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Caitlin MacNeal

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Articles by Caitlin

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday morning dismissed concern about Donald Trump's unprecedented call last week with the president of Taiwan.

Ryan said it was "prudent for him to take congratulatory calls." Ryan added that he himself has spoken with the president of Taiwan, and that outrage over Trump's call with the Taiwanese leader was "much ado about nothing."

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday morning listed three priorities that Congress plans to tackle next year when Donald Trump is in the Oval Office.

Ryan said that Congress will address Obamacare, make changes to the tax code, and roll back regulations.

"That is what a unified Republican government will be about," he said.

Ryan listed three of the four priorities he offered last week in a radio interview, but absent in his list this week was securing the border.

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The unprecedented call between Donald Trump and the president of Taiwan last week was arranged by former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole, according to a Monday night report in the Wall Street Journal citing an unnamed transition official.

"It’s fair to say that we may have had some influence," Dole told the Wall Street Journal, confirming that the law firm he works with had a role in setting up the call.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the call "included a discussion about China and stability in the Asia-Pacific," citing an unnamed person "familiar with the call."

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A Republican elector representing Texas will not cast a vote for Donald Trump, writing in a New York Times op-ed published on Monday that Trump does not have the experience or demeanor needed to be president.

"Mr. Trump goes out of his way to attack the cast of 'Saturday Night Live' for bias. He tweets day and night, but waited two days to offer sympathy to the Ohio State community after an attack there. He does not encourage civil discourse, but chooses to stoke fear and create outrage," Christopher Suprun wrote in his op-ed. "This is unacceptable."

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Congressional leaders have warned that replacing Obamacare could take years and Republican lawmakers are considering repealing the law immediately while delaying its replacement for three years, but the incoming leader of the House Freedom Caucus is not on board.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the next chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Politico on Monday that a plan to replace Obamacare in three years "will meet with major resistance from Freedom Caucus members." Meadows said that the replacement should not be "left to a future Congress to deal with."

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Monday finally conceded in the state's governor's race after dragging the election out for almost a month with complaints about alleged voter fraud.

In a video statement, McCrory said that it's "time to celebrate our democratic process and respect what I see to be the ultimate outcome of the closest North Carolina governor’s race in modern history."

"Despite continued questions that should be answered regarding the voting process, I personally believe that the majority of our citizens have spoken, and we now should do everything we can to support the 75th governor of North Carolina, Roy Cooper," he continued. "The McCrory administration team will assist in every way to help the new administration make a smooth transition."

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Still trailing nearly a month after Election Day in his drawn-out bid for re-election, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) over the weekend asked the State Bureau of Investigations to launch a criminal probe into GOP claims of "voting irregularities" that are at the center of McCrory's effort to close the vote gap with his Democratic challenger.

McCrory's request for a criminal investigation by the state – which came in a statement issued by the governor's office – came after the Republican-led state elections board rejected on Saturday a protest from Republicans alleging that absentee ballots in Bladen County were improperly filled out.

The complaint, which was filed by Republicans and promoted by the McCrory campaign, is one of several allegations of voter fraud claimed by McCrory as he has refused to concede in the governor's race, even though he is currently trailing Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper by more than 10,000 votes.

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Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who is reportedly being considered by Donald Trump to be secretary of state, on Monday morning said that the President-elect's unprecedented phone call with the president of Taiwan was "terrific."

"It will demonstrate that by not just paying attention to the norms — and he didn't violate any treaties by doing that — but by doing that, by picking up that phone and for the first time having a conversation with the president, elected president, of Taiwan, he showed the dictators in Beijing that he's not a pushover," he said on "Fox and Friends."

"These people, you've got to remember, China has had an enormously aggressive foreign policy and by him actually going to Taiwan, he's showing the people in Beijing that they cannot have this aggressive foreign policy and expect to be treated just the same by an American president," Rohrabacher continued. "So I think it was a terrific message to them: We're no longer going to be pushovers, and there's going to be consequences for their hostile and aggressive actions."

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