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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. Rick Scott has lunch with President Donald Trump


    Gov. Rick Scott had lunch Thursday with President Donald Trump, the latest in a series of get togethers between the political allies.

    The White House schedule showed a 1 p.m. meal at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, N.J.

    Scott first meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

    John Tupps, a spokesman for the governor, said: “Governor Scott had lunch today with President Trump following an invitation from the White House last week. Governor Scott was solely there to promote Florida. They discussed a wide range of topics including the President’s commitment to partner with Florida on needed repairs to the federally-operated Herbert Hoover Dike at Lake Okeechobee. Governor Scott wants to do all he can to protect Florida's environment and President Trump is very supportive to help. Additionally, they discussed the terror attack in Barcelona and the efforts President Trump is taking to keep America safe.”...

    Trump and Scott are grabbing lunch today.
  2. Jeb Bush, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to speak at summit on Iran


    Jeb Bush and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will be among the speakers at summit on Iran next month.

    The Florida Republicans will appear at the Sept. 19 event in New York hosted by United Against Nuclear Iran and timed for the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.

    "The day-long event of interviews and discussions will examine the political and economic environment since the signing of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran -- with particular focus on Iran's role in the region, its relationship with North Korea, and the future of Iran policy in the Trump administration," UANI said in a release....

  3. With election heating up, Bill Nelson floods Tampa Bay


    Sen. Bill Nelson seems to have set up a residency in Tampa Bay, a crucial area for his upcoming re-election campaign.

    Nelson isn't doing campaign events; he's visiting the area as an elected official.

    But the repeated visits give him exposure in the market. Today he's in St. Petersburg to meet with a group of minority-owned business leaders and discuss legislation he’s filed to provide small business with a tax break....

    Nelson campaigns with his wife in Orlando in 2012
  4. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

    From his news conference Saturday where he blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters to Tuesday's news conference where the president said "both sides" shared the blame, there's been much material for the Party of Lincoln to repudiate....

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at the White House on August 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. Two Virginia state police troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while covering events on the ground. [Getty Images]
  5. Former Rep. Corrine Brown denied new trial; to be sentenced in November


    JACKSONVILLE (AP)—A federal judge has denied a request for a new trial by former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, who was found guilty of taking money from a sham charity that was purported to be aiding poor students.

    U.S. District Judge Timothy Corrigan’s ruling was issued Wednesday.

    The 70-year-old Ms. Brown was convicted of taking money from the One Door for Education Foundation and lying on her taxes and congressional financial-disclosure forms....

    Corrine Brown
  6. After Charlottesville, Charlie Crist sees turning point with GOP and Trump


    Congressman Charlie Crist was at his St. Petersburg condo building today when a painter suddenly said, "Can you believe what he said yesterday?"

    Immediately Crist knew the man was talking about President Donald Trump and his extraordinary comments Tuesday on race and Charlottesville.

    "He said, 'I just can't believe it,' " Crist recalled in an interview. "I hear that in the grocery store, I hear it everywhere. People are upset."...

    John McCain and Charlie Crist
  7. Miami-Dade Mayor Gimenez disputes 'sanctuary city' label but welcomes Jeff Sessions


    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez sought to straddle the contentious politics of immigration, saying on Fox News that he holds “different views” than the Trump administration, he agrees with a policy of detaining undocumented immigrants for federal authorities.

    Gimenez appeared on Fox & Friends ahead of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ 3 p.m. speech on "sanctuary cities" in Miami. He called Sessions’ message about law and order “very important.”...

  8. Rubio: Trump provided white supremacists with a win


    Sen. Marco Rubio this evening pointendly criticized President Trump for not placing all blame on the white nationalists who provoked violence in Charlottesville.

    "The organizers of events which inspired & led to #charlottesvilleterroristattack are 100% to blame for a number of reasons," Rubio began a series of tweets after Trump's remarks today in which he again said both sides of the conflict share in the blame....

    Trump and the 'alt-left'
  9. Wasserman Schultz wants special legislative session to remove Confederate statue


    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants the Florida Legislature to convene a special session to vote on removing a confederate statue from the U.S. Capitol.

    “While the events in Charlottesville represent our nation’s original sin, we know these hateful acts do not define who we are as a country," the South Florida Democrat said in statement Tuesday. "We must denounce white supremacy and domestic terrorism and stand up for love and compassion – not just with our words, but with our deeds....

    The statue of Edmund Kirby Smith was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by Florida in 1922
  10. 'Dreamers' worry about future on 5th anniversary of DACA


    WASHINGTON - Today marks the 5th anniversary of DACA, the program that has protected nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants from deportation, and activists will hold events in Washington and cities across the country.

    “I remember that day extremely vividly,” said Juan Escalante, 28, who lives in Tallahassee and came to Florida with his Venezuelan parents in 2000. An activist himself, he had gotten a phone call from an undisclosed number. It was someone at the White House who told him to turn on the television where President Obama was announcing the program....

    Mariana Sanchez Ramirez, 23, was born in Torreon in the sate of Coahuila, Mexico, traveled with her family to the United States on a tourist's visa in 2000. She was able to stay in the U.S. and attended college after President Obama approved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in June of 2012.
  11. David Jolly says Trump 'two days too late' on Charlottesville


    David Jolly, cable TV's favorite Republican, was on MSNBC last night and said President Trump was "two days too late" on addressing racial violence in Charlottesville.

  12. Jeff Sessions in Miami tomorrow for 'sanctuary city' event


    Attorney General Jeff Sessions will visit PortMiami on Wednesday to highlight Miami-Dade's reversal as a so-called sanctuary city.

    Sessions will “give remarks highlighting jurisdictions like Miami-Dade that have increased their cooperation and information sharing with federal immigration authorities and have demonstrated a fundamental commitment to the rule of law and lowering violent crime,” the Justice Department said in a release....

    Jeff Sessions
  13. Family behind the Villages gives Rick Scott super PAC $100,000


    Gary Morse, the man who developed the Villages, died in 2014 but his family continues to play a role in politics, and recently gave $100,000 to a super PAC chaired by Gov. Rick Scott.

    The Holding Company of the Villages contributed to the New Republican PAC, which Scott announced in May, and is the biggest single donation to date. The super PAC took in $270,000 in the first six months of 2017....

  14. Marco Rubio: Donald Trump needs to clearly denounce white supremacists in Charlottesville


    As white nationals stoke violence in Charlottesville, Va., President Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio offered a study in contrasts.

    Trump was more general in his language while Rubio directly condemned Nazis, the KKK and white supremacists. As the day wore on, Rubio said Trump needed to act more decisively....

    Reaction from President Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio