2015: The year in politics

Updated 7:19 AM ET, Tue December 22, 2015
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John Boehner kisses House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi after he was elected to a third term as House Speaker on Tuesday, January 6. He retired at the end of October. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
A crew member stands in the door of Air Force One as he waits for stairs to arrive Thursday, January 8, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. President Barack Obama was returning from a two-day trip to Michigan and Arizona. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. John McCain fools around with colleagues upon arriving at a news conference in Washington on Tuesday, January 13. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
A member of the Secret Service's Uniformed Division sits in his car outside the White House after a small drone crashed on the premises Monday, January 26. The drone posed no threat, said a spokesman for President Obama, and Obama was in India at the time. The drone's owner and operator worked for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, a government entity with mapping and national security duties. The agency confirmed that one of its employees was the operator of the drone, saying the employee was off-duty and the drone flight was not work-related. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama shake hands with delegation members in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday, January 27. Obama was in the country to meet Saudi King Salman, right, and offer condolences on the death of his predecessor, King Abdullah. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden talks to Stephanie Carter as her husband, Ashton Carter, delivers a speech Tuesday, February 17, at the White House. Ashton Carter had just been sworn in as the country's new Secretary of Defense, but it was Biden's hands-on whisper that went viral on social media. GARY CAMERON/Reuters/Landov
Carl Mueller, second from left, sits next to his wife, Marsha, as they honor their daughter Kayla with a candlelight vigil in Prescott, Arizona, on Wednesday, February 18. Kayla, a 26-year-old American aid worker, was killed by the militant group ISIS. She had been captured in northern Syria in 2013. Rob Schumacher/AP
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin greets supporters Thursday, February 26, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. JOSHUA ROBERTS/Reuters/Landov
A drape gets momentarily stuck as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife, Sharon, help artist Simmie Knox unveil Holder's portrait at the Justice Department on Friday, February 27. Holder resigned in April and was replaced by Loretta Lynch. MIKE THEILER/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry looks at his phone during a lunch break Tuesday, March 3, in Montreux, Switzerland. Kerry was meeting with Iran's foreign minister for a new round of nuclear talks. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT/EPA/LANDOV
Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, leaves for a hospital after he was attacked Thursday, March 5, in Seoul, South Korea. According to Seoul police, Lippert was slashed on his right cheek and hand with a knife measuring about 10 inches long. The attacker, Kim Ki-Jong, was convicted of attempted murder in September and sentenced to 12 years in prison. Kim Ju-sung/AP
Reporters are hit by snow as President Obama leaves the White House on Marine One on Friday, March 6. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
President Barack Obama, on the left in the white shirt, and former President George W. Bush, on the far right, march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on Saturday, March 7. Their wives also joined them for the event, which was held 50 years after marchers were brutally beaten as they demonstrated for voting rights. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
A copy of Irish America magazine shows Hillary Clinton before she was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on Monday, March 16. The magazine founded the Hall of Fame in 2010, recognizing exceptional figures in the Irish-American community. Yana Paskova/Getty Images
President Obama tries a wheelchair designed by student Kaitlin Reed during the White House Science Fair on Monday, March 23. A rowing motion powers the wheelchair. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
Hayden Lewis, cousin of Sandy Hook shooting victim Jesse Lewis, stands with his family during a news conference in Hartford, Connecticut, on Monday, April 13. Connecticut's congressional delegation backed federal legislation that would provide expanded support to train teachers in social and emotional learning. "If the shooter, in our case, had access to this type of learning before the tragedy at Sandy Hook, it might not have happened," said Jesse's mother, Scarlett. Twenty-six people -- 20 students and six adults -- were shot and killed by 20-year-old Adam Lanza in December 2012. Jessica Hill/AP
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is reflected by glass before speaking at a leadership summit in Nashua, New Hampshire, on Saturday, April 18. Walker was seeking the Republican Party's nomination for President, but he dropped out of the race in September. Ron Haviv/VII
President Obama speaks next to comedian Keegan-Michael Key -- playing Luther, "Obama's anger translator" -- at the annual White House Correspondents' dinner on Saturday, April 25. YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images
