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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 meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Monday, June 17, 2013. Obama and Putin discussed the ongoing conflict in Syria during their bilateral meeting. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Russia's sole support for Syria casts a pall over G-8

From the moment the Group of Eight summit began, the dividing lines on how to intervene in the Syrian civil war became clear: The U.S. and its European allies on one side, Russia on the other. Published June 17, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting with representatives of the G-20 Civil Summit at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow on Friday, June 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Yuri Kochertkov, Pool)

Canada's Harper gives up on Russia, calls summit 'G-7 plus 1'

Russia's support for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad all but guarantees that the G-8 nations will not come to a unanimous decision on how to proceed with assisting Syrian rebels in the country's ongoing civil war. Published June 17, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a keynote address ahead of the G-8 summit at Waterfront Hall in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Monday, June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/ Paul Faith, Pool)

Obama at G-8: Northern Ireland peace an example for war-torn world

The peace that's settled over Northern Ireland over the past 15 years gives hope to other nations embroiled in conflict and is "proof of what is possible," President Obama said Monday morning during a speech at Belfast's Waterfront Hall. Published June 17, 2013

** FILE ** Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks during an interview on Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (Associated Press/Syrian State TV via AP video)

Obama says Syria has crossed 'red line' with chemical weapons, will send weapons

The Syrian government used chemical weapons against rebel forces trying to overthrow the regime, the Obama administration said Thursday, acknowledging that President Bashar Assad has without doubt crossed the "red line" President Obama laid down for U.S. action in the country's bloody civil war. Published June 13, 2013

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, accompanied by families and friends of the Newtown, Conn., shooting victims, including (from left) Jillian, Carlee and Carlos Soto, siblings of Victoria Soto, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill on June 13, 2013, the six-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting. (Associated Press)

Harry Reid: Background checks will pass — only question is when

On the eve of the six-month anniversary of the Connecticut school shooting, the White House and congressional leaders vowed to continue pushing for new gun controls — but the aftermath of recent mass shootings suggests such an effort is easier said than done. Published June 13, 2013

**FILE** President Obama is greeted by then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton for his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 21, 2013, during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (Associated Press)

White House 'welcomes' Bill Clinton's critique of Syria policy

While not directly addressing Bill Clinton's criticism of the Obama administration's Syria policy, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that the 42nd president has offered "valid" opinions on the deteriorating situation in the Middle Eastern country. Published June 13, 2013

** FILE ** President Obama hugs Tolu Olubunmi, an immigration activist, before speaking about immigration reform on June 11, 2013, in the East Room of the White House. (Associated Press)

Obama throws weight behind immigration overhaul bill

Reprising his role as cheerleader in chief, President Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to quickly pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill and dismissed as unfounded Republican concerns about border security. Published June 11, 2013

** FILE ** Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican (Associated Press)

White House presses GOP to confirm ATF chief; Grassley says more answers needed

The White House and former law enforcement officials on Monday urged the swift confirmation of B. Todd Jones to be the permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), renewing a largely dormant battle over gun control six months after December's school shootings in Connecticut. Published June 10, 2013

**FILE** Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (Associated Press)

Huckabee urges states to back Common Core

As conservative opposition to the national K-12 education standards known as Common Core continues to grow, a leading figure in the Republican Party is lending his voice in support of the system. Published June 5, 2013

** File ** U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks at a gun violence conference in Danbury, Conn., Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Arne Duncan still believes in pre-K expansion

With much of Washington still focused on the White House's ongoing scandals, a top Obama administration official Wednesday tried to shift attention back to a top policy priority: an ambitious expansion of prekindergarten programs. Published May 29, 2013

**FILE** Illinois of Secretary of State Capitol police officers speak with protesters sitting in front of the entrance to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's office at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on May 23, 2013. The demonstrators were protesting against the state's oil drilling "fracking" legislation. (Associated Press)

Illinois edges closer to endorsing gas fracking

Lawmakers in Illinois could sign off on legalizing fracking as early as this week, but approval of the highly controversial drilling method won't come without a fight. Published May 28, 2013