TIME Turkey

Obama Won’t Call Armenian Killings ‘Genocide’

President Barack Obama speaks during a reception for supporters of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 21, 2015 in Washington.
Mandel Ngan—AFP/Getty Images President Barack Obama speaks during a reception for supporters of H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 21, 2015 in Washington.

The President has not used the term in reference to the killings while in office

President Barack Obama won’t use the term “genocide” in remarks Friday marking the 100th anniversary of the killing of more than a million Armenians, officials said Tuesday, igniting disappointment from critics who say the President is catering too much to Turkey.

Activists had hoped that the President would realize a 2008 campaign pledge and use the term for the first time in office, particularly as other governments and world leaders, including Pope Francis, have referred to the massacres as “genocide” in recent days.

But in a meeting with Armenian American leaders on Tuesday, administration officials said Obama would not use the term. “President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust,” ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian said in a statement Tuesday.

The Turkish government has consistently rejected the term—President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the Pope not to repeat the “mistake” of using it—and the White House has long been reluctant to risk relations with a key ally in a tumultuous region.

Taner Akcam, a history professor at Clark University who was one of the first Turkish academics to openly call the killings “genocide,” said it was “a shame” that Obama was set to again avoid the term.

“The United States is always emphasizing its exceptionalism in supporting liberal values and human rights at home and across the world,” Akcam said. “But Obama and the Americans should also recognize that one should uphold human rights not only when it’s convenient.”

TIME Congress

Congressman Proposes Putting a Woman’s Face on the $20 Bill

"It is time to put our money where our mouths are, literally"

The push to put a woman’s face on American currency got a bump Tuesday from a Congressman in Illinois.

Representative Luis Gutiérrez, a Democrat, introduced a bill calling for a woman’s portrait to appear on the $20 bill. The “Put a Woman on the Twenty Act” would direct the Treasury Secretary to convene a special commission that would ask the American public for their suggestions and then make recommendations on who would replace former President Andrew Jackson on the note.

“If this is a country that truly believes in equality,” Gutiérrez said in a statement, “it is time to put our money where our mouths are, literally, and express that sense of justice and fairness on the most widely used bill in circulation.”

The move comes in the wake of the viral Women on 20s campaign, which hosted an online poll of 15 potential faces to appear on the bills. Voters can now pick one of four women finalists: Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation’s first female chief.

And it follows a comment on the matter from President Barack Obama, who, after a little girl asked in a letter to him why there weren’t any women on U.S. currency, said having female faces on American bills sounded like a “pretty good idea.”

“I’ll keep working to make sure you grow up in a country where women have the same opportunities as men, and I hope you’ll stay involved in issues that matter to you,” he said in a reply to her.

Read next: Read a 9-Year-Old’s Letter to Obama About Putting a Woman on U.S. Currency—and His Response

TIME White House

Obama Says Elizabeth Warren Is ‘Wrong’ on Trade

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) delivers remarks during the Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference at the Washington Hilton on April 13, 2015 in Washington.
Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) delivers remarks during the Good Jobs Green Jobs National Conference in Washington, D.C., on April 13, 2015

After months of simmering, backroom disagreements between the White House and the liberal, populist base of the Democratic Party about the issue of free trade, President Barack Obama went on the offensive Tuesday.

In an interview with MSNBC, Obama said Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and her supporters are “wrong” to think that the White House’s signature free-trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, would be bad for the American economy. The sweeping 12-nation accord, which would become the largest free-trade pact in U.S. history, would open up borders between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries, including Japan and Australia, and is supported by a wide variety of business groups and most Republicans.

“I love Elizabeth,” Obama told host Chris Matthews. “We’re allies on a whole host of issues. But she’s wrong on this.”

Warren, a longtime ally of the President and a populist hero in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, has been a vocal opponent of the deal, which Congress is expected to vote on soon. Liberal groups and labor leaders have also publicly protested the deal on the grounds that it would exacerbate inequality and lead to fewer American jobs.

“U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren is out there saying things like this about the trade agreement: ‘It’s going to help the rich get richer and leave everyone else behind,'” Matthews said to Obama. “She also says it challenges U.S. sovereignty.”

“They are throwing the kitchen sink at this trade agreement which will involve 11 nations and ourselves on the Pacific Rim,” he continued. “Why are they saying these things?”

