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

As Donald Trump's transition team officially announced that retired Gen. Michael Flynn had been named Trump's national security adviser, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, on Friday asked for documents about Flynn's "apparent conflicts of interest."

Cummings sent a letter to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the head of Trump's transition team, requesting information on Flynn's work with his consulting firm, Flynn Intel Group, Inc., citing reports that Flynn received classified briefings during the campaign while lobbying the United States government on behalf of foreign governments.

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Still trailing his Democratic challenger by about 5,000 votes, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) on Thursday announced 50 new elections complaints alleging that votes were cast by people who were either dead, convicted felons, or had already voted.

The ballot-counting in the hard-fought race is now in its second week, with ballot challenges and provisional ballot tabulating as McCrory tries to make up the gap on Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper.

"Now we know why Roy Cooper fought so hard against voter ID and other efforts to combat voter fraud as attorney general,” Russell Peck, McCrory’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “With each passing day, we discover more and more cases of voting fraud and irregularities. We intend to make sure that every vote is properly counted and serious voter fraud concerns are addressed before the results of the election can be determined.”

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Donald Trump has decided to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who was the first senator to back Trump, to be his attorney general, according to Friday morning reports from CBS News, Bloomberg News, and the New York Times.

CBS News reported that Trump "offered" the post to Sessions, citing "sources directly involved in the selection process," while Bloomberg News reported that Trump had chosen Sessions but that it was unclear whether the senator had officially been offered the post. The New York Times reported that Trump has "selected" Sessions to be his attorney general.

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Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) on Thursday officially launched a bid to challenge House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for House Democrats' top leadership post.

“While having a position in Democratic Leadership has never been my life’s ambition, after this election I believe we all need to re-evaluate our roles within the Caucus, the Democratic Party, and our country,” Ryan wrote in a letter to his fellow House Democrats. “That is why I am announcing my run for Minority Leader of the Democratic Caucus and humbly request your support.”

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Donald Trump's transition team on Thursday denied that Trump is considering creating a registry of Muslim visitors and immigrants, but the Trump team merely distinguished a registry of Muslims from a registry of visitors and immigrants from countries with "high terrorism activity."

"President-elect Trump has never advocated for any registry or system that tracks individuals based on their religion, and to imply otherwise is completely false," spokesman Jason Miller said in a statement. "The national registry of foreign visitors from countries with high terrorism activity that was in place during the Bush and Obama administrations gave intelligence and law enforcement communities additional tools to keep our country safe, but the president-elect plans on releasing his own vetting policies after he is sworn in."

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Donald Trump is planning a victory tour through states he won in the presidential election after Thanksgiving, according to a Trump staff member.

"We’re working on a victory tour now, it will happen in the next couple of weeks," George Gigicos, the director of Trump's advance team, said on Thursday, adding that it would occur following Thanksgiving, according to a President-elect pool report.

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who would likely oversee the confirmation hearings for Donald Trump's secretary of state nominee as chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, said on Thursday that the President-elect "approaches things with an exclamation point" and so needs a secretary of state to "complement" his style.

During an interview on MSNBC, Corker said it would not be appropriate for him to "handicap" potential nominees since he's likely to oversee the confirmation process. Host Andrea Mitchell then asked what qualities Corker is looking for in a secretary of state nominee, noting that Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley have all been floated as candidates.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday morning railed against President-elect Donald Trump's appointment of Steve Bannon as a White House adviser and noted that Americans are concerned about Trump racist, sexist and xenophobic comments, but Sanders also laid out areas in which he said he hopes to be able to work with Trump.

Sanders told reporters at a breakfast roundtable in Washington hosted by the Christian Science Monitor that he was happy that Trump pledged to save the three major pillars of the social safety net.

"We look forward to working with him to make sure that he does not cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid," the senator said. "During the campaign, he said a lot. And we will find out soon enough whether what he said was sincere."

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Donald Trump will have his first meeting with a foreign leader on Thursday, when he will sit down with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York.

"I am very honored to see the President-elect ahead of other world leaders," Abe told reporters before he left Japan, according to CNN. "The Japan-US alliance is the axis of Japan's diplomacy and security. The alliance becomes alive only when there is trust between us. I would like to build such a trust with Mr. Trump."

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