Singer Elton John, right, greets pastor Rick Warren on Wednesday, May 6, prior to testifying before a Senate subcommittee in Washington. The singer supports U.S. funding for the global treatment for HIV and AIDS. Brett Carlsen/AP
A spectator waves to World War II-era aircraft as they fly over the National World War II Memorial in Washington on Friday, May 8. The flyover commemorated the 70th anniversary of V-E Day. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch takes questions Friday, May 8, during a news conference where she announced a federal investigation of the Baltimore Police Department. Riots broke out throughout the city in April less than a week after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died in police custody. Gray, a black man, was arrested on April 12. According to his attorney, he died a week later from a severe spinal cord injury he received while in police custody. The case raised long-simmering tensions between police and residents, and six police officers were eventually charged in connection with Gray's death. JIM BOURG/Reuters/Landov
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left, boxes former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield during a charity event Friday, May 15, in Salt Lake City. The bout raised money for CharityVision, an organization that provides surgeries to heal blindness. George Frey/Getty Images
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie bats during the "True Blue" celebrity softball game Wednesday, June 3, at New York's Yankee Stadium. The charity event raised money to support the families of fallen New York police officers. Frank Franklin II/AP
Vice President Joe Biden places his hand over his heart as the casket of his late son, former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, is carried into a church in Wilmington, Delaware, for a funeral on Saturday, June 6. Beau Biden died of brain cancer at the age of 46. BRYAN WOOLSTON/Reuters/Landov
German Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with U.S. President Barack Obama near the Bavarian Alps on Monday, June 8. Obama and other world leaders were in Germany for the annual G-7 Summit. Michael Kappeler/Pool Photo/AP
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert leaves federal court in Chicago after pleading not guilty to all charges against him on Tuesday, June 9. Federal prosecutors say Hastert lied to the FBI about $3.5 million he agreed to pay to an undisclosed person to "cover up past misconduct." In October, Hastert pleaded guilty to hiding money transactions. JIM YOUNG/Reuters/Landov
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush knock on doors of a Miami auditorium to gain entrance to his formal campaign announcement on Monday, June 15. Bush is the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of former President George W. Bush. He was Florida's governor from 1999-2007. CARLO ALLEGRI/Reuters/Landov
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, speaking in New York on Tuesday, June 16, announces that he will be seeking the Republican Party's nomination for President. He has been the GOP front-runner for most of the year. TODD HEISLER/The New York Times/Redux
President Obama delivers the eulogy for South Carolina state Sen. Clementa Pinckney on Friday, June 26. Pinckney was a pastor at the Charleston, South Carolina, church where he and eight other people were fatally shot on June 17. Pinckney was 41 years old. "We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith," Obama said. "A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would provide a better life for those who followed." Joe Raedle/Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plays with his crutches as he talks to reporters aboard a plane in Maryland on Friday, June 26. Kerry broke his leg riding a bike in May. CARLOS BARRIA/Reuters/Landov
The White House is lit up in rainbow colors on Friday, June 26, to commemorate the Supreme Court's ruling to legalize same-sex marriage. REX Shutterstock/AP
Bree Newsome removes the Confederate battle flag from a monument in front of the South Carolina State House on Saturday, June 27. She was charged with defacing a monument, and a new flag went up within about an hour, according to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Not long after she was led away in handcuffs, Newsome became an online hero, a trending topic on social media and the subject of an online fundraiser. South Carolina took down the flag on its own in July, ending a 54-year run on the Capitol grounds. Adam Anderson/Reuters/Landov
A girl near President Obama loses her balance in her chair as she and other Girl Scouts camped on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, June 30. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who is seeking the Democratic nomination for President, speaks to nearly 10,000 supporters in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, July 1. Christopher Dilts/Bloomberg/Getty Images
People take photos while touring the White House on Wednesday, July 1. It was the first day the White House began allowing photos to be taken during public tours. Susan Walsh/AP
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is prepped for a television appearance in New York on Wednesday, July 22. He announced in June that he was seeking the Republican Party's nomination for President. Richard Drew/AP