“Chris, think about it,” Obama responded. “I’ve spent the last 6½ years yanking this economy out of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Every single thing I’ve done from the Affordable Care Act to pushing to raise the minimum wage to making sure that young people are able to go to college and get good job training to what we’re pushing now in terms of sick pay leave … Everything I do has been focused on how do we make sure the middle class is getting a fair deal. Now I would not be doing this trade deal if I did not think it was good for the middle class.”

“And when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is,” the President continued, “when you dig into the facts, they are wrong.”

The full interview will air on MSNBC’s Hardball at 7 p.m. E.T.

TIME White House

Long Wait for Attorney General Nominee Will Soon Be Over

Loretta Lynch
Susan Walsh—AP Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch is sworn in on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 28, 2015 prior to testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination.

Loretta Lynch, the first female African American nominee for U.S. Attorney General, has waited over 160 days for her confirmation vote. On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that her wait would finally be over this week, “hopefully” in the next few days.

The historic hold-up ended as Senate negotiators announced an agreement Tuesday on an anti-human trafficking bill containing abortion language anathema to Democrats. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that Republicans had agreed to their request not to expand the scope of the Hyde amendment, which bars the use of taxpayer funds for abortions, and added that the lengthy debate was a “contrived fight.” Republican leadership said the Senate would take up the Lynch vote as soon as they passed the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell touted the anti-human trafficking bill as a celebratory moment for National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

“It’s a stark reminder of the countless victims of modern slavery who continue to suffer horrifying exploitation at the hands of human traffickers — a stark reminder of the need to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act,” he said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “It’s a bill that victims groups and advocates have called ‘the most comprehensive and thoughtful piece of anti-trafficking legislation currently pending.’”

The breakthrough comes after President Obama sharply criticized the Senate Friday for stalling the Lynch nomination.

“Enough,” he said. “Enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing.”

TIME

Morning Must Reads: April 21

Capitol
Mark Wilson—Getty Images The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

The Third Amigo

Senator Lindsey Graham has watched two of his closest friends run unsuccessfully for President. Now, as he gears up for his own bid in 2016, the South Carolina Republican is hoping to use the lessons learned from their experiences to win

Pope OKs Bishop’s Resignation

Pope Francis on Tuesday accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who pleaded guilty to failing to report a suspected child abuser

Clinton Continues Listening Tour

Hillary Clinton told voters in N.H. on Monday that “I want people to know that I’m listening” as she kicked off week two of her 2016 campaign

A Migrant’s Harrowing Journey From Senegal to Italy

With at least 1,000 migrants dead in the Mediterranean this past week, E.U. officials are scrambling to devise ways to halt the armada of smugglers’ boats crossing from Africa. Here’s the story of Mahmoud, a 28-year-old who survived the journey to Europe in mid-April

Full House Revival Is Coming to Netflix

Netflix has ordered a 13-episode revival of Full House, titled Fuller House. The sequel will focus on original cast members Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber. John Stamos will be the producer and a guest star

Ousted Egyptian President Gets 20 Years in Prison

An Egyptian criminal court has sentenced ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters in 2012, the first verdict to be issued against the country’s first elected leader. Morsi faces several other trials

Blue Bell Creameries Issues Recall of All Products

Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries is recalling all of its products on the market after two samplings of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeriosis. The foodborne illness was tracked to a production line in Brenham, Texas

Here’s the Universe’s Biggest Structure

Scientists researching a mysteriously cold region in space have found what they say is the largest known structure in the universe — a gigantic hole. The expanse is being called the “supervoid” and measures 1.8 billion light years across

Washington Post Reporter in Iran Faces Charges

A Washington Post reporter jailed for nearly nine months in Iran faces charges of espionage and three other crimes, his lawyer revealed on Monday. Rezaian also faces charges of “conducting propaganda against the establishment”

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Exit Has a Firm Date

Fans of Jon Stewart have a little over three months to get their fill of the comedian andDaily Show host, with Stewart announcing the date of his departure. The 52-year-old said in February that he would be retiring from the satirical newscast after 16 years

AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Pleads Guilty

AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has pleaded guilty to charges of threatening to kill a former employee and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, according to various news reports. Rudd had originally pleaded not guilty to those charges last year

Kraft Mac & Cheese Plans to Go for a More Natural Look

Kraft Foods Group will no longer use synthetic coloring or artificial preservatives in its original Macaroni & Cheese in the U.S., the company announced Monday, and will instead turn to natural color alternatives derived from sources like turmeric, paprika and annatto

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TIME Lindsey Graham

The Third Amigo Runs for President

Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, April 18, 2015.
Brian Snyder—Reuters Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Conference in Nashua, New Hampshire, April 18, 2015.

