Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The head of the Secret Service faced another round of angry questions by a House Panel on Tuesday about agents’ questionable behavior and a potential bomb that sat outside the White House unchecked for more than an hour this month.

House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, questioned Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy over the possible bomb threat that was left unattended just outside the White House gates.

“For 17 minutes, 17 minutes, traffic continued through the intersection and several pedestrians walked within feet of the potential bomb,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz said he didn’t understand how the Secret Service did not immediately respond after a woman dropped what she said was a bomb outside the White House gates.

“These agents placed themselves, their colleagues, the president and his family in potential danger,” he said on Tuesday.

The potential bomb and the Secret Service agents who nearly drove over it were all caught on a Washington DC Police Department security camera.

Clancy told the panel on Tuesday that agents did not inform him until several days after the incident, and that an independent investigation is currently under way.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, presidential candidate Ted Cruz said he will sign up for healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act – a law he has vigorously fought against since joining the Senate.

“We’ll be getting new health insurance and we’ll presumably do it through my job with the Senate, and so we’ll be on the federal exchange with millions of others on the federal exchange,” Cruz told CNN.

Cruz and his family currently receive health insurance coverage through his wife’s job at Goldman Sachs. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, is a managing director at the company and will take a leave of absence to campaign for her husband, causing her to lose her healthcare coverage.

Cruz is most known for that filibuster he led on the Senate floor in protest against Obamacare, a tactic that ultimately led to the government shutdown.

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ABC News(WASHINGTON) — President Obama on Tuesday announced a slowdown in the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, keeping 9,800 in place through 2015.

While Obama is sticking to his goal to end the war by the end of 2016, he said the U.S. will now leave more troops in place over the next several months than was previously expected, citing a request by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

“America’s combat mission in Afghanistan may be over but our commitment to the Afghan people, that will endure,” Obama said.

The pace of the drawdown in 2016 will be determined at a later date, the president said “to enable the U.S. troop consolidation to a Kabul-based embassy presence by the end of 2016.”

Obama’s announcement came after he and Ghani spent the morning meeting at the White House, where Ghani was largely expected to urge Obama not to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan as quickly as planned.

Obama has pledged to end the United States’ longest war by the end of 2016, pulling out all but roughly 1,000 of the almost 10,000 U.S. troops now in the country.

While the U.S. currently plans to withdraw roughly half of its troops by the end of this year, Ghani reportedly wanted all U.S. troops to remain in place through next year to support Afghan security forces.

“The question is: How much flexibility is there in the drawdown between where we stand today and that endpoint in early 2017?” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday. “That will be the subject of some discussion with President Ghani. President Ghani has indicated a desire to bring that up and discuss that personally with the president.”

Ghani’s first trip to Washington as president is also an opportunity to publicly cement the strategic relationship between the new Afghan government and the U.S. after years of rocky relations under President Hamid Karzai.

Unlike his predecessor, who had a strained relationship with Obama and was often harshly critical of U.S. policies, Ghani is seen as “clearly more cooperative,” Jeff Eggers, senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the National Security Council, told reporters last week.

“There is a clearly positive vision now for Afghanistan that President Ghani holds,” Eggers said. “And it’s important, I think, that our leadership and the audience here in Washington sees that qualitatively different relationship and that more positive vision.”

Ghani’s five-day trip has been packed with high-level meetings. In addition to meeting with Obama in the Oval Office on Tuesday, Ghani had a full day of discussions at Camp David Monday with Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

On Wednesday, Ghani will address a joint meeting of Congress and, on Thursday, he will meet with world leaders at the United Nations.

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Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas declines to answer questions on camera from ABC News’ Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.. ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tainted the image and integrity of the immigration program he oversaw by fostering “an appearance of favoritism and special access” in how the agency treated projects that would bring visas and Green Cards to wealthy foreign investors, a new report from the agency’s Inspector General says.

“The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access,” the Inspector General’s report concluded.

