What's Next in Nigeria?

By MICHAEL FALCONE ( @michaelpfalcone )


  • U.S. SENDING SMALL MILITARY TEAM TO NIGERIA. A team of less than 10 U.S. military members will arrive in Nigeria in coming days to be part of the coordination cell to assist that country in the search for more than 200 school girls taken by an Islamic terror group three weeks ago, ABC's LUIS MARTINEZ reports. A Pentagon spokesman said there are no plans right now to conduct a broader military operation in Nigeria. The White House announced Tuesday that an inter-agency coordination cell would arrive in Nigeria to provide any assistance in the search. According to Pentagon spokesman said this military team will be part of the larger interagency team that will assess what further assistance can be provided to Nigeria. http://abcn.ws/1ita7TM
  • HILLARY CLINTON CALLS KIDNAPPINGS 'AN ACT OF TERRORISM': Hillary Clinton yesterday called the kidnapping of more than 300 school girls in Nigeria"abominable", "criminal" and "an act of terrorism," according to ABC's LIZ KREUTZ. The government of Nigeria has been "somewhat derelict in its responsibility" to protect children, she said in a conversation with ABC's ROBIN ROBERTS. "They need to make it a priority." The former secretary of state added, "The Nigerian government must accept help." "It's horrible, Robin, it's horrible," she said. Clinton's comments come as global uproar continues to mount over the fate of the hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram in mid-April, and just one day after UNICEF confirmed the abduction of 8 more girls. http://abcn.ws/1kMGG1Q


ABC's RICK KLEIN: Monica is officially back, and the politics may be … nothing at all. Monica Lewinsky's thoughtful, nuanced, and well-written essay in Vanity Fair announces her arrival back on the national political scene, or whatever you might call the special space that was virtually created by Monica Madness a decade-and-a-half ago. We'll see if she wants to work in what counts for her as relative privacy, and whether even an aggressive press corps is likely to let her, at least after a while. Maybe reminders of Bill Clinton's infidelity serve to humanize Hillary; maybe they remind people of the scandal-swirling worst days of the Clinton presidency. They appear likely to confirm suspicions and sentiments of the Clintons - like just about everything else that happens in the Clinton space. The next move, though, is Monica's - exactly the position she wants to be in after all this time.


CLINTON ON NIGERIAN RESCUE EFFORTS: 'WE NEED A LOT MORE ACTION' Less than six hours after she declared the mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls an "abominable" act of terror, Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night blasted civilian leaders in Abuja for their slow response, demanding "a lot more action" in the fight to bring the children home, according to ABC's GREG KRIEG. The domestic and international efforts - or lack thereof - to rescue the girls from their Boko Haram captors took center stage as Clinton stepped to the podium at an International Crisis Group award dinner in New York City's lush Waldorf Astoria hotel. "Everyone needs to see this for what it is," she told a dinner crowd that mixed high-powered philanthropists with young staffers. "It is a gross human rights abuse but it is also part of a continuing struggle within Nigeria and within North Africa."

HILLARY CLINTON ASKED ABOUT 2016 IN 'ONE OF THE CLEVEREST' WAYS YET. During an event in New York City on Wednesday, Hillary Clinton was asked the predicable question about 2016 - but in an unpredictable way, ABC's LIZ KREUTZ reports. "Were you to run for president in 2016, would you consider Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro for your running mate?" ABC's Robin Roberts asked Clinton, referring to her potential vice president pick should she seek the presidency, which she has yet to do . "Oh my goodness," Clinton responded, seeming surprised. Clinton wouldn't answer the hypothetical, but conceded the tactic was pretty original. "I've been asked this question many different ways," she said, to audience laughter. "This is one of the cleverest." Clinton continued to praise both the Democratic politicians, saying they are "extraordinary leaders" who she admires greatly. http://abcn.ws/1fQzbt2


