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

Following speculation this week that Sean Hannity would leave Fox News, the host told staffers in a meeting Tuesday that he will not be leaving the network, according to a Politico report.

His announcement to staff follows a report in the Daily Beast that Hannity was negotiating an exit from Fox News now that Bill Shine has resigned. Hannity has also been accused of inappropriate behavior by a former Fox News contributor who said he would not invite her back onto his show after she turned down an invitation to his hotel room.

The Fox host on Monday night addressed “friends in the media” watching the show and said that “all the lies you’ve heard about me are not true.”

Read More →

President Donald Trump on Wednesday will meet with two key House Republicans, Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), who said this week that they cannot support the Obamacare repeal bill, CNN reported Wednesday morning.

Long told CNN that he and Upton will meet with Trump and that the two House lawmakers are working on a new amendment to the American Health Care Act. Politico also reported that an amendment is in the works and that Trump would meet with Long and Upton on Wednesday.

Both Long and Upton surprised Republican leaders this week when they came out against the bill now that it would include a new amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ). The amendment would allow states to apply for waivers from some Obamacare mandates.

Long, an ally of Trump, announced his opposition on Monday, saying that the “MacArthur amendment strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable.” The conservative group Club for Growth quickly attacked Long for opposing the bill.

Upton, a prominent Republican in the House who has worked on efforts to repeal Obamacare for years, came out against the bill on Tuesday, also citing the MacArthur amendment and concern about Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Read More →

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night bashed his FBI director, James Comey, and Hillary Clinton, after Clinton placed some blame on the FBI for her loss in the 2016 election.

In two tweets published around 11 p.m. Trump said that Comey aided Clinton by not recommending charges following a probe into her use of a private email server.

During an interview at a Women for Women International luncheon on Tuesday, Clinton said that she was “on the way to winning” the presidency until Wikileaks published her campaign staffers’ emails and the FBI reopened its investigation into her emails.

Read More →

President Donald Trump is expected to appoint Teresa Manning, an activist who opposes birth control and abortion, to run the Health and Human Services office that oversees family planning for low-income Americans, PoliticoPro reported.

Manning, who used to work for the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council, has argued in the past that contraception does not work.

“Contraception doesn’t work. Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years, which you know a lot of contraception health advocates want — to start women in their adolescent years when they’re extremely fertile, incidentally, and continue for 10, 20, 30 years,” she told WBUR in 2003. “Over that span of time, the prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous.”

Manning also argued that allowing women to buy the morning-after pill over the counter was “immoral” in a 2001 statement while she worked at the Family Research Council. She has also pushed the debunked claim that abortion can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

As deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, Manning would oversee Title X funds that help low-income women afford birth control and preventative health care.

Following the PoliticoPro report about Manning’s pending appointment, Democrats and pro-choice groups denounced the Trump administration’s choice.

“This is the fox guarding the hen house, and women with low incomes will pay the price. It is a cruel irony to appoint an opponent of birth control to oversee the nation’s only federal program dedicated to family planning,” Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a Monday statement.

Teresa Manning has spent her career denying science and peddling fiction about family planning and abortion,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said in a statement Tuesday. “Her appointment to oversee our nation’s family planning program is yet another step in the Trump Administration’s dangerous campaign to roll back women’s reproductive rights and undermine the immense progress we have made to reduce teen pregnancy and abortions, both at an all-time low, in part because of funding through the Title X family planning program.”

News of Manning’s pending appointment comes after Trump appointed Charmaine Yoest, an anti-abortion leader, to be the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS. He also brought on Katy Talento to help shape the White House’s health policy. Talento has claimed that chemical birth control causes abortions and hurts a woman’s chances to have a baby later in life.

Read More →

Ivanka Trump pleaded with her father to issue a vigorous, sincere apology for his notoriously vulgar comments about women on a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape—and left the room visibly upset when Donald Trump would not take her advice, according to a Tuesday report in the New York Times.

Donald Trump at first only agreed to “say he was sorry if anyone was offended,” which bothered his daughter, per the New York Times:

Ivanka Trump made an emphatic case for a full-throated apology, according to several people who were present for the crisis discussion that unfolded in Mr. Trump’s 26th-floor office. Raised amid a swirl of tabloid headlines, she had spent her adult life branding herself as her father’s poised, family-focused daughter. She marketed her clothing line with slogans about female empowerment and was finishing a book on the topic. As she spoke, Mr. Trump remained unyielding. His daughter’s eyes welled with tears, her face reddened, and she hurried out in frustration.

