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The Obama Morning News || February 20, 2015

Friday, February 20, 2015 8:44
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(Before It's News)

Psaki to become White House communications director . . . President Barack Obama has picked U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to take over as White House communications director, bringing someone with whom he has a long history back into his inner circle as other long-time aides depart. “Jen worked on both my campaigns, she’s served in the White House and she’s traveled the world as an advisor to Secretary (John) Kerry,” Obama said in a statement. “I fully trust Jen – and I am thrilled she’s agreed to come back to the White House,” he said. Reuters

But Harf won’t succeed her, according to report . . . Marie Harf, the embattled State Department deputy spokeswoman who insisted this week that helping ISIS jihadis find gainful employment was a better strategy than killing them, is not in line for a promotion when her boss moves to the White House on April 1, a State Department official said Thursday. “Jen’s move to the White House isn’t something that happened overnight,” the official said, “and Marie’s TV appearances were an audition of sorts, a test run, and she failed spectacularly.” Daily Mail

Obama appoints anti-ISIS communications czar . . . Among the few concrete steps to emerge from the extremism summit, the administration announced this week that one of Mr. Obama’s close aides, Rashad Hussain, was appointed as special envoy and coordinator for strategic counterterrorism communications. Washington Times

FBI chief not invited to extremism summit . . . The White House declined to invite FBI Director James Comey to a three-day summit held this week to develop strategies to combat violent extremism, according to senior administration officials. Comey’s absence was in stark contract to the presence of his Russian counterpart, Aleksandr V. Bortnikov, the director of the Russian Federal Security Service, the successor to the Soviet KGB. Daily Caller

Obama wants $20 million to get kids to parks . . . Obama’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative would cost about $20 million per year, and is aimed at ensuring that kids have a chance to “visit and enjoy” America’s outdoors. He proposed it in a speech in Chicago in which he also announced new national monuments in Colorado, Hawaii and Illinois. The Blaze

GOP wants to limit Obama’s monuments . . . While the Obama administration celebrated naming three new national monuments on Thursday, the Republican-led Congress signaled it could move to limit the president’s authority to designate large swaths of land unilaterally under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Washington Examiner

Chicago on track to host Obama library . . . It took personal intervention by Emanuel, who faces reelection next week, to find a way to end the land dispute and put Chicago — specifically, the city’s South Side — back at the front of the pack. Politico


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