The DHS IG report specifically focused on allegations of special treatment afforded to a Las Vegas casino project championed by Sen. Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader, and an electric car enterprise led by Terry McAuliffe, who is now Virginia’s governor, and involving Anthony Rodham, the brother of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At the time the Office of Inspector General launched the probe, Mayorkas was head of a program known as EB-5, which offered a path to Green Cards to foreign investors willing to put $500,000 into a job-creating U.S. business — a program whose popularity exploded under his stewardship.

Similar issues within the immigration program were the focus of an ABC News investigation that aired last month, which found that officials in the Department of Homeland Security had ignored pointed warnings from federal agents and approved visas for immigrants suspected of having committed fraud, money laundering, and even one applicant with alleged ties to a child porn website. Several of those cases involved investment projects whose executives had sought and received help from powerful political figures to lobby Mayorkas for support.

Five different Homeland Security whistleblowers spoke with ABC News about a range of cases where visas were approved despite numerous red flags. They said objections were often ignored because the immigration program is so popular within the Obama administration and with members of Congress from both parties. As the EB-5 visa program has grown in popularity, the programs critics have become increasingly concerned about the administration’s failure to adequately address abuses that have continued to surface.

“It is shocking,” Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican said at the time. “Particularly when you have FBI. and other law enforcement agencies that are saying national security could be compromised or is being compromised — that’s enough for us to be concerned.”

Mayorkas turned down requests from ABC News to be interviewed about the program, and hustled away from the camera when he was approached to talk about it during a public event in Washington late last year.

Concerns about the agency and Mayorkas’ stewardship have simmered for years. When he was promoted to Deputy Secretary, Republican senators took the unusual step of boycotting his confirmation hearing, complaining that he should not be approved until the ongoing investigation into his conduct by the Inspector General was completed. The hearings went forward without the Republican committee members, and he was ultimately confirmed.

During the confirmation hearings, Mayorkas called allegations of impropriety “unequivocally false.”

“I say it unequivocally, and I say it after 16 years of service to this country: I have never, ever in my career exercised undue influence to [change] the outcome of a case,” Mayorkas told a Senate panel. “I have never based my decisions on who brings a case, but rather upon the facts of the law.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee said the Inspector General’s findings were “highly concerning.”

“In an unprecedented move, Mr. Mayorkas was confirmed by the Senate on a party-line vote led by Senator Reid, despite being under investigation for his management of USCIS and the EB-5 investor visa program,” Chaffetz said. “This report confirms the concerns surrounding Mr. Mayorkas’ suitability for the position were well founded. “

The Inspector General report released Tuesday said investigators had interviewed 15 whistleblowers, a group that included “very senior” department officials and attorneys “who each had direct contact with Mr. Mayorkas and were in a position to witness the events.”

“Each conveyed the same factual scenario,” the report said. “Certain applicants and stakeholders received preferential access to DHS leadership and preferential treatment in either the handling of their application or petition or regarding the merits of the application or petition…Many witnesses provided emails, written contemporaneously with the events, to support their allegations of special access and treatment.”

The report said that investigators interviewed Mayorkas, and he told them that each time he intervened in an EB-5 case, he did so “to improve the EB-5 process or to prevent error.”

“He took a hands-on approach when a case warranted his personal involvement,” the report says. “Mr. Mayorkas told us that his sole motivation for such involvement was to strengthen the integrity of the program; he said he had no interest in whether a particular application or petition was approved.”

One of the projects studied in the report — the electric car start-up venture once overseen by McAuliffe and supported by Rodham — has already proven to be politically combustible.

The immigrant funding became fodder for attacks on McAuliffe during his 2013 run for governor. McAuliffe was accused by political opponents of trying to prod Mayorkas and later then-Sec. Janet Napolitano to approve visas for investors more quickly. He denied, however, that he sought undue influence. Rodham oversaw the EB-5 financing aspect of the business through a separate venture, called Gulf Coast Funds Management Regional Center. He also emailed Mayorkas in a push to speed up processing of immigrant visas, the report says.