President Obama attends a private dinner with family members after arriving in Nairobi, Kenya, on Friday, July 24. Obama was making his first visit to his father's homeland as commander in chief. He also visited Ethiopia during his trip. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
Seconds after Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders took the stage for a rally in Seattle, a dozen protesters from the city's Black Lives Matter chapter jumped barricades and grabbed the microphone from the U.S. senator. Holding a banner that said "Smash Racism," two of the protesters -- Marissa Johnson, left, and Mara Jacqueline Willaford -- addressed the crowd. Elaine Thompson/AP
U.S. Embassy employees in Havana, Cuba, hang the seal of the United States a few hours before its ceremonial flag-raising on Friday, August 14. Cuba and the United States re-established diplomatic relations in July. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Obama plays golf with former President Bill Clinton during his vacation to Martha's Vineyard, an island in Massachusetts, on Saturday, August 15. Susan Walsh/AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a picture Saturday, August 15, at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Landon Nordeman FOR CNN
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets someone at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, August 15. Clinton has been the Democratic front-runner since announcing her candidacy. JIM YOUNG/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, the Republican presidential candidate from Kentucky who is also an ophthalmologist, gets suited up so he can perform cataract surgery in Haiti on Monday, August 17. While the humanitarian trip was not technically part of Paul's campaign, he invited a small number of political journalists and at least one prominent donor to join him. Dieu Nalio Chery/AP
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate from Florida, campaigns in Ankeny, Iowa, on Monday, August 17. Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
Jill Stuckey places signs in front of Jimmy Carter's former campaign headquarters in Plains, Georgia, on Thursday, August 20. During a news conference in Atlanta that day, the former U.S. President announced that he had cancer spots on his brain and would immediately begin a regimen of treatment. Carter announced in December that he was cancer-free. Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate from Texas, prays in Des Moines, Iowa, during the "Rally for Religious Liberty" on Friday, August 21. Paul Sancya/AP
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos, left, asks Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump a question about his immigration plan during a news conference Tuesday, August 25, in Dubuque, Iowa. Ramos squabbled with Trump twice during the event, and at one point a security officer ejected Ramos before he was allowed back in. Charlie Neibergall/AP
Former President George W. Bush dances along with the Warren Easton High School marching band during a trip to New Orleans on Friday, August 28. Bush's visit came as the city prepared to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. JONATHAN BACHMAN/Reuters/Landov
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, talks with David Moore after she refused him a marriage license in Morehead, Kentucky, on Tuesday, September 1. Davis was eventually jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She said same-sex marriages violated her Christian beliefs. After her release, she said she would not issue any marriage licenses that go against her religious beliefs. But she left the door open for her deputies to give out marriage licenses to same-sex couples as long as those documents do not have her name or title on them. Timothy D. Easley/AP
President Obama dances with children after attending a cultural performance in Dillingham, Alaska, on Wednesday, September 2. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz holds up a sneaker with the U.S. senator's likeness on it while Cruz campaigns in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday, September 3. Andy Jacobsohn/Dallas Morning News/Corbis
Keith Schiller, Donald Trump's director of security and longtime bodyguard, holds back demonstrator Efrain Galicia at Trump Tower in New York on Thursday, September 3. Galicia was among five protesters who later filed a lawsuit against Schiller, Trump, Trump's campaign and his company. The plaintiffs allege that Trump security officials, namely Schiller, assaulted them as they protested outside of a campaign event. Erik Pendzich/REX Shutterstock/AP
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker rides a motorcycle as he arrives at an Elk's Lodge in Salem, New Hampshire, on Monday, September 7. He was a presidential candidate at the time. MARY SCHWALM/Reuters/Landov
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry embraces Madeline Martin, daughter of Eagle Forum President Ed Martin, before speaking at the Eagle Council XLIV in St. Louis on Friday, September 11. During his speech, Perry became the first major presidential candidate to drop out of the 2016 race. Sid Hastings/AP
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush shows off a Reagan-Bush '84 T-shirt as he speaks during a Miami field office opening on Saturday, September 12. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A man helps himself to a fried-chicken buffet near an anti-abortion display Saturday, September 19, at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Fall Family Dinner in Des Moines. Taylor Glascock for CNN
