WASHINGTON - Sen. Robert Menendez, dogged by a federal corruption probe, was the target of a Cuban intelligence smear plot that managed to fool the FBI and media into investigating.
That's the allegation from Menendez's lawyer, who has asked the Justice Department to investigate, a person familiar with the request confirmed to CNN.
It's a dramatic twist to an already sensational story that involved allegations that Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, traveled to have sex with underage Dominican prostitutes. Those stories, shopped to journalists around Washington for months, were published on a conservative news website before the purported prostitutes recanted and the FBI found no merit in the matter.
(CNN) - During their meeting at the White House last month, President Barack Obama asked Uruguay's president, Jose Mujica, to send a message to Cuban President Raul Castro to free imprisoned U.S. government contractor Alan Gross.
"Cuba's continued incarceration of Alan Gross represents a significant impediment to a more constructive bilateral relationship and securing his immediate release remains a top priority of the United States," National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement.
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton argued Thursday that the ripple effect of Eric Cantor's crushing primary defeat will extend to 2016.
"I think it shows the continuing conflict within the Republican Party over its direction," said the potential presidential candidate. "That will be a challenge. It may not affect necessarily the outcome of the elections in November–we'll see–but it will certainly have long-term implications for 2016 and maybe beyond."
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden sat down with a Cuban media outlet - a significant move given the decades-long tension between the United States and Cuba since the countries ended diplomatic relations more than 50 years ago.
In the interview published Tuesday, Biden cited the detention of Alan Gross, an American jailed in Cuba, as a key obstacle in improving relations.
(CNN) - Charlie Crist's bid to return to the Florida governor's office in Tallahassee may take him through Havana.
The former Republican governor of Florida, now running as a Democrat for his old office, is considering a trip to Cuba this summer, according to his campaign. Such a visit to the communist island nation, which is Florida's neighbor to the south, would have been unheard of by a statewide politician a few years ago.
Washington (CNN) - Alan Gross, the former American subcontractor who's spent four years imprisoned in Cuba, ended a hunger strike Friday that he launched last week in a bid to spur both the United States and Cuba to resolve his case.
Gross told his attorney Scott Gilbert that he would end his hunger strike, at the urging of family and friends who were concerned with his deteriorating health, but more protest would come.
Washington (CNN) - Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Friday his support for lifting the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, a policy shift that shows how far the former Republican has moved since switching parties.
"The embargo has done nothing in more than 50 years to change the regime in Cuba," Crist said in a statement. "If we want to bring democracy to Cuba, we need to encourage American values and investment there."
Updated 2:51 p.m. ET, 12/10/13
(CNN) – Arriving on stage at FNB stadium in Johannesburg to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, President Barack Obama shook hands with dozens of other world leaders, pausing briefly to grasp the hand of Cuban President Raul Castro.
The greeting quickly sparked a strong debate on Twitter between those who praised and disagreed with the handshake, given that the United States does not share diplomatic relations with Cuba.
(CNN) – Jay-Z and wife Beyoncé were bolstering an oppressive dictator when they traveled to Cuba for their anniversary, Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday.
The trip - which the Treasury Department said was officially sanctioned as cultural travel - only served to expose “the ridiculousness of the laws that we have in place,” Rubio continued on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
(CNN) – It seemed like White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was waiting for the question when he was asked Thursday about Jay-Z's newest rap, which focuses on his U.S. government-approved trip to Cuba with wife Beyonce last week.
In the rap, Jay-Z suggested their clearance came from the White House, when it actually came from the Treasury Department.