Washington (CNN) - Democratic Members of the New York Congressional delegation expressed support Friday for their colleague Rep. Charles Rangel, despite the charges leveled against him by the House ethics committee.
At a regular meeting of the New York delegation, which Rangel did not attend, the congressman was the first topic of discussion.
Representatives came "to discuss the situation with their embattled colleague," said one Congressional staff aide who was at the meeting.
"I think the New York delegation feels very strongly, very supportive of Charlie Rangel," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, a fellow New Yorker who has served with Rangel for almost three decades. "He's done so much for New York City, New York State and the nation."
Rep. Gary Ackerman, who organized and ran the meeting, said "I thought Charlie should be on the agenda. And with Charlie on the agenda, Charlie thought he shouldn't be at the meeting in case someone wanted to say something that they wanted to openly express. So Charlie wasn't at the meeting."
Washington (CNN) - Senate Republicans have an internal memo from the Department of Homeland Security which they say shows the Obama administration "conspiring" and "scheming" to allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay and work in the United States
At issue is an 11-page memo prepared for the head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services entitled, "Administrative Alternatives to Comprehensive Immigration Reform." It was obtained by Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who said the intent of the memo is "...to find very secret creative ways to unilaterally circumvent the law and have a backdoor to amnesty."
The memo says, "The following options... used alone or in combination... have the potential to result in meaningful immigration reform absent legislative action."
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Ben Nelson said Friday that he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, but will vote for the cloture, a move that will help bring the nomination to an up or down vote.
"As a member of the bipartisan 'Gang of 14,' I will follow our agreement that judicial nominees should be filibustered only under extraordinary circumstances," Nelson said in a statement. "If a cloture vote is held on the nomination of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, I am prepared to vote for cloture and oppose a filibuster because, in my view, this nominee deserves an up or down vote in the Senate."
But one yes vote doesn't lead to another, the Nebraska Democrat said.
(CNN) - Former Vice President Al Gore will not face prosecution on an allegation of sexual assault from 2006.
The allegation, brought forth by Molly Hagerty, claims Gore sexually abused her during a professional massage at the Hotel Lucia in Portland on October 24, 2006.
The Portland Police Bureau did not recommend prosecution "due to a lack of credible evidence," according to the Multnomah County district attorney's office.
"After evaluating the materials submitted by PPB I have concluded that I agree with the assessment that a sustainable criminal case does not exist," Senior Deputy District Attorney Don Rees wrote in a memo Friday. "Ms. Hagerty's detailed statement ... is insufficient to support a criminal charge given other contradictory evidence, conflicting witness statements, credibility issues, lack of forensic evidence and denials by Mr. Gore."
Gore's office in Nashville, Tennessee, released a statement saying the former vice president was pleased with the finding.
"Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago," the statement reads. "He respects and appreciates the thorough and professional work of the Portland authorities and is pleased that this matter has now been resolved."
Read the full memo here.
(CNN) – Camera crews caught up with former President Bill Clinton on Friday in Rhinebeck, New York, the site of his daughter's upcoming wedding.
While he mostly kept quiet as he moved through the crowd that had gathered after his arrival, when asked by a reporter if he was excited, Clinton said "you bet"
The follow up question: "Is your daughter going to look beautiful?"
"She looks beautiful every day to me," Clinton said
There are reports of lavish spending on the wedding: seven figures, some reports say even eight figures.
But a longtime Clinton family friend pushes back, telling CNN National Correspondent Jessica Yellin the cost is actually less than $1 million. Regarding the many wedding planners who are guessing at the cost of Chelsea's wedding – this Clinton family friend tells CNN, "Maybe it's because these planners said they couldn't do it for less than 2 to 5 million – that's exactly why they weren't picked as the planner."
Washington (CNN) – Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele was forced to cancel an appearance Friday before a national meeting of black journalists due to food poisoning.
"While traveling out West the Chairman came down with a bad case of food poisoning," an RNC spokesman said in an email to CNN. "He is disappointed to miss the opportunity to take part in this valuable dialogue and looks forward to engaging with NABJ in the very near future."
Steele had been in New Mexico on Thursday to attend a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial nominee Susana Martinez.
The RNC spokesman told CNN that Steele had not been to the hospital, but that the chairman had consulted a doctor.
Steele was scheduled to address the National Association of Black Journalists, which is holding its annual meeting in San Diego.
Read the full NABJ statement:
President Obama speaks at a Chrysler plant in Detroit, Michigan on Friday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/AFP)
Detroit, Michigan (CNN) - President Barack Obama, speaking at a Chrysler plant here Friday, praised the recovery of the embattled U.S. auto industry and celebrated the tough choices he says made a comeback possible.
"Last year, many thought this industry would keep losing jobs, as it had for the better part of the past decade. Today, U.S. automakers have added more than 55,000 jobs since last June," said Obama.
He said both Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Corp. have rebounded from the depths of their government-brokered bankruptcies and are back on track to grow.
Washington (CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, himself weighing a presidential run in 2012, said Thursday that he expects Sarah Palin to be among the Republican contenders seeking the GOP nomination.
Asked to size up the prospective field during an interview with conservative magazine Newsmax, Gingrich rattled off a list of Republicans he expects to run.
"Well there are going to be lots of Republican running: Gov. Romney clearly, Gov. Palin, Gov. Huckabee, Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Haley Barbour, Gov. Tim Pawlenty. I think John Thune, the senator from South Dakota is going to get in. Ron Paul is probably going to run again. So I think it will be a lively campaign, there will be a lot of good candidates," Gingrich said.
Washington (CNN) - A traffic stop can be unnerving enough, but try it with thousands of people listening in as you're pulled over.
Police in suburban Washington stopped Congressman Dan Lungren, R-California, on his way to work Friday morning, right in the middle of a live interview with a radio station in his home district.
Just as CNN Radio affiliate KFBK in Sacramento began the interview on Lungren's International Megan's Law bill, listeners heard the officer say sternly "can you hang up the phone, sir?"