In it, but not of it. TPM DC

In 2008, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) accepted his party's nomination for president after he entertained a nearly three-minute standing ovation in the convention hall in St. Paul, Minnesota.

He said "thank you" more than 20 times before the roaring crowd silenced and let him speak.

"Tonight, I have a privilege given to few Americans, the privilege of accepting our party's nomination for President of the United States," he said and the crowd rose again in applause.

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s criticisms of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign have landed her in the headlines and, experts say, in a big, yuuuge gray area.

Supreme Court observers told TPM on Tuesday that while no rule prevents Ginsburg from sharing her opinions on the 2016 presidential race with the media, her remarks present an unexpected break with tradition and could sow distrust by leading people to believe that the nation’s highest court is a political player.

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A Virginia delegate to the Republican National Convention who sued state officials over a law binding him to vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot next week in Cleveland scored a symbolic victory Monday when a federal court ruling blocked enforcement of the state law.

However, a convention rules expert told TPM that the decision's effect on the "Never Trump" efforts to overthrow the presumptive GOP nominee was limited, if not more-or-less moot, and still depends on what happens at a closely-watched meeting of the convention rules committee later this week.

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Donald Trump has promised to make the Republican Convention in Cleveland a star-studded production only a casino mogul and reality television star could deliver. But, more than a dozen GOP senators – many of whom are facing their own re-elections back home–are skipping the festivities.

Of the 54 Republican senators, 16 have announced they won't be going to Cleveland and six more have yet to make a final decision.

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When Donald Trump prepared to answer a question from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) Thursday afternoon at a closed door meeting near Capitol Hill, he wasn't going to let Flake off the hook for being an outspoken critic of Trump's rhetoric and tone.

“You’ve been very critical of me," Trump said to Flake, according to a report from the Washington Post.

“Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that,” Flake said, the Post reported.

The exchange was just one of many relayed Thursday from participants in the meeting that painted a picture of a tough and tense meeting between senators trying to protect their party's future and the Republican Party's nominee who seems only concerned about his own poll numbers. During the same meeting, the Post reported that Trump said Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)– who has publicly opposed Trump–was a "loser."

"He's wrong," Kirk, who did not attend the meeting, told reporters later on Capitol Hill. "I've never been defeated in Illinois. I think Trump is gonna get a vote like Alan Keyes got, which was about 28 percent."

Flake declined to comment about his terse exchange with Trump.

"Nah. I'll just leave it," Flake said. "My position remains. I want to support the nominee I really do. I just can't support him given the things that he's said."

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He arrived 20 minutes late.

Then presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump addressed the House GOP's rank and file in a standing-room-only meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington. He talked in broad strokes about the Supreme Court, trade, tax reform, securing borders, Saddam Hussein and how the media has been unfair to him. And the Constitution -- but more on that in a moment.

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It was the work of the House Select Committee on Benghazi that first broke the news that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had used a private email server in her tenure at the State Department, but Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)–the chairman of that committee–had no statement on the FBI's conclusion Tuesday that Clinton had not violated the law.

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