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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


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @LearyReports

  1. Comey's letter hurt her in Florida, Clinton writes

    State Roundup

    Just days before the presidential election, a Tampa focus group revealed the damage inflicted by the "unprecedented intervention by then-FBI director Jim Comey," Hillary Clinton writes in her new book.

    "On November 1 and 2, my campaign conducted focus groups with independent, swing voters in Philadelphia and Tampa, Florida. The undecideds weren't ready to jump to Trump yet, but in retrospect, the warning signs were blinking red," the book reads....

    First lady Melania Trump visits with children at a youth center at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) MDSW101
  2. Bondi applauds Trump move to give surplus military equipment to local law enforcement


    Attorney General Pam Bondi welcomed President Trump's order lifting a ban on local law enforcement from obtaining surplus military equipment.

    "This executive order will help ensure our brave law enforcement officers have the gear they need to combat terrorism, drug cartels, gangs and other threats to public safety," Bondi said in a statement Monday. "This order will give our law enforcement officers access to billions of dollars’ worth of equipment such as armored vehicles, ammunition and other military gear that will help in disaster related situations like we are seeing in Texas with Hurricane Harvey—as well as terrorism-related cases such as the Pulse nightclub attack, where a military-style helmet stopped a bullet, saving an officer’s life, and San Bernardino, where this type of equipment protected law enforcement officers as they pursued terrorists....

  3. Charlottesville questions continue to trail elected officials in Florida


    Elected officials continue to face questions over race and violence following the events in Charlottesville and Florida Rep. Brian Mast became the latest to echo President Trump's "both sides" argument.

    "There were multiple people from multiple sides that came out there with the intent of clashing with one another. That’s just the fact," the freshman Republican said during a town hall last week in Port St. Lucie....

  4. As Rubio applauds Trump's move on Venezeula, Nelson says sanctions fall short


    Here’s something you don’t see: Bill Nelson getting to the right of Marco Rubio.

    Nelson, up for re-election next year, today said the new sanctions against Venezuela are inadequate.

    “These new sanctions are a step in the right direction, but they don't go far enough,” Nelson said in a statement. “The administration needs to ban at least some of the Venezuelan oil being imported into the U.S., until constitutional democracy has been restored in Venezuela.”...

    Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio
  5. Miami Republicans tell Trump to save DACA


    With DACA on the ropes, members of Congress aren't racing to find a legislative fix. But two Florida Republicans are urging President Trump to maintain the program.

    "Children brought to the United States at a young age did not have a choice in the matter,” reads a letter sent to Trump and signed by six House members, including Miami Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Carlos Curbelo. “For many, the United States is the only country they know or remember.”...

    A letter to President Trump
  6. Once a bitter rival, Marco Rubio continues to enjoy a relationship with Donald Trump


    For all their shared vitriol on the campaign trail, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have enjoyed a productive relationship and today, the Florida senator applauded the president yet again.

    “I commend the Trump administration for taking decisive and significant action to prevent the Maduro regime from using Wall Street to finance its repression and tyranny,” Rubio said moments after new sanctions were announced. “The United States remains committed to supporting the cause of freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”...

    Debate rivals Marco Rubio and Donald Trump
  7. Ron DeSantis says there is room for him in race for governor


    Congressman Ron DeSantis isn’t ready to enter the race for governor but makes the case for himself.

    "I think that there's definitely a opening for somebody that's got a proven record for advancing limited government," DeSantis said in Miami on Thursday after an Americans for Prosperity event on taxes. "I think there needs to be someone with military experience in the race. There's definitely the opening.” ......

    Rep. Ron DeSantis
  8. Elian Gonzalez, now 23, says he would like to reconcile with his Miami relatives


    From the Miami Herald:

    Cuba’s Elián González would have become the “poster boy” for Cubans in Miami had he stayed in the U.S., he told CNN in an exclusive interview.

    But, both he and his father, Juan Miguel, said they hope to reconcile with their family in Miami.

    González, 23, and his father sat down with CNN ahead of the documentary “Elian,” which airs at 10 p.m. Thursday night on CNN....

    Elián González, the young Cuban rafter who was at the center of a bitter custody battle in 2000 between relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba, attends a gala for the 90th birthday of Cuban Leader Fidel Castro at the 'Karl Marx' theater in Havana, Cuba, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016.
  9. 'Dreamers' want Rubio, Diaz-Balart to oppose 'Trump's massive deportation machine'


    With President Trump running out of time to decide on what to do with a program that protects young immigrants from deportation, activists on Friday morning will stage protests at the Miami offices of Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

    The demonstration is planned for 11 a.m., and calls on the Republican lawmakers to make good on pledges to protect “Dreamers,” as the immigrants are known. Organizers also want to call attention to “Trump’s massive deportation machine.”...

    'Dreamers' outside the White House in 2014
  10. Jeb Bush on the 'most ridiculous example of political correctness in history'


    Jeb Bush on ESPN's decision to pull commentator Robert Lee from a football broadcast at the University of Virginia.

  11. Trump controversies continue to take toll on Mar-a-Lago


    President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club continues to lose business in light of his controversial remarks on race and violence.

    Unicorn Children’s Foundation this week became the latest charity to cancel plans to hold an event at the Palm Beach estate.

    “Due to the political turbulence associated with this choice of venue it would be a disservice to our supporters and our children to hold our event at Mar-a-Lago,” the group said in a statement. “We prefer the conversations to be centered off the venue and instead focused on how we can help kids with special needs excel in their communities....

  12. Taking heat from some for Charlottesville remarks, Rubio denounces the 'other side'


    Sen. Marco Rubio, who has come under fire for not denouncing the “Antifa,” did so in a speech last night in Florida, bemoaning people “on the other side of the political spectrum who decide they can physically attack people they don’t like.”

    “And it’s not just Nazis and KKK people,” Rubio said before Seminole County Republicans....

    Marco Rubio on the campaign trail in 2015
  13. Bill Nelson: Confederate statues belong in museum


    A day after saying decisions on Confederate monuments should be left to "communities," Sen. Bill Nelson changed his stance:

  14. Bill Nelson shares Rick Scott's cautious stance on Confederate monuments


    On the issue of Confederate monuments, Sen. Bill Nelson is taking the cautious route of Gov. Rick Scott.

    “My attitude is a monument, a statue, ought to signify unity instead of division,” Nelson, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on Monday after a speech before the Manatee Chamber of Commerce....

  15. Sarasota GOP names Dick Cheney 'Statesman of the Year'


    Former Vice President Dick Cheney will be honored as "Statesman of Year" by the Sarasota GOP, a title that twice went to Donald Trump.

    Rep. Liz Cheney is to be named "Stateswoman of the Year."

    “They are providing multigenerational leadership to our nation and represent the traditional, conservative values our party stands for,"  said party Chairman Joe Gruters....

    Dick and Liz Cheney