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Eye Opener: Is Greg Craig Out?

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Updated 10:37 a.m. ET

Happy Tuesday! Another day, another news report suggesting a senior Obama administration official is on the outs.

This time, it's White House Counsel Gregory Craig, a longtime Washington hand who was one of President Obama's earliest, most enthusiastic supporters.

The Post's Al Kamen first reported on this in July, sharing various accounts, including Craig's own desire to move on and another suggesting he'd clashed with members of the inner circle over the impending closure of Guantanamo Bay prison and his support for releasing the devastating Justice Department memos authorizing torture.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that, "Obama administration officials are holding discussions that could result in White House counsel Gregory Craig leaving his post, following a rocky tenure."

Gregory Craig
White House Counsel Gregory Craig

"Mr. Craig, the top lawyer at the White House and a close aide to President Barack Obama, has helped lead the administration's efforts on several national-security issues that once enjoyed popularity but have since become become political liabilities for Mr. Obama.

"These include the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the release of Bush administration-era national-security documents, and efforts to find legal ways to indefinitely hold some detainees who can't be put on trial."

"In a statement, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina said: 'We've addressed these rumors before. They are nothing more than typical Washington parlor games. It's disappointing that while we are focused on reviving the economy and fighting two wars, others spend their time pointing fingers in an attempt to promote their own status.'"

(Messina told Kamen last month: "Sounds like typical Washington parlor games to me. These rumors are wrong.")

Several news reports have also suggested that National Security Adviser Jim Jones and his low-key style has rubbed Obama staffers the wrong way.

Is he out? Should he stay or go? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Obama to Meet With American Legion Commander: President Obama will meet today with American Legion Commander Dave Rehbein for roughly 30 minutes at the White House. The two are expected to discuss Rehbein's concerns about how ongoing health care reform discussions might impact the VA and military health care systems. The Legion commander is also expected to press the president to ensure that veterans paying into the Medicare system get to use the benefits at the VA, according to a Legion spokesman.

Chat With The Eye Today!: Join The Eye for the daily Post Politics Hour live discussion at 11 a.m. ET. Submit your questions.

Cabinet and Staff News: Hillary Rodham Clinton seeks information on three Americans missing in Iran and hosts secure conference call with State Dept. officials regarding Iran. Will Paul Farmer ever get nominated for USAID, or is he too hard to vet? White House acting cybersecurity czar resigns. The administration's "green jobs" czar profiled. Former Supreme Court Justice David Souter ditches his New Hampshire farm. Ex-NASA official goes on trial for over steering money. Former TV reporter Roberta Baskin joins HHS.

The Federal Eye on Twitter! | Submit your news tips here.

SEC Actions Could Weigh on U.S. Stakes: A report on the difficulties facing the nation's top Wall Street cop at a time when the economic crisis has left the U.S. government as the part-owner or controller of an unprecedented array of financial companies.

The EPA Yields the Floor to . . . Whoever Wants It: It's August in the capital, which means that pretty much everybody who lives or works here has fled the place. But the bureaucrats of the Environmental Protection Agency, God bless 'em, continue to do the people's business.

Staying Tough in Crackdown on Immigrants: A recent blitz of measures has antagonized immigrant groups and many of Mr. Obama’s Hispanic supporters, who have opened a national campaign against them, including small street protests in New York and Los Angeles last week.

GSA Posts $18 Million Contract to Improve Recovery.gov: The agency posted the paperwork on Friday night, around 9 p.m. EDT, nearly three weeks after they first agreed to remove proprietary information and release the documents.

New GI Bill to Give Vets $78 Billion in Tuition Benefits: The new law is expected to offer veterans the benefits over the coming decade. It is the most comprehensive education benefit offered to veterans since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the original GI Bill for World War II veterans in 1944.

Outside Contractors Deliver an Expensive Lesson: Many readers seem to favor Obama administration policies that could reduce the number of government-hired outside contractors, but it's not unanimous.

Biggest Companies Rake in Recovery Act Contracts: During the past five months, 17 of the largest government contractors have won more than $1.6 billion in Recovery Act contracts -- more than all small businesses combined -- according to a new spending analysis conducted by Government Executive.

Procurement Policy Office Maintains Low Profile: The president had yet to nominate an administrator of federal procurement policy at OMB, and sources suggested the Obama administration was in no rush to name the government's senior executive on contracting-related issues.

42% of ‘New’ Contracting Officers Lured From Other Agencies: A new report confirms concerns that agencies are hiring large numbers of hard-to-find acquisition specialists away from one another.

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 4, 2009; 6:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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