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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

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell kept press out of a meeting in Colorado to ensure an "open and frank conversation," said her spokesman. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Reporters barred from Interior Department event

The Obama administration's testy relationship with the press is nothing new for Washington, but it's now extended to Colorado and has touched off a firestorm after Interior Department officials booted local reporters from a public meeting last week. Published January 26, 2014

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell speaks to members of the Outdoor Industry Association at a trade show for outdoor gear makers Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Salt Lake City. Jewell made a pitch Wednesday for a privately funded youth conservation corps and sought donations for the effort from executives at an outdoor-gear trade show. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Colorado firestorm: Administration bars scribes from public meeting

The Obama administration's testy relationship with the press is nothing new in Washington, but it's now extended to Colorado and has touched off a firestorm after Interior Department officials booted local reporters from a public meeting earlier this week. Published January 24, 2014

"My aim is to make sure that energy remains affordable for households and companies," says Gunther Oettinger, energy commissioner for the European Commission. Leaders in the European Union are revamping their approach to climate change because higher energy costs have not sit well with consumers in a struggling economy. (Associated Press)

Ambitious climate change goals too costly for EU

With "unintended consequences" of its ambitious agenda being felt in sluggish economies across the Continent, the European Union on Wednesday made a dramatic retreat from its climate change goals. Published January 22, 2014

President Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican as part of a European trip scheduled for March. The White House says Mr. Obama "looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality" during their March 27 meeting. (Associated Press)

Obama to meet with Pope Francis, a pontiff that even Democrats can embrace

Since Francis denounced "trickle-down economics" and income inequality in November, Mr. Obama and top congressional Democrats have used those words as ammunition in their push for a minimum-wage hike, an unconditional extension of long-term jobless aid and other goals that Republicans have resisted. Published January 21, 2014

President Obama speaks at Justice Department headquarters in D.C. on Friday.

Obama calls for immediate checks, long-term changes to NSA snooping

The NSA will now have to go to a judge before snooping through Americans' phone records, President Obama announced Friday as he set an eventual goal of prying the phone metadata information away from the intelligence community altogether. Published January 17, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during an end-of-the year news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington. Capping a monthslong review, Obama is expected to back modest changes to the government’s surveillance network at home and abroad while largely leaving the framework of the controversial programs in place, including the bulk collection of phone records from millions of Americans.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Obama to continue modified NSA meta-data gathering program

President Obama on Friday will announce some changes to how data gathered by the National Security Agency is stored but will allow the collection of that information to continue, according to multiple media reports. Published January 17, 2014

President Obama will announce changes to U.S. spying, surveillance and data-collection efforts in a speech at the Justice Department on Friday. Privacy advocates have low expectations from the president on whose watch U.S. surveillance has expanded. The speech is in response to a White House panel's recommendations. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Little change expected in U.S. surveillance policy

If the skeptics are correct, President Obama is about to embrace and endorse many of the controversial national-security tools and tactics introduced by his predecessor, despite railing against those policies while campaigning for the Oval Office in 2008. Published January 16, 2014

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION President Barack Obama leans over to kiss first lady Michelle Obama after she introduced him after speaking about college education at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. The event which is to promote opportunities for students to attend and finish college and university, was attended by college and university presidents and leaders from nonprofits, foundations, governments and businesses. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Obama collects college commitments on tuition costs

As part of a larger plan to work around a recalcitrant Congress, President Obama went after rising college tuition costs by charging an “admission” fee to the more than 100 university leaders who attended Thursday’s summit on the issue at the White House. Published January 16, 2014

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden "would love" to return to the U.S. "if the conditions were right," his top legal adviser Jesselyn Radack said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday. (ASSOCIATED PRESS photographs)

Obama faces 'day of action' to protest NSA reforms

With exceedingly low expectations for President Obama's long-awaited reforms to U.S. surveillance programs, critics now are planning a 'day of action' to voice their displeasure and disappointment with the White House and the National Security Agency. Published January 16, 2014

Maria Contreras-Sweet, founder and board chairman of a Latino-owned community bank in Los Angeles, accompanied by President Barack Obama, waves as they enter the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, where the president announced he would nominate Contreras-Sweet to head the Small Business Administration (SBA) . (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Obama announces new head of Small Business Administration

President Obama on Wednesday named his choice to lead the Small Business Administration and established an electronics technology hub in North Carolina, but those and other steps won’t bridge the gaps that still exist between his administration and the broader business community. Published January 15, 2014

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, jobs, and manufacturing, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Obama launches research hub in North Carolina

Following up on his pledge to make 2014 a year of executive action on the economy and other issues, President Obama on Wednesday designated Raleigh, N.C., as the new hotspot in electronics research. Published January 15, 2014

John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, speaks with editors and reporters of The Washington Times in December. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times) ** FILE **

Roundtable to Obama: 'Start a business' to aid economy

President Obama has vowed to take a variety of unilateral actions in his second term to boost the economy, but one of the leading voices in the American business community said Wednesday that the president, if he truly wants to help jump-start the economy, should start his own business. Published January 15, 2014


No Spain, no gain: Obama praises country's recovery

With the U.S. still struggling to fully rebound from the Great Recession, President Obama on Monday lauded Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for the progress he's made in stabilizing his country's economy and shepherding Spain to back-to-back quarters of fiscal growth. Published January 13, 2014