White House

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White House Has Its First Transgender Official

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan will serve as outreach and recruitment director

(Newser) - When Raffi Freedman-Gurspan started her new job as outreach and recruitment director for the Presidential Personnel Office today, she became the first openly transgender person to serve on the White House staff, the Advocate reports. Freedman-Gurspan served as a policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Obama... More »

White House Lowers Flag for Victims in Chattanooga

Republicans say it took too long

(Newser) - Flags are flying at half-staff in front of the White House and the Capitol today in honor of the victims of last week's Chattanooga shootings. President Obama ordered the move at the White House “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence... More »

Michelle Obama Rips Up White House 'No Photos' Sign

40-year tour group photo ban dropped

(Newser) - The "No Photos or Social Media Allowed" signs in the White House are history—one of them was ripped up by Michelle Obama in an Instagram video —and "Photography Is Encouraged" signs have appeared in their place. The camera and photo ban for public tours that was... More »

The White House Looks Like This Tonight

A colorful end to a historic day

(Newser) - The White House is lit up in rainbow colors in commemoration of the Supreme Court's ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. The colors illuminated the north side of the White House as Obama returned this evening from Charleston, South Carolina, where he delivered the eulogy of the funeral of Clementa... More »

Obama to Heckler: 'You're in My House'

President gets a little upset at White House guest

(Newser) - President Obama is used to hecklers by now, but one at the White House today seemed to irritate him—in part because the heckling occurred at the White House. “No, no, no, no. Listen, you’re in my house,” Obama told the heckler, reports the Hill . “Shame... More »

Former White House Chef Drowned 25 Yards From Trail

Walter Scheib's death ruled an accident

(Newser) - The death of former top White House chef Walter Scheib appears to have been a tragic hiking accident, according to authorities in New Mexico. An autopsy of the 61-year-old determined that the cause of death was drowning, and officials say there was no sign of foul play, NBC News reports.... More »

Body of Former Top White House Chef Found

Walter Scheib went missing on NM hike

(Newser) - The body of former top White House chef Walter Scheib has been found more than a week after he disappeared in rough terrain near Taos, NM. State officials say the body of the 61-year-old, who had recently moved to the state from Florida, was found near a hiking trail, the... More »

Obama Threw Huge Party, Kept It Quiet—Almost

Prince, Stevie Wonder serenaded 500 guests at private event on Saturday

(Newser) - The Obamas let off a little steam on Saturday during what the White House press secretary calls "a private social event at the White House," per Politico . Or as we prefer to put it: Barack and Michelle Obama and their 500 closest friends danced late into the night... More »

Bomb Threat Clears White House Press Room

Evacuation lasted about a half-hour

(Newser) - A strange and scary moment for members of the White House press corps today: Secret Service hustled everybody out of Josh Earnest's live daily briefing this afternoon after someone phoned in a bomb threat, reports CNN . Reporters were allowed back in after the all-clear came about 30 minutes later.... More »

Ex-Obama Spokesman Gibbs Is Now a Fast-Food Honcho

He'll run global communications for McDonald's

(Newser) - From the White House to the ... golden arches? Former Obama spokesman and adviser Robert Gibbs is now in charge of global communications for McDonald's, reports Politico . CEO Steve Easterbook explains that Gibbs, who left the White House in 2011, brings “experience and outside perspective to McDonald’s as... More »

White House Pops Up on Google Maps in N-Word Search

Company says it's trying to fix system so it won't be inundated with racial slurs

(Newser) - Just last month Google Maps had to scramble to eliminate an image that showed an Android robot peeing on the Apple logo . Now it's got an even worse problem: remedying an issue that brings up the White House when certain racial slurs are punched in, the Washington Post reports.... More »

What Really Happened When Reagan Got Shot

Secretary of State Al Haig said he was 'in control', but was he?

(Newser) - When President Reagan got shot, Secretary of State Al Haig stunned the nation by saying he was "in control"—but really someone else was about to be, the Dallas Morning News reports. Relying on White House tapes and interviews with people involved, the Morning News describes a "... More »

Report: Psych Group Helped Bush Justify Torture

APA propped up Bush administration's interrogation program, critics say

(Newser) - The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA prisoner torture caused a massive stir in December, and now that pot is boiling over once more. A report by a group of what the New York Times calls "dissident health professionals and human rights activists" claims that the American Psychological... More »

Obama Gets His Own China

White House breaks out the new plates just in time for state dinner tomorrow

(Newser) - Six years into his administration, President Obama finally has his own plates: The White House today unveiled Obama's official state china service, an 11-piece setting trimmed in a hue of blue that was inspired by the waters of his native state of Hawaii. The china will immediately be put... More »

Secret Service Busts Latest White House Fence-Jumper

Intruder hopped fence on southern perimeter, charges pending

(Newser) - Yet again , someone has climbed the White House fence , the Washington Post reports. The Secret Service says it arrested the intruder right away on the south side of the grounds at around 10:25 last night. A package the person was carrying was not dangerous, the Secret Service adds.... More »

Russia Hackers Had Access to Obama's Schedule

President's whereabouts not classified, but not public knowledge, either

(Newser) - Russian hackers' apparent infiltration of the White House computer network in October wasn't exactly confidence-inspiring, even though it was the unclassified portion of the system that was breached. Now US officials say some of the unclassified information that made its way onto hackers' screens was related to President Obama'... More »

Wanted: New, 'Politically Correct' White House Fence

But competing agencies are slowing down the project

(Newser) - Think the White House needs a fence that's less amenable to jumpers? So does the Secret Service, which has had agents hurtling themselves at fences for months to see which is hardest to climb over, the New York Times reports. But the main issue holding up a better fence... More »

White House Florist's Exit Sprouts Rumors

Sources aren't buying Laura Dowling's apparent resignation

(Newser) - The White House may be a little less green than usual. In what appears to be a rather hush-hush staffing change, officials say head florist Laura Dowling has left her post and was escorted from the residence on Feb. 13. In a statement released through lawyers, Dowling says, "I... More »

Why Madonna Wishes She Were Married to Jay Z

Because then maybe she'd finally score a White House invite

(Newser) - Madonna seems pretty happy with herself, for the most part—but it sounds like there's at least one reason she might be jealous of Beyonce. She recently admitted in Us Weekly 's "25 Things You Don't Know About Me" that the person she most wants to... More »

No Charges for White House Drone Pilot

Spy agency hasn't punished him for crash

(Newser) - Sounds like spy agency worker Shawn Usman has some very understanding bosses: Federal authorities have decided not to pursue charges against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee for crashing a drone on the White House grounds while off-duty and intoxicated earlier this year, and the NGA says it has taken no... More »

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