 years that he is proud enough of that he can actually run on that, as oppose to smearing me and Alison and Ed or anyone else in the race"

Watch the interview below:

 

2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said Sunday that he is open to the possibility of a 2016 presidential bid. 

"I’m open to looking at a presidential race in 2016," he said on NBC's "Meet The Press." "But we got a little ways, we got elections in 2014."

Watch the exchange below at the 11:42 mark:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), the top ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Sunday the "chatter" that led to the closure of 21 U.S. embassies and consulates in the Muslim world was "very reminiscent of what we saw pre-9/11."

"[It is] the most serious threat I've seen in a number of years," Chambliss said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The Obama administration ordered the closings after U.S. intelligence intercepted conversations between terrorist organizations, which Chambliss said was only possible because of the controversial NSA program that allows the government to listen into phone calls, emails and 

 

 

 

Gen. Martin Dempsey, joint chiefs of staff chairman, said in an interview aired Sunday that it would not surprise him if the Russians or Chinese have obtained access to the classified information that NSA leaker Edward Snowden swiped while a government contractor. 

"No, it wouldn't surprise me," Dempsey said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" with Martha Raddatz. 

"[Snowden] has caused us some considerable damage to our intelligence architecture," Dempsey said. "Our adversaries are changing the way that they communicate. My job is to protect the country. So I am very concerned about this."

 

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said Sunday the House would not bring up the Senate immigration bill, but would instead address immigration "according to our own terms," in a more "deliberative and smart" process than the Senate. 

“We’ve said we are not going to be bringing the Senate bill up, we don’t believe that that’s the right path toward an immigration reform bill,” Cantor said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We will have a vote on a series of bills at some point.”

The Virginia Republican said the House will vote on a number of immigration bills in the fall, but would not say whether he would push a measure similar to what the Senate passed that would provide a pathway to citizens for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday "shutting down the embassies makes sense" and the Obama administration was taking "the right approach to this."

"Benghazi was a complete failure. The threats were real there, the reporting was real, and we basically dropped the ball," The South Carolina senator said on CNN's "State of the Union." "We’ve learned from Benghazi, thank God, and the administration’s doing this right."

Graham said despite the dangers, he would be traveling to Egypt with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) soon, adding we "cannot let these people drive us out of the Middle East."

"We have to show resolve, but we have to be smart," he said. 

Dozens of operatives working for the Central Intelligence Agency were on the ground in Benghazi on the night of a Sept. 11, 2012 attack upon a U.S. consulate post that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others dead, CNN reported Thursday:

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

A CIA spokesman issued a statment saying the agency has been transparent with Congress as to the details of the attack.

"The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi," the statement said.

Hillsdale College on Thursday issued a statement of clarification on behalf of its president, Larry Arnn, who referred to minorities as "dark ones" in a debate yesterday.

"A controversy has arisen over Dr. Arnn’s use of the term “dark ones” to describe the non-white students the state bureaucrats were there to identif," the statement read. "No offense was intended by the use of that term except to the offending bureaucrats, and Dr. Arnn is sorry if such offense was honestly taken. But the greater concern, he believes, is the state-endorsed racism the story illustrates."

At a debate on whether Michigan should adopt the Common Core State Standards at the state legislature, Arnn recalled receiving a Department of Education letter that voiced concerns about racial diversity at his institution.

"They said we violated the standards for diversity because we didn't have enough dark ones, I guess is what they meant," Arnn said in his opening remarks.

According to campaign finance reports, Arnn has widely donated to GOP candidates throughout the last several years, including the campaigns of Mitt Romney, former Sen. Scott Brown, Reps. Tim Walberg (MI) and Tom Cotton (AK), who recently announced he would be challenging Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AK) in 2014.

South Carolina Republican Nancy Mace, the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, and libertarian state Sen. Lee Bright are expected to announce challenges to incumbent Lindsey Graham in next year's Senate GOP primary, according to The State. 

Businessman Richard Cash has already announced a run.

Mace posted on her website Thursday that she would make a special announcement at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Berkeley County GOP Breakfast.

Bright said Thursday that he plans to enter the South Carolina Senate race in the next few weeks, but was waiting to see if Reps. Trey Gowdy or Jeff Duncan would run. They have yet to make any announcements about a bid, The State reported.

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