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Bobby Jindal set to join 2016 White House race

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Washington: Louisiana Governor Piyush “Bobby” Jindal is widely expected to launch a bid for the Republican Presidential nomination on Wednesday, becoming the first Indian-American and 13th Republican to join the 2016 White House race.

“If I decide to announce on June 24th that I will seek the Republican nomination for President, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction,” he said in a statement earlier this month.

“We don’t need just small changes, we need a dramatically different path,” said Jindal, who as a child changed his first name to Bobby, after a character in the ‘Brady Bunch’.

US-born son of immigrant parents from India, he converted from Hinduism to Christianity. As a student at the Brown University, he was later baptised as a Catholic .

Once viewed as a rising star of the Republican Party, Jindal, 44, who was the youngest American Governor when first elected in 2007, is now polling toward the bottom of the Republican field, registering at just 1 per cent in the latest CNN/ORC poll this month.

Jindal is entering an already crowded field of Republican candidates including Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee, former Governors of Florida, Texas and Arkansas respectively, US Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; and real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Jindal was the second Indian-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives in 2004, after Dalip Singh Saund, a Democrat, in 1957. He was re-elected to the Congress in 2006 before making his second run for the position of Governor in 2007. He was re-elected in 2011.

Jindal, who received wide support from the Indian-Americans in his Congressional and Gubernatorial campaigns seems to have lost much traction with the community since he recently declared that he was tired of being a hyphenated American.

His parents, he declared, weren’t coming to raise Indian-Americans but just Americans.

Pearson Cross, a Political Science professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, who is writing a book on him told the Washington Post, “There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal.”

(IANS)

 

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Haspel, Trump’s Choice For CIA Director, Withdraws Her Name

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

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Donald Trump.
To Lower Drug Costs at Home, Trump Wants Higher Prices Abroad. (Wikimedia Commons)

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.

Haspel told the White House she was interested in stepping aside if it avoided the spectacle of a brutal confirmation hearing on Wednesday and potential damage to the Central Intelligence Agency’s reputation and her own, The Washington Post reported on Sunday.

She was summoned to the White House on Friday for a meeting on her history in the CIA’s controversial interrogation programme – which employed techniques such as waterboarding that are widely seen as torture – and signaled that she was going to withdraw her nomination.

Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump's pick to head the CIA, has offered to withdraw her nomination after some White House officials raised concerns about her ability to get confirmed, the media reported.
CIA, USA- wikimedia commons

She then returned to CIA headquarters, informed officials told The Washington Post.

Taken aback at her stance, senior White House aides, including legislative affairs head Marc Short and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, rushed to meet Haspel at her office late Friday afternoon.

Haspel, who serves as the CIA’s deputy director and has spent 33 years in the agency, most of it undercover, faces some opposition in Congress because of her connection to the interrogation programme, which was set up after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

In 2002, Haspel oversaw a secret CIA detention facility in Thailand, where one Al Qaeda suspect was waterboarded.

Three years later, Haspel was involved in the CIA’s destruction of nearly 100 videotapes that recorded the detainees’ interrogations, launching an investigation by a special prosecutor who ultimately decided not to bring charges against those involved.

An administration official told The Washington Post that the nomination remains on track.

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“There is a hearing prep session today, courtesy calls with senators Monday and Tuesday, and classified materials will be delivered to Senate security so senators can read the real record instead of relying on gossip and unfounded smears,” the official added.

A CIA spokesperson told CNN on Sunday: “There has been a fascinating phenomenon over the last few weeks. Those who know the true Gina Haspel — who worked with her, who served with her, who helped her confront terrorism, Russia and countless other threats to our nation — they almost uniformly support her.

“When the American people finally have a chance to see the true Gina Haspel on Wednesday, they will understand why she is so admired and why she is and will be a great leader for this Agency.” (IANS)

 

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