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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

President Barack Obama speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group.  The president said the US will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder of journalist James Foley. Obama said the entire world is "appalled" by Foley's killing. The president says he spoke Wednesday with Foley's family and offered condolences.  (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Obama: Failed rescue mission in Syria preceded reporter's murder

The Obama administration revealed Wednesday that the president authorized a mission earlier this year to rescue photojournalist James Foley and other Americans held captive in Syria by Islamist militants, but the operation failed. Published August 20, 2014

Iraq Shiite fighters make their way to the front line to fight militants from the extremist Islamic State group in Jurf al-Sakhar, 43 miles (70 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Aug 18, 2014. Fighters of the voluntary armed group formed after the radical Shiite cleric Muqtatda al-Sadr called to protect holy shrines against possible attacks by Sunni militants. (AP Photo/ Hadi MIzban)

Obama claims victory in Iraq, but holds fast to limits of U.S. mission

Making a brief return to Washington before resuming his two-week vacation, President Obama on Monday declared something of a victory in Iraq, saying U.S. air power in conjunction with Iraqi ground forces had pushed Islamist militants away from the crucial Mosul Dam. Published August 18, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, left, meet with members of the National Security Council, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Also at the meeting, from left are, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, Biden, Obama, Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken, and Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco. Obama took a break in the middle of his Martha's Vineyard vacation to return to Washington for meetings with advisers on the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and tensions between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Back from vacation, Obama meets with advisers on Iraq

As U.S. forces continue an airstrike campaign against Islamist militants in Iraq, President Obama on Monday convened his national security team for a meeting on the crisis, though the White House has released no information on exactly what was discussed. Published August 18, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks with Attorney General Eric Holder as news photographers photograph their meeting regarding the fatal police shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama to speak about Iraq, unrest in Ferguson

President Obama will speak Monday afternoon about ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, the White House said. Published August 18, 2014

Rep. William Lacy Clay, whose district includes Ferguson, Missouri, says the federal government needs to provide training with weapons. (Associated Press)

Military equipment for local police questioned amid Ferguson violence

Police forces are not only turning to military-style equipment to take on law enforcement tasks, but sometimes aren't even trained properly in how to use the weapons of war, the congressman who represents the St. Louis suburb that has been ensnared in a week of violence said Sunday. Published August 17, 2014

** FILE ** This undated file image posted on a militant website on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) marching in Raqqa, Syria. (AP Photo/Militant Website, File)

Lawmakers call for 'coalition of the willing' in Iraq

Lawmakers from both parties said Sunday it may be time to form a "coalition of the willing" to counter a burgeoning army of Islamist extremists who continue to make key gains in Iraq and Syria. Published August 17, 2014

Since authorizing strikes against the Islamic State group two weeks ago, President Obama has gone to great lengths to assure the American people that no U.S. ground forces will return to war in Iraq. (Associated Press)

Obama faces growing pressure for more military force against Islamic State

Lawmakers from both parties are increasingly questioning the Obama administration's strategy for dealing with a powerful Islamist terrorist group in the Middle East, saying the U.S. should expand its approach, which might include combat troops on the ground in Iraq and airstrikes in Syria. Published August 17, 2014

**FILE** House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 6, 2013. (Associated PRess)

U.S. in greater danger than before 9/11, Rep. Mike Rogers says

The rise of the Islamic State group and other terrorist organizations across the globe has put the U.S. in even greater danger than it was in before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a top Republican lawmaker said Sunday. Published August 17, 2014

FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, file photo, Texas Gov. Rick Perry delivers a speech to nearly 300 in attendance at the 2014 RedState Gathering, in Fort Worth, Texas. Perry was indicted on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, for abuse of power after carrying out a threat to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

Perry: Indictment latest example of 'a government that's out of control'

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that his indictment on abuse of power and coercion charges is just the latest example of "out of control" government at all levels, comparing the case with the Obama administration's failure to secure the U.S. border and the IRS' targeting of conservative groups. Published August 17, 2014

** FILE ** President Obama hugs Elizabeth Warren as he arrives to speak at a campaign event at Symphony Hall, June 25, 2012, in Boston. (Associated Press)

Obama pushes Elizabeth Warren's student loan reform bill

President Obama on Saturday challenged the nation's students to excel in class this fall while also pushing Congress to back a bill that would allow college graduates to refinance their student loans. Published August 16, 2014

**FILE** Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declined the Washington Redskins' offer to attend a game unless the team changes its nickname. (Associated Press)

Republicans blast Harry Reid's 'irresponsible' Senate

President Obama frequently paints the Republican-controlled House as the reason little gets done in Washington, but the GOP on Saturday countered that all of the blame rests with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Published August 16, 2014

Going Solo: President Obama carries low job approval ratings that have Democrats steering clear of him on the campaign trail and at fundraising events. (White House)

Democrats abandon fundraiser in chief

President Obama has run into the embarrassing situation that also bedeviled his predecessor: vulnerable members of his own party are keeping their distance. Published August 13, 2014

Since authorizing strikes against the Islamic State group two weeks ago, President Obama has gone to great lengths to assure the American people that no U.S. ground forces will return to war in Iraq. (Associated Press)

Obama's doctrine: Inaction on Syria led to Iraq crisis

President Obama is deepening U.S. engagement in Iraq under the shadow of Syria, where he resisted similar calls to intervene — inaction that analysts and even his former top diplomat say may have sown the seeds of the Iraqi conflict. Published August 12, 2014