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

The four occupiers who remain at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon say that they can no longer make calls or access the Internet.

Three of the remaining militiamen cannot make or receive calls, while David Fry, the group's self-appointed tech guru, can still receive incoming calls, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The occupiers told Oregon Public Broadcasting that they are not sure whether power to the refuge has been cut off since they have been using a generator.

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Donald Trump on Sunday denied making comments about the looks of a female former staffer for his campaign who on Thursday filed a sex discrimination complaint against the Republican presidential candidate.

Elizabeth Mae Davidson, a former field organizer for the Trump campaign in Davenport, Iowa, wrote in her complaint that male staffers were paid more and that women were not allowed to speak at rallies, according to the New York Times. She also said that Trump told her and a female volunteer, "You guys could do a lot of damage."

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) will announce on Friday a deal with Republican lawmakers that will reinstate Virginia's policy of recognizing concealed carry licenses from most states, the Washington Post reported.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring in December said the state would stop recognizing licenses from 25 states in order to prevent residents who do not qualify for a license in Virginia from obtaining one in a state with fewer restrictions. Virginia does not allow individuals with histories of stalking, dealing drugs or receiving mental health treatment at in patient facilities to obtain licenses, but other states do.

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A South Carolina Senate committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would set up a registry of every refugee in the state and allow police to track them, as well as ban the state from spending money to resettle refugees unless the legislature approves the funding.

The legislation would also hold any group that aids refugees liable if one of the refugees then commits an act of terrorism, according to the Associated Press.

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The Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R) office will investigate accusations that state Rep. Jeremy Durham (R) sent inappropriate text messages to female legislative employees, Nashville television station WKRN reported.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R) asked the attorney general to conduct "an independent investigation into the facts surrounding [Durham]’s ongoing situation," according to WKRN.

"Additionally, I have asked them to issue a report with their findings. If and when an expulsion resolution comes before the House of Representatives, the report could be part of that process," she said in a statement, according to WKRN.

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Thursday night's Donald Trump-free debate was the second lowest rated Republican presidential debate this election cycle, according to Nielsen ratings reported by CNN.

The primetime debate drew 12.5 million viewers between 9 and 11 p.m., more than the 11 million that tuned in to the Fox Business Network Republican debate earlier in January but falling far short of the network's blockbuster debate in August that drew 25 million viewers.

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Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of evangelical Liberty University, on Thursday evening explained why he chose to endorse Donald Trump over other Republican presidential candidates who spend more time talking about their faith.

He said on CNN that when Liberty University was struggling financially, the school brought in "professionals" — "not people who shared our faith" — to help turn around the university. He said the United States needs to use the same approach when electing a president.

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Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey (R) on Thursday claimed that state Rep. Jeremy Durham (R), who recently stepped down from his leadership post for allegedly sexually harassing female staffers with persistent texts, had an affair with a fellow lawmaker who was forced to resign from office.

"Honestly we don’t want the press lynching anybody. But the press didn’t force somebody to send text messages after midnight asking for pictures. The press didn’t force somebody to have an affair with another state Rep. and force them to resign," Ramsey said when asked at a Tennessee Press Association event if the legislature had the necessary information to expel Durham, according to the Nashville Scene. "So on and on and on. I think the evidence is there for this to happen. It’s such a huge distraction."

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