ABC News provided a copy of the report to McAuliffe’s press office and sought comment and has not yet received a response. Messages left for Rodham have not been returned.

When it appeared the electric car venture was headed for a denial, “Mr. Mayorkas told his staff that he wanted to review the decision…” the report says. “Many EB-5 officials found this highly unusual because past USCIS Directors typically had not scrutinized individual decisions; they found this level of scrutiny unsettling.”

During one meeting to discuss the electric car venture, the report says Mayorkas intervened directly in the decision making process, “saying he would rewrite the decision himself.”

“One meeting participant said that ‘everyone froze’ when Mr. Mayorkas said, ‘Let me take it home and rewrite the report,’” the report says. “The participant was ‘stunned’ by Mr. Mayorkas’ suggestion, saying ‘the entire turn of events made me extremely uncomfortable.’ Another participant told us the request made it appear that Mr. Mayorkas was dictating the results, which ‘looked bad.’ Ultimately, the participants dissuaded Mr. Mayorkas from rewriting the decision himself.”

Mayorkas provided the Inspector General’s office with a detailed response, in which he defended his actions.

“I was vigilant in guarding against any appearance of impropriety,” he wrote. “I consistently and systematically consulted with USCIS attorneys about my communications. I consistently and systematically shared the communications with them. I actively sought their counsel and the advice of others. Not once do I recall being advised to proceed differently.”

Supporters of Mayorkas dismissed the report as a political attack.

Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police called him “a man of impeccable integrity” and “the inspector general’s office has squandered two and a half years on an investigation and couldn’t come up with something substantive and had to say something.”

Investigators said they could not determine Mayorkas’ motivations.

“Each of these decisions was legitimately within his purview, and we take no position as to the wisdom of any of these actions,” the report said. “However, the complaints we heard were not simply policy-based disagreement[s]…Rather, they centered on his actions that appeared to give special access and special consideration to a small group of applicants and stakeholders.”

The Inspector General’s office initially began investigating Mayorkas after having already taking an earlier look at growing concerns about the risk of political influence infecting a program. In a December 2013 audit, the office suggested such perceptions may have been unavoidable, concluding, “Outside influence may require USCIS senior leadership to become involved in the EB-5 adjudication process, thereby creating the perception of special treatment and internal influence by senior managers.”

But internal Homeland Security documents obtained by ABC News as part of the February report showed that the program has become a magnet for those seeking to sidestep the scrutiny of the traditional immigration process.

In one case, immigration officials pushed through a visa application from Chinese investor in a Las Vegas hotel project despite an internal review that found the investor had previously been turned back at the border, and much of his visa application had likely been fabricated, immigration records show.

A Feb. 1, 2013 Homeland Security internal review obtained by ABC News also lays out in stark detail the breadth of the troubles afflicting some of the roughly 600 so-called regional centers — private sector entities certified by Homeland Security to recruit foreign investors for specific business ventures that will qualify for EB-5 visas. The document summarizes 41 investigations, some open and some now closed, into allegations ranging from espionage to fraud to drug trafficking involving investors in various EB-5 investment projects.

One regional center, run by an Iranian-born businessman living in Beverly Hills, California, was approved to raise roughly $25 million in investment money from foreign sources even when one of his businesses was being raided by agents. Federal officials told ABC News the businessman is suspected of allegedly smuggling banned items to Iran.

Another regional center raised money from Chinese investors to finance the construction of federal buildings, including an FBI headquarters building in San Diego, raising what one internal document called “national security concerns” that “pertain to Chinese investors having visibility to FBI blueprints/information.”

Advocates for the program also acknowledged the visa program had suffered from occasional failures. But they touted the numerous successful projects that have been financed through this form of foreign investment, and credit it for spurring job growth through some of the toughest years of the shaky economy.

