The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, February 3, 2014

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Janine Elliot

PRESIDENT OBAMA / BENGHAZI The New York Times' Peter Baker: " Obama Is Tackled by O'Reilly in Pre-Game Interview" Some of the hardest hits of Super Bowl Sunday came a couple of hours before kickoff. In keeping with his tradition of appearing on the network broadcasting football's championship game, President Obama found himself confronting a full-scale blitz by Bill O'Reilly of Fox News. In the interview, conducted live before the game, Mr. Obama was grilled about the botched rollout of the health care law, his discredited assurances that anyone who liked their insurance could keep it, the attack on the American post in Benghazi, Libya, and the Internal Revenue Service scrutiny of conservative groups. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Epstein: " Pre-Super Bowl, Obama spars with Bill O'Reilly" President Barack Obama faced questions Sunday on Obamacare, Benghazi and the IRS's targeting of conservative groups during a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and dismissed much of the criticism of him as ginned up by the cable news channel. "These kinds of things keep on surfacing in part because you and your TV station will promote them," Obama told O'Reilly during an adversarial live interview from the White House that aired during the pre-game show. Asked if the "biggest mistake" of his presidency was his claim that Americans who liked their health insurance plans would be able to keep that coverage, Obama nudged his interviewer. "Oh, Bill, you've got a long list of problems of my presidency," he said. LINK

Politico's Burgess Everett: " Senate Democrats break from Obama" President Barack Obama is counting on Senate Democrats to help approve his legislative agenda during his final years in office. And though they are his staunchest allies on most economic issues, many Democratic senators are breaking with him on key issues in very public ways. From trade to Iran sanctions, the Keystone XL pipeline, Obamacare, the National Security Agency and energy policy, Senate Democrats seem unusually comfortable criticizing the president, with only minimal concerns about repercussions from the White House. LINK

The Hill's Erik Wasson: " Obama defends Benghazi response" President Obama on Sunday defended his administration's handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that left Ambassador Chris Stevens dead. Obama, under questioning from Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, reiterated his claim that the administration did not try to conceal that the fact it was a terrorist attack in order to help Obama's reelection campaign. "I've gone through this and we've had multiple hearings on this," Obama said. The president was asked what exactly Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told him when informing him of the attack. LINK

LIBYA The New York Times' Eric Schmitt: " Libya's Cache of Toxic Arms All Destroyed" Even as the international effort to destroy Syria's vast chemical weapons stockpile lags behind schedule, a similar American-backed campaign carried out under a cloak of secrecy ended successfully last week in another strife-torn country, Libya. The United States and Libya in the past three months have discreetly destroyed what both sides say were the last remnants of Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi's lethal arsenal of chemical arms. They used a transportable oven technology to destroy hundreds of bombs and artillery rounds filled with deadly mustard agent, which American officials had feared could fall into the hands of terrorists. The effort also helped inspire the use of the technology in the much bigger disposal plan in Syria. LINK

HEALTH CARE Washington Post's Amy Goldstein: " can't handle appeals of enrollment errors" Tens of thousands of people who discovered that made mistakes as they were signing up for a health plan are confronting a new roadblock: The government cannot yet fix the errors. Roughly 22,000 Americans have filed appeals with the government to try to get mistakes corrected, according to internal government data obtained by The Washington Post. They contend that the computer system for the new federal online marketplace charged them too much for health insurance, steered them into the wrong insurance program or denied them coverage entirely. LINK

Bloomberg's Roger Runningen: " Obama Says Extent of Health Care Website Flaws Unexpected" President Barack Obama said neither he nor members of his administration anticipated the magnitude of the flaws that hobbled the startup of the federal website for people to choose health-care plans under his new law. "I don't think anybody anticipated the degree of problems that you had on," Obama said in an interview with Fox News yesterday. Now, "it's working the way it's supposed to." LINK

