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Alex Leary, Times Washington Bureau Chief

Alex Leary

Alex Leary is the Washington bureau chief for the Tampa Bay Times. He previously worked in the Times' state capital bureau, and before that covered local politics, environmental issues and law enforcement. His career in journalism began at the Valley News in New Hampshire.

Phone: (202) 306-4807

Email: leary@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Trump welcomes a super fan onto the stage in Melbourne


    Donald Trump dismissed security concerns and welcomed a man onto the stage in Melbourne on Saturday, a splash of showmanship in a rally that made you think the campaign was still going.

    "I'm only worried he's going to give me a kiss," Trump joked. "Come on up."

    The man is Gene Huber of Boynton Beach, per the Palm Beach Post's George Bennett. Media reports indicated Huber had been on line many hours before the rally....

    President Donald Trump in Melbourne
  2. Trump calls the news media 'enemy of the American people'


    President Trump on Friday leveled his most acerbic attack on the news media, calling the free press "the enemy of the American people."

    Trump launched the salvo after arriving at Mar-a-Lago, his third visit in as many weeks.

    Trump tweet
  3. Bob Graham wants Congress to set up 9/11 style panel to probe Russian meddling


    Former Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired a congressional investigation into 9/11, wants a similar approach for a probe into Russian interference.

    Graham issued the following:

    "After the horrific terrorist attacks of 9/11, the congressional leadership set aside political differences in a search for the truth. For the first time in more than 200 years, Congress merged two standing committees from different houses -- the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence -- into a Joint Congressional Inquiry. Due in large part to the experience of our members, their familiarity with the use of classified information and an independent staff, the Joint Inquiry wrote the first draft of the U.S. intelligence community’s role in the events surrounding the tragedy. Our investigation discovered documentation and data that raised concerns about possible involvement of foreign individuals and sources of support for the hijackers.”...

  4. Daughter of Trump's Florida campaign manager 'walked out' of White House


    The following is from Politico:

    Several White House staffers were dismissed Thursday morning after failing FBI background checks, according to sources familiar with the matter.

    Six aides were "walked out of the building by security" on Wednesday after not passing the SF86, a Questionnaire for National Security Positions for security clearance.

    Among those whose White House posts were revoked was President Donald Trump’s director of scheduling, Caroline Wiles, the daughter of Susan Wiles, Trump’s Florida campaign manager and former chief of staff to Governor Rick Scott. Wiles was appointed deputy assistant secretary before the inauguration in January. Two sources close to Wiles said she will get another job in Treasury....

  5. As a candidate in Florida, Trump loved leaks


    WASHINGTON - President Trump today lashed out at leaks coming from across Washington and said he has asked the Justice Department to investigate. “It’s a criminal act.”

    But as a candidate Trump reveled in leaks — WikiLeaks. On the trail in Florida and elsewhere, Trump discussed the Democratic emails that an array of experts say were hacked by the Russians.

    Pressed on matter, Trump attempted to draw a distinction between “classified” information coming out now vs. internal Democratic chatter....

  6. Trump names FIU Dean Alex Acosta as labor pick


    WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump today named FIU Law Dean Alex Acotsa as his new labor secretary choice after his first pick withdrewin controversy.

    Acosta, if confirmed, would be the first Hispanic in Trump's Cabinet.

    Acosta has been dean at Florida International University since 2009. He has experience as a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida and served on the National Labor Relations Board....

    Alexander Acosta
  7. On Capitol Hill, concern of being 'bogged down' by Trump


    WASHINGTON - Rep. Vern Buchanan worries about important issues like tax reform getting pushed back. Rep. Brian Mast is concerned about Twitter spats and poorly executed policy announcements.

    Neither Florida Republican overtly criticized Donald Trump, but they conveyed the challenges the president’s hectic beginning has brought to Capitol Hill.

    “People want to see (us) get stuff done. Health care is a huge issue, tax reform and regulations. That’s what people want to see. Unfortunately, this thing gets bogged down,” Buchanan said, referring to the controversies....

    Rep. Brian Mast speaks with Gannett reporter Ledge King
  8. Rubio and Trump dine but what did they talk about?


    UPDATE: "We had a really good discussion about Cuba," Trump said during his news conference.

    Did they talk Russia? Cuba? Florida?

    Apologize for the nasty things they said about each other on the campaign trail?

    One can only speculate as Sen. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump's White House dinner last night came and went quietly. Rubio's office declined to provide any detail....

    Marco Rubio and Donald Trump
  9. Rubio, Deutch headed to Munich Security Conference


    WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ted Deutch will join a congressional delegation this weekend at the annual Munich Security Conference.

    The trip is headed by Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee. The conference is being held Friday-Sunday.

    Full delgation below.Senator John McCain (R-AZ)...

  10. Trump to hold campaign-style rally Saturday in Melbourne


    WASHINGTON - President Trump will hold a rally in Melbourne on Saturday, marking his third visit to Florida in as many weeks.

    His campaign website shows a 5 p.m. event at Orlando- Melbourne International Airport. The FAA has put out a notice that he will travel to Florida on Friday and it's very likely he'll stay at Mar-a-Lago....

  11. Fox News to hold town hall in Jacksonville


    Fox News will hold a live town hall from Jacksonville on Feb. 21.

    "Moderated by Martha MacCallum, the town hall will feature a dialogue between key newsmakers and Florida voters on the issue of immigration in the context of national security and jobs," reads a release. "In the run-up to the event, FNC’s Steve Harrigan will report live from Florida on how the immigration issue is affecting voters in the state for The First 100 Days.'...

  12. The teenager haunting Donald Trump


    Brian Crowley:

    Somewhere, there is a teenager who is just now becoming fascinated with American politics. This teenager is reading history, studying past presidents, and curious about the current one. Over time, this teenager’s interest will grow. College will broaden that interest. Perhaps a graduate degree in American history. Authors like Robert Caro and David McCullough, Douglas Brinkley and Richard Neustadt may inspire....

  13. Congressional delegation vows to tackle Florida's many water issues


    WASHINGTON - Florida's congressional delegation, which stretches from the far left to the far right, has successfully joined together to fight oil drilling efforts. Now the lawmakers are seeking common cause on a broader array of water quality issues facing the state.

    A group of Republican and Democratic members met this morning to discuss algae blooms, red tide, Everglades restoration and Apalachicola Bay, even the sewage situation in St. Petersburg....

    From left: Reps. Darren Soto, Vern Buchanan, Charlie Crist, Al Lawson and Neal Dunn
  14. Rubio to dine with Trump Wednesday at White House


    UPDATE Wednesday: Asked by Gannett's Ledge King this morning about the topics of discussion, Rubio quipped: "Whatever we discuss, I'm not going to tell you."

    The senator described the meeting as a "social invitation" and repeated he would not talk about a private dinner.

    The meeting comes amid growing questions about the Trump administration's dealings with Russia, and Rubio as a member of the Intelligence Committee will be involved in a probe....

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and his wife, Jeanette, acknowledge the crowd after he announced that he would be running for the Republican presidential nomination during a rally at the Freedom Tower on April 13, 2015, in Miami.
  15. Chaffetz wants Trump to answer questions about Mar-a-Lago security


    WASHINGTON — A top House Republican wants the White House to answer questions about President Trump's handling of sensitive information while at Mar-a-Lago as North Korea tested a ballistic missile.

    House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a letter today to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asking for details about documents seen in photographs, whether classified information was discussed in open and the vetting of Mar-a-Lago guests....

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz speaks during a town hall meeting at Brighton High School on Feb. 9 in Cottonwood Heights, Utah.