President Obama stands with Pope Francis during a ceremony at the White House on Wednesday, September 23. The Pope was making his first visit to the United States, spending time in Washington, New York and Philadelphia. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia, sips water from the glass used by Pope Francis during the Pope's joint address to Congress on Thursday, September 24. Brady told the Philadelphia Daily News he poured the rest of the Pope's water into a bottle and would use it to bless his four grandchildren. Courtesy Rep. Brady
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, second from right, visits a pregnancy center during a campaign stop in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on Thursday, September 24. TRAVIS DOVE/The New York Times/Redux
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, left, talks with NASCAR legend Richard Petty, center, and Petty's grandson Austin while touring a camp for disabled children Monday, September 28, in Randleman, North Carolina. Carson said NASCAR fans should be free to fly the Confederate flag as long as it's on private property. Richard Petty, who partly funds the Victory Junction camp Carson was visiting, called preoccupation with the flag "a passing fancy." Chuck Burton/AP
President Obama shares a toast with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a luncheon in New York hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, September 28. "Amid the inevitable trials and setbacks, may we never relax in our pursuit of progress and may we never abandon the pursuit of peace," Obama said before clinking glasses. "Cheers." The two, bitterly at odds over Ukraine and Syria, had a closed-door meeting later in the day. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
A man carries out a chair reserved for a head of state during the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday, September 29. MIKE SEGAR/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. John McCain gets on the U.S. Capitol's subway system Wednesday, September 30, in Washington. Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Air Force One's shadow is seen on clouds as it carries President Obama to Oregon on Friday, October 9. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images
One of the most memorable moments from this year's Democratic debates came on Tuesday, October 13, when Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders shook hands following Sanders' take on the Clinton email scandal. "Let me say something that may not be great politics, but the secretary is right -- and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about the damn emails," Sanders said. "Enough of the emails, let's talk about the real issues facing the United States of America." LUCY NICHOLSON/Reuters/Landov
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican running for President, tastes maple syrup offered to him at a general store in North Woodstock, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, October 14. BRIAN SNYDER/Reuters/Landov
Vice President Joe Biden turns to his wife, Jill, after announcing Wednesday, October 21, that he would not be running for President. The announcement took place at the White House Rose Garden with President Obama. Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson stand in front of his tour bus at a book signing in Edmond, Oklahoma, on Wednesday, October 21. MARK KAUZLARICH/Reuters/Landov
Hillary Clinton testifies before the House Benghazi Committee on Thursday, October 22. The former Secretary of State mounted a passionate defense of her response to the attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans in 2012. But she came under repeated criticism from Republicans who tried to prove she ignored pleas from U.S. diplomats for better security. Melina Mara/The Washington Post/Getty Images
President Obama poses for a selfie with the U.S. women's soccer team during its trip to the White House on Tuesday, October 27. The team won the Women's World Cup this summer. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, right, argues with Jeb Bush during a Republican debate in Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday, October 28. Bush went after Rubio for missing votes in the Senate while running for the White House. "Just resign and let someone else take the job," Bush said. Rubio fired back, saying Bush never took issue with Sen. John McCain missing votes when he was running for President. "The only reason you're doing it now is because we're running for the same position." Mark J. Terrill/AP
First lady Michelle Obama and Britain's Prince Harry watch a basketball game played by wounded service members and veterans Wednesday, October 28, at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Prince Harry was on a one-day visit to the Washington area. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov
House Speaker John Boehner waves his trademark box of tissues as he addresses colleagues before stepping down on Thursday, October 29. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
A new sign at the U.S. Capitol reflects the election of House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday, October 30. Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, was also Mitt Romney's running mate in the 2012 presidential election. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, left, speaks with U.S. Rep. Steve King while hunting pheasant Sunday, November 1, in northwestern Iowa. A few other Republican candidates also took part in the fundraising event. MARK KAUZLARICH/Reuters/Landov
