Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — The sore throat that sent President Obama to the hospital for tests Saturday is consistent with acid reflux and will be treated accordingly, his doctor said on Saturday.

The tests came after Obama made an unusual and unexpected trip to Walter Reed medical center for a CT scan recommended by his doctor to check out inflamed tissue in hiss throat.

The results of the scan were normal, Dr. Ronny Jackson, Obama’s physician, said.

“The president’s symptoms are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux and will be treated accordingly,” Jackson said in a written statement released by the White House.

Jackson recommended the scan after an ear, nose, and throat specialist from Ft. Belvoir Medical Center conducted a fiber-optic exam of the president’s throat Saturday morning, under Jackson’s supervision, “based on symptoms of a sore throat over the past couple weeks.

After that exam revealed swelling in Obama’s throat, Jackson recommended “further evaluation with a routine CT scan,” the doctor said.

“There’s a lot in this story that didn’t seem to hold true with what you’d normally see,” ABC News Chief Medial and Health Editor Dr. Richard Besser said. “Normally for a sore throat, initially you’ll do a test for strep. If it goes on for a couple of weeks, you might do a scope, but not a CT. It may be that he is a former smoker, he’s the president of the United States — you’ll often see presidents get extra testing.”

With nothing on Obama’s schedule for the day, the presidential motorcade departed hastily just after 2 p.m., catching reporters off guard, for a rainy, 30-minute ride to the military hospital in Bethesda, Md.

It’s unusual for a president to seek medical care outside the White House, but Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted to reporters via email, during the president’s visit to Walter Reed, that Obama’s condition was not serious and that the president “has been complaining of a sore throat” and that Jackson had recommended some “diagnostic tests.”

It was a quick visit: Obama’s motorcade pulled out of the Walter Reed parking lot fewer than 30 minutes after it pulled in.

What treatment the president will receive depends on the severity of the symptoms and how long he has been experiencing them, Besser said.

“If this is the start of the symptoms for him, you would take a slow approach,” Besser said. “You would have him raise the head of his bed, stop smoking, if he’s still smoking, cut down on alcohol, and cut back on those foods that are causing problems. Only if those things don’t work do you go with the medication.”

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AngieKT/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Senate Intelligence Committee is expected to release early next week a declassified version of what the Central Intelligence Agency did to gain information from al-Qaeda suspects in the years after the September 11 attacks.

The 6,000 page report is expected to shed new light on what the CIA called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.”

The declassification process has been a lengthy tug-of-war between Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats and the agency.

White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said on Friday the White House “welcomes” the release.

“The president continues to believe, as he has articulated himself many times, that it’s important for our country to be transparent,” said Earnest.

The report is sure to reignite the debate on torture, and whether the interrogations led to any successful intelligence information.

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Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — A memorial service for former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry was held in the nation’s capital on Saturday.

Current D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray gave a eulogy for the man called Washington’s “mayor for life,” praising Barry for his “lifelong commitment to building up our city.”

The four-term mayor died late last month at the age of 78. He was notably arrested in 1990 after being caught on video tape smoking crack cocaine.

Gray also said that “Barry’s legacy is intimately woven into the fabric of the District of Columbia.”

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama is spending his Saturday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, but not for a public event.

The commander in chief has a sore throat, the White House says. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama’s doctor recommended he go to the hospital for tests, given that he had been complaining of the sore throat.

“The quickly scheduled test is a matter of convenience for the President, not a matter of urgency,” the White House statement said.

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Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Ebola czar is expected to leave that position early next year.

A National Security Council official tells ABC News that Ron Klain will leave the administration and return to the private sector in early 2015. Fortune magazine reported on Klain’s exit early Saturday, noting that his hiring as a special government employee ensures he would stay on the job for no more than 130 days.

Klain was named the Ebola czar in October. The most recent case of Ebola involved a surgeon who was brought to American last month. Since then, however, no new cases have surfaced.