ALISON LUNDERGAN GRIMES RELEASES FIRST TV AD. Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky Secretary of State and Democratic candidate for Senate, is out with her first television ad of the 2014 cycle this morning, notes ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE. The commercial is a positive, 30-second spot that focuses on one of Grimes' signature accomplishments, the Military Heroes Voting Initiative. The law she spearheaded last year ensures that soldiers serving overseas would be able to vote more easily, receiving their ballots by Internet but then returning them by regular mail. Grimes' original legislation would have allowed soldiers overseas to cast their ballot using a secure Internet system. The ad is clearly aimed at wooing military families, a crucial group. The Grimes campaign wouldn't comment on exactly how much they are putting behind the ad, but describe it as a "significant six-figure statewide buy." http://abcn.ws/1uEN7KU



BOKO HARAM LEADER DESERVES 'SPECIAL PLACE IN HELL', LAWMAKERS SAY. Five outraged House Democrats emerged from a meeting at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, D.C., yesterday with tough words for the leader of the terrorist group Boko Haram, according to ABC's KATHERINE FAULDERS. "There is a special place in hell for somebody like him. Those who would prey on our children, they say that they are warlords and that they are fighting for what is right. They have become wars on children and that is not right" said Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Texas, referring to Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, added: "We will not stop until these girls are found but we want the terrorist thug to be found now and brought to justice." http://abcn.ws/1mDvgmu

MICHELLE OBAMA JOINS #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS MOVEMENT ON TWITTER. First lady Michelle Obama joined the #BringBackOurGirls movement on Twitter Tuesday afternoon, ABC's ERIN DOOLEY reports. The tweet is signed "-mo," which means the first lady herself penned the message. The hashtag has become a rallying cry for women and men fighting for the release of nearly 300 girls captured by Boko Haram, a terrorist organization in Nigeria. In the 23 days since the girls first went missing, the hashtag has been shared over a million times. http://abcn.ws/1npt9j3

THE MONICA LEWINSKY ESSAY: 5 MORE REVELATIONS. After 10 years Monica Lewinsky is breaking her silence and speaking out. Vanity Fair released some of the highlights Tuesday, but in the full revealing essay she details a painful 16 years since the world learned of her affair with the president and how she will stay silent no more. Here's ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE's look at five more revelations from Lewinsky's essay: http://abcn.ws/1s4SO0L

PRESIDENT OBAMA SURVEYS ARKANSAS TORNADO DAMAGE. After getting a first-hand look at the tornado damage, President Obama yesterday re-assured Arkansas residents that they are not alone and that "your country's going to be here for you," according to ABC's MARY BRUCE. "I'm here to make sure that they know and that everybody who's been affected knows that, you know, the federal government's going to be right here until we get, you know, these communities rebuilt, because when something like this happens to a wonderful community like this one, it happens to all of us and, you know, we've got to be there for them," the president said, speaking before piles of rubble where homes once stood. It's been 10 days since the towns of Mayflower and Vilonia were torn apart by a tornado that killed 15 people as it ripped through over 40 miles of the county. http://abcn.ws/1o7NHiE

TED CRUZ DENOUNCES OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S 'LAWLESSNESS.' Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., told a Washington, D.C. audience yesterday that "the pattern of lawlessness by [the Obama] Administration should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology," ABC's ALINA KLEINEIDAM reports. His speech to the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group, came on the same day the Texas Republican released his fourth report on the Obama Administration's "abuse of power" and executive over-reaches. Cruz's "Legal Limit Report No. 4? documents "76 instances of lawlessness and other abuses of power" and catalogues how Obama abused his power in Cruz's opinion. During Cruz's remarks, he said that that "rather than any particular tree" the report "focuses on the entire forest" of Obama's lawlessness. "How many of you have your cellphone?" the Senator asked his audience. "Please leave your cellphones on: I want to make sure President Obama hears everything we say," he joked. http://abcn.ws/1uC9gtx