Senator Lindsey Graham has watched two of his closest friends run unsuccessfully for President. Now, as he gears up for his own bid in 2016, the South Carolina Republican is hoping to use the lessons learned from their experiences to win.

Along with Arizona Senator John McCain and former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, Graham has long been one of the “three amigos” — veteran politicians with an easy camaraderie built on a shared hawkish approach to foreign policy.

But while Lieberman’s bid for the Democratic nomination in 2004 failed to gain momentum and McCain’s primary campaign in 2000 and general election run in 2008 faltered, all three men think the timing may finally be right for Graham.

“The issue of national security will play more of a role in these primaries than anytime since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980,” says McCain. “That I think is one advantage that he brings to the 20-person primary.”

Despite lackluster early polling numbers, Graham sees a straightforward path to the GOP nomination: staff up, advertise, set up a super PAC and raise $15 million to “get something going” in the crucial first states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Graham says he’ll “probably” make his decision official by late May or early June.

“For a guy like me it’s pretty simple,” says Graham. “I do well in Iowa and finish in the top tier in New Hampshire, I’ll win South Carolina. By the end of South Carolina there are three or four people left at the most.”

As he gets ready to run, Graham has looked to his two friends from the Senate for advice.

It may not help all that much. McCain recognizes that a vote for him in 2008 doesn’t necessarily translate to a vote for Graham. (“The one thing about the people of New Hampshire is they make up their own minds,” he says.) And overall the importance of having Lieberman and McCain by Graham’s side may matter more to members of the media — the return of the three amigos! — than to actual voters in a presidential race already crowded with at least six other formidable current and former Senators and governors.

But Lieberman and Graham have done more than offer an encouraging word. In March, as Graham became more vocal about his intentions, he spoke at a Capitol Hill event run by the Foreign Policy Initiative, a nonprofit think tank run by a former Lieberman staffer. Many staffers on Graham’s Security Through Strength PAC have McCain ties, including its spokesperson and two of its senior political advisers, while Graham’s New Hampshire visits have been shadowed by two other top McCain supporters.

“They’re a lot of McCainiacs up here still,” said Graham Saturday at a New Hampshire GOP conference featuring a score of presidential hopefuls.

McCain, who has reiterated the importance of the New Hampshire primary in his conversations with Graham, says his friend would thrive in the small group format that dominates the early months of jockeying. And Lieberman considers Graham’s humor and straight talk a major asset.

“He won’t hesitate to say things that don’t always poll well,” says Lieberman. “I think that will be very appealing first to Republican primary voters and to a state like New Hampshire.”

In Graham’s mind, both Lieberman and McCain would have reached the White House at some point if it hadn’t been for events largely outside of their control. In 2000 the Gore-Lieberman ticket lost by only hundreds of votes in an election with over 100 million votes cast. “You can’t get any closer,” says Graham. In 2004, Lieberman ran for the Democratic nomination but “time had passed him by.”

In 2000, McCain lost the primary to George W. Bush. Then in 2008, he lost the general election in part because of the collapsing economy and Bush’s unpopularity at the tail end of two terms in the White House. “I don’t think there’s anything John could have done differently,” says Graham.

Graham wasn’t always intent on running. Even among his closest friends, it wasn’t clear that he wanted to pursue the White House until December, a few weeks after he cruised to take a third Senate term following a primary where he torched six challengers. Graham says he had a “long talk” with McCain and called Lieberman to ask him what he thought about making a run to be the 45th President.

“I said to him that there’s nothing to lose,” Lieberman told TIME. “This is not sort of a desperate run to be President. This is, I think, an exploration and a feeling that he wants a larger audience for his ideas.”

“That meant a lot to me,” says Graham of the phone call with Lieberman. “That encouraged me … I know what’s coming my way in terms of the money and scrutiny. I understand that. But what I wanted basically was somebody who I admire, who’s been on the world stage at the highest levels.”

“He really believes I should do it,” he adds. “That made me more likely to do it. I think if he had been sort of patronizing I’d have thought twice about it.”

