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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 bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn, Estonia, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Obama is in Estonia for a one day visit where he will meet with Baltic State leaders before heading to the NATO Summit in Wales. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama talks tough on terror but shies away from 'war'

A day after the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of another American, President Obama vowed to destroy the organization, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden pledged to follow the terrorists "to the gates of hell" — but neither man offered a strategy or was willing to say the U.S. is at war. Published September 3, 2014

President Obama spoke in Estonia about the need for NATO to defend its member states, many of whom are wary of Russian incursions similar to what has occurred in the Ukrainian theater. (Associated Press)

Obama: Ukrainian military needs NATO backing

Although he's resisted bipartisan calls to send arms to Ukraine, President Obama urged NATO Wednesday to help strengthen the Ukrainian military amid conflicting reports of a tentative cease-fire plan in Kiev's five-month-old fight against Russian forces. Published September 3, 2014

White House press secretary Josh Earnest gestures during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, where he took questions on ISIS, Iraq, and Syria. He also received congratulations for his newborn baby. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President orders more troops to Iraq

On the same day Islamist militants apparently beheaded an American journalist, President Obama on Tuesday ordered another 350 troops to Iraq as the U.S. continues its fight against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State. Published September 2, 2014

Sacrificed: An image taken from a video released by the SITE Intelligence Group shows American journalist Steven Joel Sotloff, 31, just before his execution. (SITE Intelligence Group via Associated Press)

Islamic State beheading of second U.S. journalist accelerates calls for war

Islamist militants on Tuesday released a video purportedly showing the gruesome beheading of a U.S. journalist — the second such execution of an American in less than a month and one that has accelerated bipartisan calls for President Obama to declare war on the terrorist group known as the Islamic State. Published September 2, 2014

In his Labor Day speech, President Obama tried to boost his administration's standing with the labor movement after a series of high-profile clashes. Most recently, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka took aim at Mr. Obama's economic team, saying not enough progress has been made on behalf of the working class. (Associated Press)

Obama tries to bolster union support on Labor Day

After riling unions on everything from Obamacare to the Keystone XL oil pipeline to a stagnated economy, a passionate President Obama on Monday sought to rally organized labor and energize the key Democratic constituency ahead of the November congressional elections. Published September 1, 2014

** FILE ** President Obama as he speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington, Aug. 18, 2014. (Associated Press)

Obama uses Labor Day holiday to push for higher minimum wage

Democrats' push to raise the nation's minimum wage has taken a backseat recently to crises in the Middle East and elsewhere, but President Obama on Saturday resumed the effort and accused Republicans of not caring about the standard of living of average Americans. Published August 30, 2014

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has aided liberal congressional candidate Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey. (Associated Press)

Tea party rival group propels progressive candidates

With a very real chance of being elected to Congress in November, New Jersey Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman makes no bones about the fact that she's benefited heavily from a well-organized progressive machine that has begun to rival the tea party in its ability to hand-pick candidates and propel them into office. Published August 28, 2014

Canada's iconic coffee chain, Tim Hortons, and Miami-based Burger King say they will join forces but will operate as independent brands to form the world's third-largest quick-service restaurant company. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

For Democrats, Burger King now public enemy No. 1

Burger King's $11 billion acquisition of a Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts chain has fired up Senate Democrats and led to calls for a boycott, but the iconic fast-food joint hit back Tuesday as it finalized the deal. Published August 26, 2014

Burger King is in talks to buy Tim Hortons in hopes of creating a new, publicly traded company with its headquarters in Canada. The move would help the company avoid America's 40 percent corporate tax rate. (Associated Press)

Burger King makes run to the border in new deal to buy Canada's Tim Horton's

Without naming names, the White House on Monday appeared to condemn Burger King's acquisition of Canadian chain Tim Hortons — a so-called "corporate inversion" by which the Miami-based fast-food giant would relocate its headquarters north of the border to avoid disproportionately high U.S. tax rates. Published August 25, 2014

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

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

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