“I don’t think we should let a few anecdotes cast a cloud over an entire industry,” Peter Joseph, executive director of the Association to Invest in the U.S.A., told ABC News at the time.

Joseph noted the program is now so popular that the 10,000 visas allotted in 2014 for EB-5 investors were claimed in a matter of months, and he is lobbying for its expansion. The money has paid for popular projects — a Brooklyn basketball arena, a California winery, a Vermont ski lodge, even a Hollywood movie studio — that have supported an estimated 42,000 jobs.

“It’s a win for the investor, who’s seeking to get an immigration benefit, along with a return on their investment, along with the American worker who’s able to get to work, thanks to the capital investment coming through the program,” Joseph said.

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Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas declines to answer questions on camera from ABC News’ Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross.. ABC News(WASHINGTON) — Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tainted the image and integrity of the immigration program he oversaw by fostering “an appearance of favoritism and special access” in how the agency treated projects that would bring visas and Green Cards to wealthy foreign investors, a new report from the agency’s Inspector General says.

“The juxtaposition of Mr. Mayorkas’ communication with external stakeholders on specific matters outside the normal procedures, coupled with favorable action that deviated from the regulatory scheme designed to ensure fairness and evenhandedness in adjudicating benefits, created an appearance of favoritism and special access,” the Inspector General’s report concluded.

The DHS IG report specifically focused on allegations of special treatment afforded to a Las Vegas casino project championed by Sen. Harry Reid, then the Senate majority leader, and an electric car enterprise led by Terry McAuliffe, who is now Virginia’s governor, and involving Anthony Rodham, the brother of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At the time the Office of Inspector General launched the probe, Mayorkas was head of a program known as EB-5, which offered a path to Green Cards to foreign investors willing to put $500,000 into a job-creating U.S. business — a program whose popularity exploded under his stewardship.

Similar issues within the immigration program were the focus of an ABC News investigation that aired last month, which found that officials in the Department of Homeland Security had ignored pointed warnings from federal agents and approved visas for immigrants suspected of having committed fraud, money laundering, and even one applicant with alleged ties to a child porn website. Several of those cases involved investment projects whose executives had sought and received help from powerful political figures to lobby Mayorkas for support.

Five different Homeland Security whistleblowers spoke with ABC News about a range of cases where visas were approved despite numerous red flags. They said objections were often ignored because the immigration program is so popular within the Obama administration and with members of Congress from both parties. As the EB-5 visa program has grown in popularity, the programs critics have become increasingly concerned about the administration’s failure to adequately address abuses that have continued to surface.

“It is shocking,” Sen. Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican said at the time. “Particularly when you have FBI. and other law enforcement agencies that are saying national security could be compromised or is being compromised — that’s enough for us to be concerned.”

Mayorkas turned down requests from ABC News to be interviewed about the program, and hustled away from the camera when he was approached to talk about it during a public event in Washington late last year.

Concerns about the agency and Mayorkas’ stewardship have simmered for years. When he was promoted to Deputy Secretary, Republican senators took the unusual step of boycotting his confirmation hearing, complaining that he should not be approved until the ongoing investigation into his conduct by the Inspector General was completed. The hearings went forward without the Republican committee members, and he was ultimately confirmed.

During the confirmation hearings, Mayorkas called allegations of impropriety “unequivocally false.”

“I say it unequivocally, and I say it after 16 years of service to this country: I have never, ever in my career exercised undue influence to [change] the outcome of a case,” Mayorkas told a Senate panel. “I have never based my decisions on who brings a case, but rather upon the facts of the law.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican who chairs the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee said the Inspector General’s findings were “highly concerning.”

“In an unprecedented move, Mr. Mayorkas was confirmed by the Senate on a party-line vote led by Senator Reid, despite being under investigation for his management of USCIS and the EB-5 investor visa program,” Chaffetz said. “This report confirms the concerns surrounding Mr. Mayorkas’ suitability for the position were well founded. “

The Inspector General report released Tuesday said investigators had interviewed 15 whistleblowers, a group that included “very senior” department officials and attorneys “who each had direct contact with Mr. Mayorkas and were in a position to witness the events.”