Then Graham had a “reinforcing moment” in February, when he sat in the aisle of a plane headed from Munich to Andrews Air Force base between Lieberman and former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, who Graham says is helping form his campaign organization. Graham peppered them with questions for about an hour about how he should run while the other two mentors discussed the financial and personal pressures of running against a tough field in a Twitter-paced media environment. Graham said they urged him to build off of his performance at the Munich Security Conference, which Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal called the “most impressive” in a lineup that included Vice President Joe Biden and McCain.

In two phone interviews lasting nearly 45 minutes combined, McCain and Lieberman both proved long-winded in their support of Graham. McCain calls him “like a younger brother to me” and says he’ll “do anything that he asks” when it comes to supporting Graham. Lieberman, who endorsed McCain in 2008 and has not ruled out crossing over again for Graham, says his friend has a “unique” track record of working with Democrats that could prove appealing to independent-minded voters in New Hampshire. While Graham has proved willing to go across the aisle to introduce major bills, introducing with his friends sweeping packages to reform the immigration system and address climate change, he hasn’t always proved successful in closing the deal.

Both Lieberman and Graham see the debates as key opportunities for Graham to shine. Lieberman says he doesn’t think he has ever seen Graham speak with a prepared text, noting that his friend writes by hand only outlines for major speeches. “When they pull out the teleprompter, then we’ve got trouble,” jokes Lieberman.

“He is an incredibly quick study — much quicker than I am,” adds McCain. “He can take an issue and he can digest it … He is really superb on his feet.”

McCain also thinks Graham will benefit from having studied his 2008 campaign. He recalls sitting in a hotel room with Graham as the South Carolina primary results were coming in, looking through maps of the state throughout the night before eking out a 3-percentage-point win over former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. “He was an immeasurable help in South Carolina,” says McCain. “We had to win that.”

Graham served as McCain’s stress ball, injecting some levity during the campaign’s long hours. In his interview with TIME, McCain claimed that one of Graham’s “favorite flicks” was the raunchy comedy Borat. “I don’t allege that Lindsey is a highbrow,” joked McCain. On the trail, McCain would needle Graham, telling reporters that his favorite restaurant was Olive Garden. On a rare free moment in Florida, McCain sought out the restaurant and the three of them went with their staffs.

“We went to like the first Olive Garden,” says Graham. “It’s like going to Mecca for me.”

“He suffers those jibes quite graciously,” says Lieberman. “John gets a line and he really runs with it.”

Their friendship, built over about a decade of committee hearings and overseas trips, has allowed the “amigos” to see Graham’s negatives too. In a race with more than a handful of strong competitors, both McCain and Lieberman wonder if he can raise enough money. Lieberman notes that Graham’s national recognition levels aren’t that high despite his TV appearances — he’s already been on five Sunday shows this year, more than Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio, according to Roll Call. And his interest in running hasn’t yet caught up to pollsters. One New Hampshire GOP primary poll in February evaluated 18 candidates, but not Graham, while the South Carolina’s GOP party didn’t put him on its 25-person online straw poll until mid-March.

“I don’t know if he can win the nomination or be President of the United States, but he is one of the most really unusual great American stories in people I have known in my life,” says McCain.

No matter what happens, Graham sees little downside in running for the White House.

“There’s a nobility in trying,” he says.

Read next: Jeb Bush Narrowly Leads Tight Republican Presidential Race, Poll Says

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton Continues Listening Tour in New Hampshire

US-POLITICS-CAMPAIGN-CLINTON
Don Emert—AFP/Getty Images Hillary Clinton participates in a round table discussion with Whitney Brothers management and employees on April 20, 2015 in Keene, NH.

KEENE, N.H.—Hillary Clinton responded to renewed controversy on Monday about the Clinton Foundation’s dealings, even as she sought to focus attention on her conversations with New Hampshire voters and a broad-brush economic vision.

“We’re back into the political scene, and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and I’m ready for it,” Clinton told reporters. “I know that comes unfortunately with the territory.”

“It is, I think, worth noting that the Republicans seem to be talking only about me,” she continued. “They wouldn’t have anything to talk about if I weren’t in the race. But I am in the race, and hopefully we’ll get onto the issues, and I look forward to that.”

The foundation’s fundraising has been in the spotlight thanks in part to an upcoming book by former George W. Bush consultant Peter Schweizer called Clinton Cash, which purports to find instances in which U.S. policy benefited companies that donated to the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State.