HOUSE FINDS EX-IRS OFFICIAL LOIS LERNER IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS. The House of Representatives voted Wednesday evening to find former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and adopted a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS targeting scandal, according to ABC's JOHN PARKINSON. In a principally partisan display, the House voted 231 to 187, with six Democrats joining Republicans in support of the contempt resolution. "It's time for Lois Lerner to account for her actions, and if she won't then the full force of the law should be brought to bear," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement after the vote. "The actions taken yesterday also put the Obama administration on notice that the American people, and their representatives in the House, will not tolerate any more stonewalling." http://abcn.ws/1fQtzPv

AFTER ESTABLISHMENT GOP WINS, A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR AD PUSH. The day after establishment Republicans basked in victories over tea partiers in primaries, the establishment has bought in big with a high-dollar ad campaign backing GOP candidates across the country, ABC's SHUSHANNAH WALSHE notes. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out Wednesday with a multi-million dollar television and digital ad campaign supporting GOP candidates-establishment favorites-from coast to coast. They unveiled 13 new 30-second television ads for candidates that include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and Rep. Mike Simpson in Idaho, both confronting Tea Party challengers in the coming weeks. The ad backing Simpson is actually an extension of a commercial launched last month. It personifies the idea of the establishment's choice as Mitt Romney actually appears in the ad that will run through his May 20 primary. http://abcn.ws/1kNU4S3


-RAND PAUL GAVE AN ENTIRE SPEECH IN A BASEBALL UNIFORM. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is going to bat for Republicans, and he's got the uniform to prove it, ABC's ARLETTE SAENZ notes. The Kentucky Republican and potential presidential hopeful showed up at an Arlington, Va. breakfast event hosted by the Leadership Institute, a conservative group, Wednesday morning looking a little different. Instead of his typical suit and tie, Paul gave his entire speech wearing a baseball uniform, bearing the team name "Republicans." What was behind Paul's fashion statement? Turns out he went to the speech directly after his first practice with Republicans playing in this year's congressional baseball game and didn't have time to change, an aide to Paul told ABC News. http://abcn.ws/1fPzuVd

-PENTAGON OFFICIAL WHO INSPIRED 'TOP GUN' CHARACTER RETIRES. She rose through the ranks to become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve at the Department of Defense. She was also the inspiration for actress Kelly McGillis' role as a teacher named Charlie in the 1986 movie "Top Gun," which co-starred Tom Cruise. And this week, Christine Fox, who was the acting deputy secretary of defense and a 1980s' flight school instructor, retired from the Pentagon, ABC's ALINA KLEINEIDAM reports. President Obama acknowledged Fox's "dedicated service to our nation and to the men and women of our Armed Forces," adding in a statement that he was "grateful to Christine for her willingness to step in and serve her nation once again, as the highest ranking woman ever to serve at the Department of Defense." http://abcn.ws/1kNtHvn


DCCC COMES OUT SWINGING WITH NEW BENGHAZI VIDEO. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a new video today highlighting what they call "House Republicans' disgraceful exploitation of the Benghazi tragedy." The DCCC's Josh Schwerin said: "The NRCC and Republican Leadership should be ashamed of themselves for this disgraceful exploitation of an American tragedy. This blatant politicization of the Benghazi tragedy is exactly why this Republican Congress is the least popular in history." WATCH: http://youtu.be/1zkZQ-zvy1U


@joshrogin: Hillary's State Department Refused to Brand Boko Haram as Terrorists http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/07/hillary-s-state-department-refused-to-brand-boko-haram-as-terrorists.html …

@RichardWike: New poll shows that Ukrainians want their country to remain a single, unified state http://pewrsr.ch/1snZSHV

@CMAGAdFacts: With political TV ads flying faster & harsher, some candidate kids are pulling grown-up message duty http://bit.ly/1hunSls @CookPolitical

@Schultz44: USAT Ed: After 13 inquiries, a select committee on Benghazi hardly seems the best way for Congress to spend its time http://usat.ly/1j03pdQ

? @carenbohan: The undercover senator: Tim Scott goes anecdote-shopping in South Carolina, by @bterris http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-undercover-senator-sen-tim-scott-goes-anecdote-shopping-in-south-carolina/2014/05/06/98e534b0-cbb9-11e3-93eb-6c0037dde2ad_story.html …

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...