“Each conveyed the same factual scenario,” the report said. “Certain applicants and stakeholders received preferential access to DHS leadership and preferential treatment in either the handling of their application or petition or regarding the merits of the application or petition…Many witnesses provided emails, written contemporaneously with the events, to support their allegations of special access and treatment.”

The report said that investigators interviewed Mayorkas, and he told them that each time he intervened in an EB-5 case, he did so “to improve the EB-5 process or to prevent error.”

“He took a hands-on approach when a case warranted his personal involvement,” the report says. “Mr. Mayorkas told us that his sole motivation for such involvement was to strengthen the integrity of the program; he said he had no interest in whether a particular application or petition was approved.”

One of the projects studied in the report — the electric car start-up venture once overseen by McAuliffe and supported by Rodham — has already proven to be politically combustible.

The immigrant funding became fodder for attacks on McAuliffe during his 2013 run for governor. McAuliffe was accused by political opponents of trying to prod Mayorkas and later then-Sec. Janet Napolitano to approve visas for investors more quickly. He denied, however, that he sought undue influence. Rodham oversaw the EB-5 financing aspect of the business through a separate venture, called Gulf Coast Funds Management Regional Center. He also emailed Mayorkas in a push to speed up processing of immigrant visas, the report says.

ABC News provided a copy of the report to McAuliffe’s press office and sought comment and has not yet received a response. Messages left for Rodham have not been returned.

When it appeared the electric car venture was headed for a denial, “Mr. Mayorkas told his staff that he wanted to review the decision…” the report says. “Many EB-5 officials found this highly unusual because past USCIS Directors typically had not scrutinized individual decisions; they found this level of scrutiny unsettling.”

During one meeting to discuss the electric car venture, the report says Mayorkas intervened directly in the decision making process, “saying he would rewrite the decision himself.”

“One meeting participant said that ‘everyone froze’ when Mr. Mayorkas said, ‘Let me take it home and rewrite the report,’” the report says. “The participant was ‘stunned’ by Mr. Mayorkas’ suggestion, saying ‘the entire turn of events made me extremely uncomfortable.’ Another participant told us the request made it appear that Mr. Mayorkas was dictating the results, which ‘looked bad.’ Ultimately, the participants dissuaded Mr. Mayorkas from rewriting the decision himself.”

Mayorkas provided the Inspector General’s office with a detailed response, in which he defended his actions.

“I was vigilant in guarding against any appearance of impropriety,” he wrote. “I consistently and systematically consulted with USCIS attorneys about my communications. I consistently and systematically shared the communications with them. I actively sought their counsel and the advice of others. Not once do I recall being advised to proceed differently.”

Supporters of Mayorkas dismissed the report as a political attack.

Jim Pasco, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police called him “a man of impeccable integrity” and “the inspector general’s office has squandered two and a half years on an investigation and couldn’t come up with something substantive and had to say something.”

Investigators said they could not determine Mayorkas’ motivations.

“Each of these decisions was legitimately within his purview, and we take no position as to the wisdom of any of these actions,” the report said. “However, the complaints we heard were not simply policy-based disagreement[s]…Rather, they centered on his actions that appeared to give special access and special consideration to a small group of applicants and stakeholders.”

The Inspector General’s office initially began investigating Mayorkas after having already taking an earlier look at growing concerns about the risk of political influence infecting a program. In a December 2013 audit, the office suggested such perceptions may have been unavoidable, concluding, “Outside influence may require USCIS senior leadership to become involved in the EB-5 adjudication process, thereby creating the perception of special treatment and internal influence by senior managers.”

But internal Homeland Security documents obtained by ABC News as part of the February report showed that the program has become a magnet for those seeking to sidestep the scrutiny of the traditional immigration process.