Since Klain took the job, the White House says that 32 facilities have been designated Ebola treatment facilities and 29 labs have been deemed equipped to test for the disease, a clinical trial has begun on a possible vaccine for the disease and enhanced screening for air travelers has been implemented.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) — In this week’s GOP address, Reps. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Pete Sessions (R-TX) talk about the ABLE Act, or the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, which passed in the House this week.

Rodgers says, “Right now, people with disabilities aren’t given the chance to save much of what they earn. It’s an outdated law that only encourages them to resign themselves to a life of dependence. The ABLE Act will change that.”

Crenshaw adds, “This allows individuals with disabilities a better chance to help themselves, to be less dependent on government and more independent in their daily lives. It allows them to achieve their full potential and to realize their hopes and their dreams.”

Read the full transcript of the Republican address:

House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA):

Today I’d like to tell you the story of a little boy who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome just three days after he was born. His diagnosis came with a list of future complications: endless doctors’ appointments, heart defects, even early Alzheimer’s. Seven years later, as the mom of that little boy, Cole, nothing has given me greater joy than watching the impact he has had on the world – and dreaming of the difference he will make when he grows up.

This week, the House spoke for Cole and millions of Americans with disabilities by passing H.R. 647, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act. Known for short as the ABLE Act, this bill will empower individuals with disabilities – through tax-free savings accounts – to save for college, retirement, job training and other future expenses.

Right now, people with disabilities aren’t given the chance to save much of what they earn. It’s an outdated law that only encourages them to resign themselves to a life of dependence.

The ABLE Act will change that.

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX):

You know, most of us become who we are because of our parents. But for me, it’s been the other way around.

I’ve got a dynamic Down Syndrome son. Alex Sessions turns 21 next month, and let me tell you, he’s got every wish and desire to succeed just like his big brother does. We don’t know what the future holds, but I’m not going to sit back and allow anything – especially any law – to prevent our children from fulfilling their potential.

In America, the sky’s the limit, no matter where you start.

And I can’t thank enough all the people, all the families out there who have helped us get the ABLE Act to this point. It’s one of those ideas really where you ask yourself, “why aren’t we doing this already?”

Because we’re not just talking about dollars and cents here. Every one of these accounts will be a new ladder of opportunity, and a new source of the one thing every parent loves: peace of mind.

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL):

Well, I first filed this legislation in 2006. That was eight long years ago, but because of the hard work, dedication, and teamwork of an awful lot of people, we were able to bring that legislation to the floor and pass it with an overwhelming majority.

The legislation is fairly simple, and straightforward. It allows individuals with disabilities to set up a tax-free savings account as long you use the proceeds for qualified expenses like medical bills or transportation bills.

This allows individuals with disabilities a better chance to help themselves, to be less dependent on government and more independent in their daily lives. It allows them to achieve their full potential and to realize their hopes and their dreams.

And when you listen to Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Pete Sessions and their stories, it’s easy to see why the ABLE Act will open the door to a brighter future for millions of Americans.

I can’t think of a greater privilege than to speak out with legislation for people that can’t often speak for themselves. And I know the ABLE Act will bring justice and peace of mind to millions of American families who deal with disabilities every day.

McMorris Rodgers:

This is why we’re here: to advance solutions that make people’s lives better. Solutions that empower all Americans—no matter where they come from, how much money they make, or what challenges they face.

The ABLE Act is one of the many ways we’re doing that. It’ll empower millions – like my son Cole and so many others – with the opportunity to have a better life.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.

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Kena Betancur/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — An interim report from a panel investigating last year’s George Washington Bridge lane closures scandal said Friday there is “no conclusive evidence” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was “aware of the lane closures either in advance of their implementation or contemporaneously as they were occurring.”

But here’s the catch: The report does not fully exonerate the possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate.

The biggest inconsistency in the report from previous sworn testimony found 12 text messages exchanged between Christie and a close aide, Regina Egea, during a day officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey were testifying about the scandal last year. The report states Christie initiated the texts, possibly contradicting the governor who repeatedly said he had not paid much attention to the scandal as it unfolded last fall.

