By Alexander Burns and John F. Harris
On Feb. 24, 2012, Bob McDonnell was in a fix. With Mitt Romney’s VP selection process looming and McDonnell viewed as a real contender, the Virginia Legislature had very inconveniently descended into a divisive debate about mandating invasive ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.
As McDonnell walked out of a POLITICO event at the Newseum in Washington, he faced a battery of local TV cameras that were there for one purpose: to pin down McDonnell on the culture-war battle riveting Richmond.
It was the kind of moment that sends many politicians racing for the exits, with aides shouting, “No questions!” But McDonnell seemed delighted as he bounded over to greet the press throng. “Are you guys here to ask about my education plan?” he joked.
He then patiently and deftly swatted the questions away — “You can’t believe everything you hear in the national press” — giving the impression of a man thoroughly enjoying himself. His smile and peppy manner seemed almost like a taunt, as if saying to the reporters: C’mon, can’t you guys throw any tougher punches than that?
ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION
[ Ask, and It Will Be Given ] “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden denied allegations that he was acting as a Russian spy when he took classified intelligence documents and later fled the U.S.
“This ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” Snowden told the New Yorker in an interview conducted over what that publication called “encrypted means.” Snowden added that he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”
Snowden’s comments follow remarks made by Senate Intelligence Select Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers on Sunday.
Rogers, appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, raised the possibility that Snowden acted with Russian support. “I believe there’s a reason he ended up in the hands, the loving arms, of an FSB agent in Moscow,” said Rogers, referencing Russia’s main internal-security apparatus. “I don’t think it was a gee-whiz luck event that he ended up in…
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