In one case, immigration officials pushed through a visa application from Chinese investor in a Las Vegas hotel project despite an internal review that found the investor had previously been turned back at the border, and much of his visa application had likely been fabricated, immigration records show.

A Feb. 1, 2013 Homeland Security internal review obtained by ABC News also lays out in stark detail the breadth of the troubles afflicting some of the roughly 600 so-called regional centers — private sector entities certified by Homeland Security to recruit foreign investors for specific business ventures that will qualify for EB-5 visas. The document summarizes 41 investigations, some open and some now closed, into allegations ranging from espionage to fraud to drug trafficking involving investors in various EB-5 investment projects.

One regional center, run by an Iranian-born businessman living in Beverly Hills, California, was approved to raise roughly $25 million in investment money from foreign sources even when one of his businesses was being raided by agents. Federal officials told ABC News the businessman is suspected of allegedly smuggling banned items to Iran.

Another regional center raised money from Chinese investors to finance the construction of federal buildings, including an FBI headquarters building in San Diego, raising what one internal document called “national security concerns” that “pertain to Chinese investors having visibility to FBI blueprints/information.”

Advocates for the program also acknowledged the visa program had suffered from occasional failures. But they touted the numerous successful projects that have been financed through this form of foreign investment, and credit it for spurring job growth through some of the toughest years of the shaky economy.

“I don’t think we should let a few anecdotes cast a cloud over an entire industry,” Peter Joseph, executive director of the Association to Invest in the U.S.A., told ABC News at the time.

Joseph noted the program is now so popular that the 10,000 visas allotted in 2014 for EB-5 investors were claimed in a matter of months, and he is lobbying for its expansion. The money has paid for popular projects — a Brooklyn basketball arena, a California winery, a Vermont ski lodge, even a Hollywood movie studio — that have supported an estimated 42,000 jobs.

“It’s a win for the investor, who’s seeking to get an immigration benefit, along with a return on their investment, along with the American worker who’s able to get to work, thanks to the capital investment coming through the program,” Joseph said.

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US Senate(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Dan Coats announced on Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2016 — opening up the possibility of a Democratic pick-up in the next election.

“This was not an easy decision,” Coats, R-Ind., explained in a statement. “While I believe I am well-positioned to run a successful campaign for another six-year term, I have concluded that the time has come to pass this demanding job to the next generation of leaders.”

He added that he looks forward to “continued engagement in Indiana in many other ways.”

Coats first served in the Senate from 1989 to 1999 and became a U.S. ambassador to Germany in 2001. He returned to the Senate in 2011.

Coats is the third senator and the first Republican to announce their retirement over the last two months. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., will also retire in 2016.

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State Dept(WASHINGTON) — Now that President Obama is calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu an unwilling partner in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Palestinian representatives in the United States have a simple message for him: We told you so.

“Ever since [Netanyahu] came to power in 2009, he did not have any intention whatsoever to deal with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” said Maen Areikat, the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s representative to the United States.

“I think he is telling the world, ‘Here I am. I want to show you my true skin,’” he added.

Obama said the United States would re-evaluate its policies towards Israeli-Palestinian issues after Netanyahu said, the day before parliamentary elections, that he would not see a Palestinian state established if he were re-elected.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership,” Obama said in an interview with The Huffington Post Saturday. “And so, that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.”

Netanyahu’s Likud party went on to victory, which many political observers attributed to Netanyahu’s comments on a Palestinian state and other comments that were seen as driving divisions between Israeli Jews and minorities. He has walked back those statements — most recently apologizing to Israeli Arabs in remarks at his official residence Monday evening — but the White House insisted the damage was done.

Areikat said the government he represents understands why Obama gave Netanyahu the benefit of the doubt until now, but that just looking at domestic Israeli politics, it was clear he was never serious about peace talks — which have started and stopped twice since Obama and Netanyahu took office.

Netanyahu ran his campaign largely on security issues and the threat he said would befall Israel if his center-left opponents took over.

