Obama urged Clinton to concede on election night


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President Barack Obama called Hillary Clinton to persuade her to concede the White House on election night, according to a forthcoming book on Clinton’s defeat.

Authors Amie Parnes, The Hill’s senior White House correspondent, and Jonathan Allen cite three Clintonworld sources familiar with the election-night request in the unreleased book from Crown Publishing.

“You need to concede,” Obama told his former secretary of State as she, her family, and her top aides continued to watch results trickle in from the key Rust Belt states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. The latter state, called after 1:30 a.m. by The Associated Press, was the clear tipping point for the White House race, ensuring Trump would crest over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed to win.

Clinton ultimately heeded Obama’s advice and called Trump to acknowledge her defeat in the early morning hours Wednesday.

White House officials did not immediately return requests for comment Friday.

Obama’s call left a sour taste in the mouths of some Clinton allies who believe she should have waited longer, and there’s now a fight playing out between the Obama and Clinton camps over whether to support an effort to force the Rust Belt states to recount their votes.

http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/307536-obama-urged-clinton-to-concede-on-election-night

Comey: ‘No outside influence’ on Clinton email investigation


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FBI Director James Comey pledged Wednesday that there is “no outside influence” on the bureau’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s private email server.

I love the FBI because we aspire to, and I think we are, three things: We’re honest, we’re competent, we’re independent,” Comey said at Kenyon College in Ohio while responding to an audience member’s question, according to Politico.

“I’ve stayed close to that investigation to ensure that it’s done that way. That we have the resources, the technology, the people and that there’s no outside influence. So, if I talk about an investigation while it’s going on, there’s a risk that I’ll compromise both the reality and the perception that it’s done honestly, competently and independently,” he added.

Comey told lawmakers in early March that he was closely monitoring the case and insisted it would remain independent. He said earlier this week that “the urgency is to do it well and do it promptly,” adding that doing it ” ‘well’ comes first.”

The investigation continues to haunt Clinton’s presidential campaign as she looks to solidify her status as the presumptive Democratic nominee with a win in New York later this month. Rival candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has notched several recent wins, including a victory in Wisconsin earlier this week.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/275439-comey-no-outside-influence-on-clinton-email-investigation

Week ahead: Pentagon buying reforms coming soon


Acquisition reform will be in the spotlight as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee unveils his plans for the upcoming annual defense policy bill.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) will outline his acquisition reform proposal at a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution.

He plans to introduce his proposal as standalone bill, elicit feedback and then fold it into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Thornberry has said his proposal will focus on two areas: allowing the Pentagon to experiment with new technologies and clarifying the responsibilities of each of the different officials involved in buying decisions: the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

The latter topic was addressed in the 2016 defense bill, but Thornberry wants to do more in the upcoming legislation.

“In a lot of respects, I’m looking at going back to basics here,” he told reporters earlier this month. “Adding bureaucracy to deal with a problem is usually not a very good answer.”

On experimentation, he wants the Pentagon to have more latitude to experiment with technology without it being a so-called program of record.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/272693-week-ahead-pentagon-buying-reforms-coming-soon

Internet domain handoff takes major step forward


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A major step was taken Thursday in the U.S. government’s plan to hand off oversight of the Internet domain name system.

A nonprofit international

group approved a plan and forwarded it to the Obama administration Thursday for review and approval.

The group, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), has historically been contracted out to manage the behind-the-scenes workings of the Internet that pair up numerical IP addresses with their familiar Web addresses.

A few years ago, the group was tasked with transitioning fully from U.S. government oversight to an international multistakeholder model.

The Commerce Department will have to sign off on the transition plan before it is allowed to go forward. But the Obama administration and Congress have been “watching closely,” said Steve Crocker, who leads ICANN’s board of directors.

“This proposal does not come as a surprise that requires a fresh start or a cold start and we fully expect that this will be viewed as 100 percent consistent with the criteria that was set out in advance and that which has been tracked all the way throughout the process,” Crocker said.

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/272568-internet-domain-handoff-takes-major-step-forward

Tags: Ted Cruz, ICANN, Commerce Department, Internet domain

SC exit poll: 75 percent agree with Trump’s Muslim ban


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Three-fourths of Republicans participating in Saturday’s South Carolina GOP primary say they support presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., according to an exit poll.

A CBS News exit poll of Palmetto State primary voters found that 75 percent said they support Trump’s proposal, while 23 percent said they oppose it

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/270156-sc-exit-poll-75-percent-agree-with-trumps-muslim-ban

Trump: ‘I would be so angry’ at Obama if I were black


“I’ll do more in one year, I will do more for the African-American people in one year than Barack Obama has done in his seven year, soon to be eight years. And then, by the way, he’s out, and thank goodness,” he added.

Trump also suggested he would win over a surprising number of Democrats in a general election.

“By the way, we’re going to have a tremendous crossover vote, you watch,” he said. “But you know what? We’re going to have a tremendous crossover vote. People have no idea.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/270023-trump-i-would-be-so-angry-at-obama-if-i-were-black

McCain: Clinton’s admission of speaking fees a ‘seminal’ moment in politics


Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tells The Hill that Hillary Clinton’s admission of receiving $650,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs was “one of the most seminal moments” he’s seen in American politics.
The Arizona Republican, running for a sixth-term in the U.S. Senate, sat down for a wide-ranging interview with The Hill’s Molly K. Hooper to discuss his surprise with “everything” this election year, including the need to listen to angry voters attracted to Donald Trump’s message.