Republican presidential candidates lambasted Clinton during events in New Hampshire over the weekend, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul saying the book’s findings would include “big news” that would “shock people.” (The book is not yet publicly available.)

But at her events Monday, Clinton kept the focus on her own campaign in the Granite State. “I want to hear from people in New Hampshire about what’s on their minds,” she said.

The second week of Clinton’s candidacy began much like the preceding week in Iowa, with small events and roundtable meetings with voters. On Monday she began with a tour of a factory run by the Whitney Brothers, where employees were building blocks, furniture and play toys for infants and toddlers. Then she sat at a roundtable in the company’s warehouse, fielding questions from company employees.

As expected, Clinton did not lay out any new policy positions, instead speaking in broader strokes about her initial goals for her small-event and voter-oriented campaign and her vision of a more inclusive economy.

“I want people to know that I’m listening, and that I’m accessible, and I’m running a campaign about them,” Clinton said. “That’s about the needs of the people of New Hampshire. That’s the kind of campaign I want to run.”

She reiterated comments she made last week during her Iowa events, when she lamented that hedge fund managers pay lower taxes than middle class Americans, thanks to low capital gains taxes. Clinton again sounded her support for a constitutional amendment to rein in money in politics and suggested increased regulation of the financial market.

“If it’s just playing back-and-forth in the global market place to get one-tenth of one percent advantage, maybe we should not let that go on because that’s at the root of economic problems we all remember painfully in 2008,” she said.

Clinton will be under pressure to clarify her views as the race continues. Her likely challengers for the Democratic presidential nomination are already staking out firm positions to her left and beginning to attack Clinton.

Just hours before the event in Keene, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley contrasted himself with Clinton, who last week articulated new views on immigration reform and same sex marriage.

“Do we have the ability as a party to lead by our principles or are we going to conduct polls every time we try to determine where the middle is on any given day?” he said in an interview with NPR on Monday.

New Hampshire has been Clinton-friendly country since 1992, when Bill came off a second place finish in the state to win the nomination. Hillary celebrated her birthday in New Hampshire in October 1991 campaigning for her husband, and many of New Hampshire’s Democratic leadership are firm Clinton allies. Hillary’s surprise comeback win in the Granite State in 2008 prolonged the primary battle against Barack Obama for months.

Several former aides from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign for Senate last year have joined Clinton’s New Hampshire camp, along with the senator’s husband, Bill, was co-chair of Clinton’s 2007 campaign in New Hampshire. Hillary campaigned with incumbent Gov. Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire last year.

During her roundtable discussion, Clinton spoke about expanding pre-kindergarten education and the importance of early childhood programs while sitting in a warehouse for young children’s furniture and toys soon to be shipped to classrooms.

“Of course, it’s no accident that I’m at a place whose customer market is between six months and six years,” Clinton said.

She also emphasized the importance of manufacturing jobs in the U.S., remarking that many of the machines in the Whitney Brothers facility are foreign-made. “How do we get back into basic production again so we can resume our lead in manufacturing,” Clinton said. “You walk around here you see these machines from Italy or Germany or wherever else they’re from. Why? Why aren’t we producing these machines?”

Her tour of the Keene facility will be followed on Wednesday by a roundtable at a community college in Concord.

In both states, her small-scale events have been hemmed in by a large press corps. Clinton and the seven Whitney Brothers employees who sat with her were greatly outnumbered by the 70 or so members of the press gathered to watch her speak on Monday.

TIME Social Media

This App Will Flag Your Offensive Tweets Before Your Future Employer Sees Them

Hey Clear Ethan Czahor Jeb Bush
Hey Clear

It was created by a man who lost his dream job with the Jeb Bush campaign.

Ethan Czahor’s dreams collapsed on the national stage earlier this year. The 31-year-old age digital whiz had spent years positioning himself to work in politics and earlier this year Jeb Bush’s campaign came calling, hiring Czahor as its chief technology officer.

He lasted 36 hours, done in by a history of offensive tweets and blog posts that was uncovered by reporters and opposition researchers after TIME broke the news of his hire.

Now, two months later, he is looking to make his comeback, turning lemons into lemonade with Clear, an app designed to keep what happened to him from happening to anyone else.

“Why wasn’t I smart enough to take care of this before it happens,” Czahor asked himself for weeks after the controversy, he told TIME. Now he’s set about making sure people can manage potentially damaging social media histories.