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush allows a supporter to loosen his tie during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, on Monday, November 2. Brian Blanco/Getty Images
House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to the media in Washington after a meeting with the House Republican Conference on Tuesday, November 3. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is flanked by impersonators Taran Killam, left, and Darrell Hammond during his "Saturday Night Live" monologue on November 7. Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to President Obama during their meeting at the White House on Monday, November 9. It was their first meeting since the conclusion of the Iran nuclear deal, which dragged relations between their governments to their lowest point in decades. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov
Trombonists lead the way as Senate contract cooks and cleaning workers march for higher wages near the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, November 10. JONATHAN ERNST/Reuters/Landov
People pray for victims of the Paris terrorist attacks while attending the Sunshine Summit, an event in Orlando hosting Republican presidential candidates, on Saturday, November 14. Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, greet supporters at a barbecue event in Ames, Iowa, on Sunday, November 15. MARK KAUZLARICH/Reuters/Landov
A man chases away a small cat at the G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, on Sunday, November 15. Bernd von Jutrczenka/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
First lady Michelle Obama dances to Gloria Estefan's "Conga" during an event at the White House on Monday, November 16. The "Broadway at the White House" event was for high school students involved in performing-arts programs. Carolyn Kaster/AP
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, in the sunglasses, boards an elevator at the Capitol after signing a condolence book Tuesday, November 17, for victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/AP
Workers stand on the scaffolding that surrounds the dome of the U.S. Capitol building on Tuesday, November 17. The dome is being renovated. Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Schoolchildren in Modesto, California, cheer for their favorite turkey Thursday, November 19, as one of the birds is chosen to receive a Thanksgiving "pardon" from President Obama. Scott Smith/AP
Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard leaves a courtroom in New York after being released from federal prison on Friday, November 20. Pollard is out on parole after serving 30 years behind bars. LUCAS JACKSON/Reuters/Landov
Supporters of presidential candidate Donald Trump boo the media after a heckler was removed during Trump's speech in Birmingham, Alabama, on Saturday, November 21. Eric Schultz/AP
Someone tries to cover up the Bernie Sanders T-shirt on a woman taking a selfie with another Democratic presidential candidate, Martin O'Malley, on Saturday, November 21. O'Malley, a former governor of Maryland, was attending the annual Blue Jamboree event in North Charleston, South Carolina. RANDALL HILL/Reuters/Landov
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders sits at an Atlanta cafe with rapper Killer Mike on Monday, November 23. The rapper introduced Sanders at a campaign event later in the evening. David Goldman/AP
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls for peace Tuesday, November 24, after police released a graphic dashcam video showing an officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014. McDonald was a black teenager. The officer who shot him, Jason Van Dyke, is white. "I believe this is a moment that can build bridges of understanding rather than become a barrier of misunderstanding," Emanuel said. "I understand that the people will be upset and will want to protest when they see this video. We as a city must rise to this moment." Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
A man jumps a fence at the White House on Thursday, November 26. He was immediately apprehended and taken into custody, the Secret Service said. Vanessa Pena/AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs a supporter's chest during a campaign rally in Manassas, Virginia, on Wednesday, December 2. Cliff Owen/AP
The American flag flies at half-staff above the White House on Thursday, December 3. President Obama signed a proclamation for all flags to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
U.S. Capitol police ask comedian Jon Stewart to leave the Senate subway area on Thursday, December 3, as he lobbies lawmakers to approve the extension of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Stewart has been urging U.S. lawmakers to renew the 2010 legislation, which provides health care benefits to first responders afflicted with illness as a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks. It is named for Zadroga, a New York City police officer who died of a respiratory disease in 2006 that was linked to his work at Ground Zero. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/AP
President Obama hugs Santa Claus near Muppets character Miss Piggy during the National Christmas Tree Lighting in Washington on Thursday, December 3. KEVIN LAMARQUE/Reuters/Landov