In it, but not of it. TPM DC

As his party's former nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) arguably knows more about presidential debates than any other member of the U.S. Senate.

But when asked what he thought of Monday's debate he couldn't muster much excitement.

"I thought it was very interesting," he said.

"You still backing Trump?" McCain was asked.

Then just in the nick of time, the Senate elevator doors closed.

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Donald Trump, as a man and a presidential candidate, takes pride in having the best of everything: the best businesses, the best people working on his campaign, the best opinions. So the GOP nominee figured out long ago that having opposed the Iraq war before it even began, long before the wildly unpopular conflict would leave a half-million civilians dead and the Islamic State in its wake, is clairvoyant political gold.

There’s just one problem. Despite Trump’s repeated insistence, there simply isn’t evidence to back up the New York real estate mogul's claims that he was strongly opposed to the war before the United States invaded Iraq.

The issue resurfaced in Monday night’s first general election presidential debate, when Trump interrupted moderator Lester Holt to again claim he'd been against the invasion from the beginning, eventually launching into a rant about private conversations he purportedly had with Fox News personality Sean Hannity.

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With just four days to go before the government runs out of money to operate, Democrats helped block a short-term spending measure from moving forward Tuesday afternoon in the Senate because the legislation did not include funding to help the community of Flint, Michigan, recover from a lead water crisis that it has been grappling with for more than two years.

"Would it be asking too much for the Speaker of the House, the Republican leader of the Senate, to stand and say, we're going to get that thing done, we're going to pass it, we're going to make sure that the bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is going to become law? But they ignore that. They ignore the people of Flint," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said on the floor of the Senate Tuesday morning ahead of the vote.

Senators voted 55 to 45 to move the measure forward, but it needed 60 votes to advance under Senate rules. The failure opened up serious questions about how members will be able to come together to fund the government before the clock runs out.

"We want to go back to the drawing boards," said Sen, Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), the ranking member of the Senate's Appropriations Bill. "The clock is ticking. I think we can come to an agreement on the money now we just have to get rid of the poison pill riders."

There were four Democrats who voted to move the measure, known as a continuing resolution, forward. There were 13 Republicans who voted to block the legislation.

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Among the theories Hillary Clinton put forward at Monday's debate as to why Donald Trump was resisting releasing his tax returns was the possibility that in some years he paid no federal income taxes. Trump, in his response to the claims, did little to put that notion to rest. At first, from the debate stage, he bragged when she made the claim and later he seemed to concede her allegation by saying his taxes would have been squandered by a spendthrift government had he paid them.

In the spin room after, he waffled even more when reporters asked him what he meant. On one hand, he said he hadn't, in fact, admitted to not paying federal income taxes. However, presented with multiple opportunities to say definitively that he has and is paying income taxes, he appeared to dodge the questions. Only once did he say he had paid federal taxes.

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Hillary Clinton invoked the name of a former beauty queen during Monday night's presidential debate and for good reason.

"One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest -- he loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them -- and he called this woman 'Miss Piggy,' then he called her 'Miss Housekeeping' because she was Latina," Clinton said Monday toward the end of the debate, as she ran through a list of things Trump has said about women. "Donald, she has a name. Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a US citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November."

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Hillary Clinton pounced on Donald Trump at Monday's presidential debate for saying he would only release his tax returns if she released missing emails from her private server, and speculated that his refusal to release them because he is not as rich or as charitable as he claims.

"You have got to ask yourself why won't he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he is not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he is not as charitable as he claims to be," Clinton said. "Third, we don't know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks."

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For months, a theory has been floating around the conservative fringes of the Internet claiming that President Obama's administration is working feverishly to grant citizenship to immigrants in order to sway the 2016 elections. The allegation got a push into the mainstream last week, with two Republican senators writing the Department of Homeland a letter that accused the agency of sloppily rushing through citizenship applications ahead of the election.

Their smoking gun? An email to low-level staffers sent by am immigration field office supervisor encouraging them to work overtime to process applications.

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A federal appeals court Monday blocked the move earlier this year by a federal election official to approve a proof-of-citizenship requirement on the federal voting registration forms in Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.

Brian Newby (pictured above), the executive director of the Election Assistance Commission who was formerly a local elections official in Kansas who worked under Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, had approved of the form change over the objections of other members of the commission. He had become the commission's executive director after the Supreme Court had refused to take up a case brought by Kansas and Arizona to force the EAC to change the voter registration form.

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