HILLARY CLINTON ABC News' Rick Klein: " Hillary Clinton Twitter-Blitzes Fox News During Super Bowl" For Hillary Clinton, the best Super Bowl defense is some offense - unless it's the other way around. The former secretary of state roiled the Twitterverse midway through tonight's big game with a rare tweet that seemed to respond to the aggressive media coverage she's drawn of late. "It's so much more fun to watch FOX when it's someone else being blitzed & sacked! #SuperBowl," Clinton Tweeted from @HillaryClinton. No specifics followed from her or from the Clinton camp, but the tweet was immediately interpreted as a reference to Fox News Channel's coverage of all things Clinton, starting with continued questioning of the tragic incident in Benghazi, Libya. LINK

USA Today's Jessica Durando: " Hillary Clinton Sends Joking Tweet About Fox During Super Bowl" Hillary Rodham Clinton sent out a tweet during the Super Bowl, joking about Fox for what appears to be related to the network's coverage of the former secretary of State. Using football terminology, Clinton said, "It's so much more fun to watch FOX when it's someone else being blitzed & sacked!" At first glance it was unclear as to the intention of Clinton's tweet. But, Clinton's press secretary Nick Merrill clarified in an e-mail that it was indeed a joke. "It was good-natured, light-hearted, and self-deprecating," Merrill said. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas Carol E. Lee: " Early Drive For Clinton unsettles Democrats" The formidable campaign apparatus that has sprung up to support a possible 2016 presidential bid by Hillary Clinton is rattling some Democrats, sparking concerns that it could suppress competition for the party nomination and siphon money from candidates running in the midterm elections this fall. With Democrats fighting to keep control of the Senate in the midterms, the emergence of the pro-Clinton super PAC Priorities USA could eat into donations that the party's candidates need to win in November, some Democrats warn. A number of Democratic groups are soliciting donors for money, including super PACS devoted to House and Senate races along with traditional party fundraising committees. LINK

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE The New York Daily News' Adam Edelman: " 'Evidence' Christie knew about bridge closure not in subpoenaed documents: investigator" The "evidence" a former Port Authority official says proves embattled Gov. Chris Christie knew about the George Washington Bridge lane closures are not part of the mammoth pile of documents he submitted in response to a subpoena, the New Jersey Democrat leading the state legislature's investigation said Sunday. "We don't really know what the evidence is," Assemblyman John Wisniewski said on NBC's "Meet the Press" about David Wildstein's claims that Christie knew of the lane closings. LINK

Politico's Elizabeth Titus: " Subpoenaed Christie staffer Christina Renna resigns" A Chris Christie aide who was subpoenaed in a growing New Jersey traffic scandal resigned Friday, the aide's lawyer confirmed to POLITICO. Christina Renna becomes the second person to leave the Republican governor's office since the scandal escalated in January . But she did not say the scandal, which has threatened Christie's potential presidential ambitions, was the reason for her departure. "This reflects a decision I have been considering since shortly after the election," Renna said in a statement provided by her attorney, Henry Klingeman of Newark, N.J. Christie was elected to a second term last November. LINK

PENNSYLVANIA CORRUPTION CASE The Washington Times' Kelly Riddell and Jim McElhatton: " EXCLUSIVE: New Homeland official was key figure in Pennsylvania corruption case" Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's newest appointee to his inner circle, chief of staff Christian Marrone, rose to Washington power player via the streets of Pennsylvania's pay-to-play politics. Mr. Marrone acknowledged in court that as a Pennsylvania legislative aide he oversaw the private renovation of his politician boss's mansion - all while drawing paychecks from taxpayers, according to court records reviewed by The Washington Times. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " 'This Week': Super Bowl Security" LINK " 'This Week': Paul Ryan" LINK " 'This Week': Marijuana In Colorado" LINK " 'This Week': Marijuana Legalization" LINK " 'This Week': Tribute To A Hero" LINK " Chris Christie Reacts To New Bridge Scandal Accusations" LINK

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