Washington (CNN) – Attorney General Eric Holder's off-the-record meetings with the news media on guidelines for handling investigations of leaks to journalists suddenly are not so buttoned-up.
The Justice Department's initial ground rules for the discussions proved so controversial many organizations declined to participate, including the Associated Press, the New York Times and CNN.
Updated 8:40 p.m. ET Friday 5/31
(CNN) – A newly obtained video has the IRS running damage control on a new front, as the embattled agency prepares for the release next week of an inspector general report that will be critical of how money was spent on staff conferences.
In the video, an apparent team-building exercise, employees are taught the Cupid Shuffle dance move as they prepare to present the dance as a group at a 2010 conference.
White House (CNN) – There was no mention of Syria Friday when President Obama made brief public remarks about his meeting with NATO's secretary-general on Afghanistan and other pressing global security issues at the White House.
But in an interview with CNN, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the ongoing crisis was very much on the agenda behind closed doors.
Updated 5:49 p.m. ET Friday 5/31
Washington (CNN) – The Internal Revenue Service has told House GOP investigators they have identified 88 IRS employees who may have documents relevant to the congressional investigation into targeting of conservative groups, according to a congressional source familiar with the investigation.
The IRS asked these employees to preserve all the "responsive documents" on their computers, and it has been in the process of collecting it all to comply with congressional requests for information. The IRS missed its May 21st deadline to turn over documents to the House Ways and Means Committee.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for May 31, 2013 | 5 p.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
FROM SANTA FE TO WASHINGTON: GOP HEAVYWEIGHTS LINING UP BEHIND MARTINEZ… Congressional leaders, potential presidential candidates and party elders will come together next week in the nation's capital to help fill New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's political war chest, CNN has learned. – Mark Preston
NO CONFIDENCE IN IMMIGRATION: POLL: AMERICANS NOT CONFIDENT IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL PASS… More than two-thirds of Americans don't believe that Congress will be able to work together to pass immigration reform, according to a new poll released Friday. – Sara Fischer
MARKET WATCH: Despite Friday's 203-point drop, Dow ends higher for 6th straight month. NASDAQ, S&P gain for 7th month in a row.
(CNN) – The man responsible for recording a campaign strategy session of Sen. Mitch McConnell's wrote Friday his personal life "hit a wall" after he secretly made the tapes.
Nonetheless, Curtis Morrison, in an essay on Salon.com, wrote he would record the Senate Republican leader again if given the chance.
(CNN) - Businessman Jim Graves, the Democrat who came close to defeating Rep. Michele Bachmann last year and who posed another challenge in 2014, has decided to indefinitely suspend his campaign–just two days after the Minnesota congresswoman announced her own decision against running for re-election.
"This was never about Jim Graves; this was about challenging the ineffective leadership and extremist ideology of Michele Bachmann on behalf of those she represents," Graves said of his decision in a statement.
Washington (CNN) - Congressional leaders, potential presidential candidates and party elders will come together next week in the nation's capital to help fill New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's political war chest, CNN has learned.
From House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, at least 27 people are listed as "Honored Guests" on a fundraising invitation that also features Republican Governors Association Chair Bobby Jindal, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among many others. The event is expected to raise "six figures," said an adviser to the New Mexico governor, who spoke about it on the condition of anonymity. Contributions range from $500 to $5,200 per person.
Washington (CNN) – If at first you succeed, then by all means, try, try again.
President Barack Obama returned to a successful strategy from last year's election campaign by calling Friday for college students and their families to mount pressure on congressional Republicans to prevent a jump in some student loan rates set to occur on July 1.
Updated at 2:35 p.m. ET on Friday 5/31
(CNN) – In the early days of President Barack Obama's sweeping new health care law, Douglas Shulman, then the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, was cleared to visit the White House 157 times over three years, official visitor logs show.
More than 50 of Douglas Shulman's scheduled visits are described as "health care meetings" or "health care reform meetings," according to the visitor logs. Arrival times are only listed for 11 of his visits, and it's not unusual for a person to appear on the visitor logs - which are derived from Secret Service clearance lists - without actually having visited the White House. The majority of the visits were set to be held in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which houses office suites for administration aides.