“This whole shift in Israeli politics in recent years was fundamentally based on misperceptions, false presentations, a culture of fear exported to the Israeli people about the security issues,” Areikat said. “This current government succeeded in somehow selling what it sold its own public to the rest of the world, especially the United States.”

The Israeli embassy in the United States did not respond to requests for comment on the issue.

One policy shift the Obama administration has already floated is to support, or at least not actively oppose, a United Nations Security Council resolution defining Palestinian statehood, which it had previously opposed because it believed such a move could jeopardize direct talks, which it believed were more effective.

Last week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Netanyahu’s comments “have consequences for actions that we take at the United Nations and other places,” although during the Huffington Post interview Obama would not say whether or not he would support such a resolution.

But the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., Riyad Mansour, suggested that was one way the U.S. could register its disillusionment with Netanyahu.

“A United Nations Security Council resolution legislating the two-state solution would be an appropriate option to defend the two-state solution which enjoys a global consensus,” he said.

Airekat said that while supporting a U.N. resolution would be a step in the right direction, he wanted the U.S. to also urge Israel to end its occupation of the West Bank.

“Nobody knows what the United States is planning to do. We are hoping together to hear from them in the coming days about what they have in mind,” he said.

So far, the United States has only signaled that it might make changes, without actually making any yet. But long wait times are nothing new for participants in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — something Mansour seemed to acknowledge when he spoke generally of this new shift in US policy.

“This process will likely take time,” he said. “However, we do hope it happens quickly.”

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Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A year after President Obama declared that Yemen had become a model for successful U.S. counterterrorism campaigns, the White House is now facing tough questions about why the security situation there has collapsed.

Yemen is on the verge of civil war with the U.S.-backed central government apparently overwhelmed by the Shiite militia Houthis who control the capital of Sanaa and are in the midst of seizing other cities.

With the U.S. closing down its embassy and withdrawing the remaining 100 Special Service Forces from Yemen, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at a briefing that Yemen had previously served “as a template for the kind of strategy that we would employ and have employed to mitigate the threat from extremists around the world.”

Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the relocation of U.S. personnel “has not forced us to suspend our counterterrorism operations,” claiming that “we continue to actively monitor threats and have resources prepared in the region to address them.”

However, some Washington lawmakers are worried about losing Yemen, which had become a major intelligence hub in the region, especially since the country is the headquarters for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State also poses a threat to Yemen’s stability.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Wisconsin’s voter ID law can soon go into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined to hear a challenge to the statute that was upheld by a federal appeals court.

The law requires residents to present at least one of eight forms of identification that will permit them to cast ballots in elections.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a potential candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, supported the law when he first ran for the state house. Supporters contend it will reduce voter fraud.

Opponents of the law say that it amounts to voter suppression because those most likely not to carry IDs authorized by the state are blacks and Hispanics, who traditionally vote Democratic.

The law will be enforced after an April 7 primary.

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Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images(COLLEGE PARK, Md.) — Someone called the University of Maryland on Monday, saying a man was driving to the school to shoot President Obama’s niece, a member of the Princeton basketball team scheduled to play there Monday night, the university said.

Maryland officials posted extra security at the NCAA tournament game Monday evening, according to a statement from the school police department.

According to the statement, campus police received a call Monday at approximately 3 p.m. from a woman saying that she had received a text from a third party indicating that a male that she knew had a gun and mentioned President Obama’s niece, Leslie Robinson, the daughter of Michelle Obama’s brother.

UMPD officers began an immediate investigation into the call and notified the Secret Service, the school said.

“Our investigation reveals at this time that these details that were passed on from this third party are unsubstantiated,” UMPD Major Marc Limansky said in the statement.

The game was played Monday night without incident.

A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told ABC News police were able to run the alleged threat down to the source and there is essentially no threat.

The source said it was clear pretty early on that there was no threat, but they had additional manpower and stepped up security out of an abundance of caution.

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