The app, releasing publicly Monday, scours a user’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram histories for potentially inflammatory or damaging posts, and makes their removal a breeze. It’s designed for the next generation in the workforce, who grew up sharing vast amounts of information online, some of which may become a liability in their future careers.

“This could happen to anyone in any field—it doesn’t have to be politics—every millennial is now entering the workforce, and maybe even a senior position, and everything that they’ve said online for the last 10 years is still there, and that’s a new thing for this generation,” Czahor said.

Already, there’s a long history of political aides being done in by their social media postings. Last month, GOP operative Liz Mair was forced to resign from a top digital post for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker after old tweets surfaced showing her criticizing the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. Benjamin Cole, a senior aide to disgraced Rep. Aaron Schock was forced to resign after racist Facebook posts were dug up. In 2008, former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau was forced to apologize after a photo emerged of him groping a life-sized cut-out of then-Sen. Hillary Clinton.

The app works by flagging postings that contain watchwords: the obvious four letter ones, as well as “gay,” “Americans” and “black.” Posts are also subjected to sentiment analysis, using IBM’s Watson supercomputer, to try to flag additional negative messages. The app’s algorithms are far from perfect, but it errs on the side of caution. The Clear analysis of this reporter’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts scored a -2,404—a record low in the private beta—from the app’s proprietary grading system which calculates the potential liability of a person’s social media history.

It will soon be converted to a traditional 0-100 scale, Czahor said, with higher scores meaning safer profiles. (One reason for this reporter’s low rating: quotes from presidential candidates frequently scored as negative, while words on the watch list triggered alerts.)

“The most challenging part of this is determining which tweets are actually offensive, and that’s something that will take a while to get really good at,” Czahor said.

Czahor, who moved to California after college to test his hand at improv comedy at The Groundlings while working at Internet start ups, maintained that the offending comments that cost him the Bush job were meant to be good-natured. “I was telling jokes with my friends and they were completely tongue-in-cheek and completely harmless,” he said. “But years later after I had forgotten about them, they’d been pulled out of context and it looked terrible.”

“Most people don’t know that halloween is German for ‘night that girls with low self-esteem dress like sluts,'” one, now-deleted tweet read. “When I burp in the gym I feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘sorry guys, but I’m not gay,'” said another.

Clear is purely a defensive weapon, and can’t be used the growing class of opposition researchers against whom Czahor is looking to protect. The app requires that users grant access to their social media accounts, meaning, that a third party can’t review a user’s history without their consent.

Czahor said he believes that racist and other offensive postings should be held to account, saying Clear was designed for the universe of embarrassing messages that can simply be taken out of context months or years later.

While some messages, if public, may be captured in public archives and thus out of the reach of the app’s delete feature, Czahor said he believes the awareness alone of what a person tweeted or posted years ago is a valuable resource. “When this was happening,” Czahor added, “there were all of these emails asking how I felt about this statement or that statement, and I remember thinking ‘did I even write this?’”

Czahor said the next step would be to expand the app’s reach to emails, personal blogs, and search results, pointing to the embarrassing leaks from last year’s Sony hack as another potential use-case.

“You as a person exist in a lot of places on the Internet, and I just feel that you have the right to at least know what’s out there, and to take care of it.”

TIME 2016 Election

Jeb Bush Narrowly Leads Tight Republican Presidential Race, Poll Says

Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.
Brooks Kraft—Corbis for TIME Former Florida Governor Bush at MaryAnne's Diner in Derry, N.H. on April 17, 2015.

But no one has broken out of the GOP pack

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is enjoying a slight lead over his likely Republican rivals for President, according to a new poll, but the nominating contest remains tight with no overwhelming front runner.

The news came as Bush announced he would travel to Germany, Poland and Estonia early next month, giving him a chance to burnish his foreign policy credentials as he prepares to formally launch his bid for the presidency.

The CNN/ORC survey found that 17% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents support Bush in the primary race, while 12% back Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who both recently launched their 2016 campaigns, each drew 11%. Only 4% said they back New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who placed second in the poll as recently as last fall.

Bush also leads the field in several key attributes, according to the poll, including the candidate voters see as having the right experience and the best chance to defeat the Democratic nominee.

In contrast to the Republican race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who formally announced her candidacy this month, dominates the Democratic lineup. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, 69% said they support Clinton, while 11% said they backed Vice President Joe Biden — who hasn’t signaled he’s running — 5% support Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and 3% backed former Virginia Senator Jim Webb.

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