FOLLOW THE WEEK ON FACEBOOK
September 3, 2014

Last week, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is widely considered to be mulling a presidential run, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal stating the policies of so-called "interventionists" such as Hillary Clinton in Syria have "abetted ISIS." In that piece Paul outlined his support for a far more cautious foreign policy:

A more realistic foreign policy would recognize that there are evil people and tyrannical regimes in this world, but also that America cannot police or solve every problem across the globe. [The Wall Street Journal]

Paul is now singing a different tune.

On Friday, Paul told The Associated Press in an email that he was in favor of robust military force when it came to ISIS:

If I were president, I would call a joint session of Congress. I would lay out the reasoning of why ISIS is a threat to our national security and seek congressional authorization to destroy ISIS militarily. [AP]

That position is well beyond Obama's limited interventions against ISIS, which have so far amounted to humanitarian aid for those displaced by ISIS' advances, as well as airstrikes and other support for Kurdish and Iraqi government fighters on the ground.

Paul's father, the former presidential candidate Ron Paul, remains steadfastly against military intervention of any kind, arguing: "I think the sooner we get out of there, the better. I think the policy we should follow is one designed to allow the Iraqis to solve all their problems and stay out of this and let them deal with it because we tried for a long time." John Aziz

7:10 p.m. ET
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

If Donald Trump wants the endorsement of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R), he has a funny way of showing it.

During a rally in Albuquerque Tuesday, Trump called out Martinez, the country's first female Hispanic governor and chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association. He told the crowd, "You've got to get your governor to do a better job, she's not doing her job," later adding, "Syrian refugees are being relocated in large numbers to New Mexico. If I was governor, that wouldn't be happening." He also slyly suggested that "maybe" he should run for governor to "get this place going."

Martinez's press secretary, Mike Lonergan, told ABC News the governor "doesn't care about what Donald Trump says about her. She cares about what he says he will do to help New Mexicans. She's disappointed that she didn't hear anything about that last night." Martinez, who did not attend Trump's Albuquerque rally, has not endorsed Trump, and Lonergan said "the governor will not be bullied into supporting a candidate until she is convinced that candidate will fight for New Mexicans." Catherine Garcia

6:35 p.m. ET
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Police in Anaheim, California, arrested several protesters outside of a Donald Trump rally Wednesday afternoon after they pelted officers with objects.

After Trump left, several demonstrators lingered in the area, setting at least one trash can on fire. Supporters of Trump faced off against the protesters, and an Anaheim Police spokesman said a group of five backers were escorted away "in the interest of public safety" after they used racially charged language against the demonstrators. Another group of supporters chanted anti-gay slurs, the Los Angeles Times reports, and two men held up a sign calling for the end of Islam and abortion. Dozens of police officers, including some on horseback, were on the scene, as well as sheriff's deputies in riot gear. Catherine Garcia

4:02 p.m. ET
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Akash Vukoti. Write it down, commit it to memory. You're likely going to be hearing a lot about this 6-year-old in the next 24 hours.

The youngest competitor by grade to ever to participate in the Scripps Spelling Bee, Vukoti was greeted by enthusiastic applause when he managed to spell the word "inviscate" Wednesday morning, and moved on to the next round.

Let's face it: "Inviscate" isn't even recognized by this computer's spell check (it means "to encase in a sticky substance," if you were wondering). This first-grader from San Angelo, Texas, may be pint-sized, but he's all brain. Just check out his favorite word — it's 45 letters long:

Now try saying that three times fast. Jeva Lange

3:07 p.m. ET
Mike Windle/Getty Images For EPIX

The makers of a new Katie Couric documentary on gun violence apparently deceptively edited an interview with gun rights activists to make them appear stumped by her question, The Washington Free Beacon reports. About 20 minutes into the documentary Under the Gun, Couric asks members of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, "If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing a gun?"

The response? Dead silence, for about nine awkward seconds:

That's not how it really went down, though, according to activists who contacted the Free Beacon. In audio provided to the website, Couric's question is actually quickly met with answers, and the back and forth lasts about four minutes:

The gun rights activists have called the segment "unbelievable and extremely unprofessional." "[Couric] intentionally removed their answers and spliced in nine seconds of some prior video of our members sitting quietly and not responding. Viewers are left with the misunderstanding that the members had no answer to her question," Virginia Citizens Defense League president Philip Van Cleave said.

When asked about the edits, Nora Ryan, the chief of staff for EPIX, which is airing the documentary, said that the channel "stands behind Katie Couric, director Stephanie Soechtig, and their creative and editorial judgement." Jeva Lange

2:57 p.m. ET
John Moore/Getty Images

What Donald Trump's campaign likely thought was a brilliant plan to take down Hillary Clinton was quickly foiled Wednesday afternoon when a Trump spokeswoman did some errant emailing.

While Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks meant to respond to an email from Trump adviser Michael Caputo requesting that a researcher at the Republican National Committee "work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible" for "immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process," she ended up replying to Marc Caputo — a reporter at Politico. With the mistaken click of a button, the entire email thread — and, subsequently, the scoop on Trump's next plan of attack — was dropped into Politico's inbox.

RNC chief strategist Sean Spicer has defended the request for information on Whitewater — the Clinton scandal stemming from a failed real estate venture in the 1970s — as nothing more than "just another example of Republican campaigns up and down the ballot looking to us for the best information." Neither Spicer nor Hicks provided any further clues as to when or how Trump will be using that requested information, though it goes without saying his coming attack will involve the word "crooked." Becca Stanek

2:31 p.m. ET
iStock

Eleven states are represented in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Obama administration, challenging federal guidelines that require schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Wichita Falls, Texas, is in response to a directive released earlier in May by the Obama administration, which critics say oversteps the government's bounds. The lawsuit accused the administration of trying to turn schools and workplaces into "laboratories for a massive social experiment."

On Tuesday, the Justice Department and North Carolina filed competing lawsuits concerning a law in the state that bans transgender people from using bathrooms that don't correspond to the gender identified on their birth certificate. Jeva Lange

1:56 p.m. ET
iStock

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams insisted Wednesday that the city will be ready for whatever the Republican National Convention may bring, be it protesters or riots. "A lot has been said about whether or not Cleveland is prepared for the RNC in about 50 days here. I have to tell you, we are prepared. I can't stress enough that we are prepared for this," he said.

The city attorney, Richard Hovarth, also announced temporary regulations for the area around the convention, including a ban on bringing lumber, fireworks, explosives, drones, ice chests and coolers, or ladders into the vicinity. Guns, noticeably, were not explicitly banned, although Ohio is an open-carry state.

The city has also bid for sets of body armor, conversion vans to transport prisoners, 2,000 sets of riot gear, 10,000 sets of plastic handcuffs, night vision goggles, motorcycles, and a horse trailer.

While violence is no certainty, riotous protests did break out Tuesday in New Mexico at Trump's first campaign rally in two weeks, with people throwing plastic bottles, burning Trump T-shirts, and hurling rocks at the police. Some heading to Cleveland this July have gone so far as to take self-defense classes similar to those given to journalists before they go into war zones. Jeva Lange

See More Speed Reads