Team Christie greeted the report as an exoneration, while Democrats said it proves nothing.

The scandal erupted in January when e-mails between a Christie aide and a Christie ally at the Port Authority revealed two of three access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the world’s busiest, were closed due to likely political motivation, possibly because the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee did not endorse Christie in his 2013 re-election bid. The gridlock paralyzed the New Jersey town for four days in September.

The content of the text messages is unknown, but Egea had previously testified she only recalled exchanging one text message with Christie that day regarding the testimony and didn’t recall a reply from Christie.

It was a heated day of testimony where the officials accused the ringleader of the traffic scheme, former Port Authority official David Wildstein, of fabricating a traffic study to cover the politically motivated closures, calling his actions both “odd” and “illegal.” The report, released by the committee’s special counsel, Reid Schar of the firm Jenner & Bloc, showed Christie sent Egea three texts, and Egea sent the governor nine during the six hours of testimony. Christie later told reporters he didn’t remember receiving any texts.

In her testimony, Egea said she had deleted the texts and in the report it states they asked the governor’s office “to produce any copies of these texts that may exist on Governor Christie’s personal mobile device.” The report states that in response governor’s office said they could not locate the text on either Christie or Egea’s phones and “Governor Christie deleted the messages at some unknown point.”

Christie’s Democratic opponents are pouncing on the deletion of the text messages, as well as the lack of cooperation the committee received.

The report stresses it is far from final because they were not able to interview several key witnesses including Wildstein, and the other “principal actor” former Christie aide Bridget Ann Kelly.

“The Committee is also not in a position currently to conclude what Governor Christie himself knew about the lane closures or when and how his knowledge of these events developed,” the report states. “While there is evidence that the Governor was informed of the lane closures while they were in progress, the Committee cannot evaluate the reliability of this evidence as it has yet to hear from the witness — Wildstein — who has claimed to have contemporaneously told the Governor of the closures. It is important to note that additional evidence that could shed light on the open questions noted above may become available to the Committee in the future.”

In a statement the Democratic National Committee blames Christie directly for the scandal.

“We know today what we knew almost a year ago: Chris Christie created the culture within his administration that led to Bridgegate,” DNC press secretary Michael Czin said. “Some of Christie’s closest aides and allies put public safety at risk, seemingly to exact petty political revenge, and in the aftermath, they lied about it. That, in itself, is inexcusable conduct coming from the administration of someone who wants to be President of the United States.”

That’s not how Christie allies are viewing the report. They say the investigative committee is only now “finally acknowledg(ing) what we reported nine months ago — namely, that there is not a shred of evidence Governor Christie knew anything about the GWB lane realignment beforehand or that any current member of his staff was involved in that decision. Thus, the Committee’s work has simply corroborated our comprehensive investigation.”

The statement from Christie’s attorney, Randy Mastro, adds with this inquiry over “the Governor and his office can now focus on doing what they do best — serving the public interest.”

The state committee says they will continue their investigation and there is also an ongoing federal investigation.

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ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The chambers of Congress can often seem empty and free of debate, but at least a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan can now keep company with the sparse population of lawmakers.

This week, the cutout of the Republican icon, purchased by a communications aide to Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, has been popping up around the Capitol to help Democrats make a point about President Obama’s allegiance to policies Reagan favored.

It’s been a while since Ronald Reagan has been seen on the floor of the House. pic.twitter.com/93pn8z9j5F

— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) December 3, 2014

First, on Wednesday, the cutout stood behind Rep. Blumenauer as he advocated raising the federal gas tax for highway infrastructure spending. Reagan raised gas taxes as president in 1982.

Democrats started to use the cutout as a symbol of double standards and misappropriation, propping it on the House floor to note how Reagan’s support for executive amnesty in 1987 has been whitewashed by Republicans. On Thursday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, was spotted on the floor with the prop.

Rep. Blumenauer said he considered the use of the cutout “deadly serious.”

“I think using something that was a little more visual is important to get the point across. A lot of this stuff we’re working on didn’t used to be partisan and stupid,” he told ABC News. “What bothers me is that people don’t look at what the man did and stood for. He wasn’t reflexively against government programs. …To me, he communicated, and he was genuine. And I get the sense that a lot of people are communicating and they’re not genuine.”

According to The Hill, Gutierrez took cues from Blumenauer and grabbed the Gipper’s likeness for his own purposes, saying, “I’m happy that President Barack Obama is following in that great and proud tradition set forward by President Ronald Reagan, that he would rather put families first, the demagoguery and any anti-immigrant policy always last.”

Patrick Maloney, the Blumenauer aide who bought the cutout, thinks Reagan has become an “avatar that provides that litmus test” for Republicans seeking a boost in conservative credentials.

“People are definitely held to different standards depending on the party,” he told ABC News. “It seems to be about who is currently fitting into your ideological purity.”

“Even though he’s this symbol of conservative purity, [Congress was] still able to work in a much more bipartisan fashion,” he added. “The rigidity just wasn’t there.”

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ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The chambers of Congress can often seem empty and free of debate, but at least a cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan can now keep company with the sparse population of lawmakers.

This week, the cutout of the Republican icon, purchased by a communications aide to Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, has been popping up around the Capitol to help Democrats make a point about President Obama’s allegiance to policies Reagan favored.

It’s been a while since Ronald Reagan has been seen on the floor of the House. pic.twitter.com/93pn8z9j5F

— Jeremy Art (@cspanJeremy) December 3, 2014

First, on Wednesday, the cutout stood behind Rep. Blumenauer as he advocated raising the federal gas tax for highway infrastructure spending. Reagan raised gas taxes as president in 1982.

Democrats started to use the cutout as a symbol of double standards and misappropriation, propping it on the House floor to note how Reagan’s support for executive amnesty in 1987 has been whitewashed by Republicans. On Thursday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, was spotted on the floor with the prop.

Rep. Blumenauer said he considered the use of the cutout “deadly serious.”

“I think using something that was a little more visual is important to get the point across. A lot of this stuff we’re working on didn’t used to be partisan and stupid,” he told ABC News. “What bothers me is that people don’t look at what the man did and stood for. He wasn’t reflexively against government programs. …To me, he communicated, and he was genuine. And I get the sense that a lot of people are communicating and they’re not genuine.”

According to The Hill, Gutierrez took cues from Blumenauer and grabbed the Gipper’s likeness for his own purposes, saying, “I’m happy that President Barack Obama is following in that great and proud tradition set forward by President Ronald Reagan, that he would rather put families first, the demagoguery and any anti-immigrant policy always last.”

Patrick Maloney, the Blumenauer aide who bought the cutout, thinks Reagan has become an “avatar that provides that litmus test” for Republicans seeking a boost in conservative credentials.

“People are definitely held to different standards depending on the party,” he told ABC News. “It seems to be about who is currently fitting into your ideological purity.”

“Even though he’s this symbol of conservative purity, [Congress was] still able to work in a much more bipartisan fashion,” he added. “The rigidity just wasn’t there.”

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — It’s unclear how many people it took to screw in a light bulb at Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters in 2012, but we now know how many people it took to approve a tweet: 22.

A study released Friday by University of North Carolina journalism professor Daniel Kreiss found that the hierarchy and bureaucracy inside the Romney campaign was far higher than on President Obama’s political team.

The findings come from extensive interviews with Romney and Obama campaign staffers.

“Whether it was a tweet, Facebook post, blog post, photo — anything you could imagine — it had to be sent around to everyone for approval,” said Caitlin Checklett, the digital integration director for the Romney campaign. “Towards the end of the campaign, that was 22 individuals who had to approve it. The digital team unfortunately did not have the opportunity to think of things on their own and post them.”

Zach Moffatt, the digital director for Team Romney, offered a tongue-in-cheek response to their social media strategy including “the best tweets ever written by 17 people.”

But the Obama campaign, according to its digital director Teddy Goff, could make decisions far faster and react with more autonomy.

The full report can be read here.

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