In the tape, Trump bragged to former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that he could do “anything” with women, including “grab” them by their genitals. Trump ultimately issued an apology for those comments, but dismissed the remarks as nothing more than “locker room banter.”

Read More →

President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning complained that he had needed Democratic support for the deal to fund the government through September, and he suggested a government shutdown in September to fix the “mess” in Congress, hinting that he does not want to negotiate with Democrats on the next budget.

The President’s call for a shutdown is odd given that Republicans control Congress and the White House.

Trump’s public grousing about the spending deal struck between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill undermined efforts by the White House and GOP leaders to portray the deal as a win for him.

Trump also proposed that the Senate eliminate lawmakers’ ability to filibuster legislation to make it easier for Republicans to pass the next budget – and the Obamacare repeal bill still stuck in the House – without Democratic votes.

The spending deal agreed upon by Republicans and Democrats in Congress does not include funding for Trump’s signature campaign promise, a wall along the southern border. The measure also includes provisions opposed by the White House like Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and a $2 million increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

Read More →

Fox News host Sean Hannity closed his show on Monday night by saying that the “lies” about him are “not true” in an apparent attempt to push back on reports that he is planning to leave the network.

“By the way, special thank you to all our friends in the media that were tuning in tonight, maybe for the first time. And all the lies you’ve heard about me are not true,” he said just before ending his show.

Hannity’s comment follows a Daily Beast report that he is looking to leave Fox News now that Bill Shine is resigning as co-president. Hannity has also been accused of inappropriate behavior by a former Fox News guest who said Hannity did not invite her back on his show after she declined his invitation to his hotel room.

Fox News also pushed back on reports that Hannity is looking to leave the network on Monday, calling the report “completely untrue.”

The Fox host on Monday evening tweeted a link to a story reporting that he is not looking to leave Fox News. He said that the article was “true” and hinted he may address the matter on Monday night.

Read More →

After praising Andrew Jackson in a Monday interview with the Washington Examiner, President Donald Trump on Monday night repeated his claim that Jackson could have prevented the Civil War.

Trump made to sure to mention that Jackson died years before the Civil War began, perhaps because it was unclear from his initial comments that he knew Jackson was no longer alive when the Civil War began.

“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump told the Washington Examiner earlier on Monday. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart.”

“He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this,’” Trump added. “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Read More →

President Donald Trump will speak over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House schedule.

It is the first time the two leaders will speak since Russia denounced the United States’ missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Trump praised Putin on the campaign trail, but following the gas attack in Syria that prompted the U.S. missile strike, Trump sang a different tune about Russia.

“We’re not getting along with Russia at all,” Trump said last month. “We may be at an all-time low.”

The FBI and congressional committees are also investigating whether there are any ties between Trump associates and Russia.

Read More →

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that President Donald Trump was aware of the human rights concerns surrounding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte when he invited him to the White House.

During the White House press briefing, journalists asked Spicer about Duterte encouraging the extrajudicial killings of drug users and his comment that journalists are not exempt from assassination.

That knowledge, Spicer argued, was balanced by Trump wanting to work with Duterte to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power.

“The President gets fully briefed on the leaders that he’s speaking to, obviously,” Spicer said at his daily press briefing when asked if Trump was aware of Duterte’s human rights abuses. “The number one concern of this president is to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our people and specifically to economically and diplomatically isolate North Korea.”

“I’m not gonna tell you every single thing that’s in his brief, but he’s well aware of, when he speaks with a leader, he gets briefed on a lot about what they’re doing, what they’ve done,” Spicer added.

When asked earlier in the briefing about concerns that Trump was giving Duterte’s human rights abuses his stamp of approval, Spicer said the purpose of the White House invitation was to address North Korea.

“I think it is an opportunity for us to work with countries in that region that can help play a role in diplomatically and economically isolating North Korea,” Spicer replied. “And frankly, the national interest of the United States, the safety of our people, and the safety of the people in the region are the number one priorities of the President.”

Later in the briefing, the New York Times’ Glenn Thrush noted that Trump invited Duterte to the White House after praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Does the President have a thing with these totalitarian leaders? Does he admire something about the way these guys conduct themselves?” Thrush asked.

Spicer did not directly answer the question and instead repeated that the purpose of Duterte’s visit would be to discuss North Korea.

“The President, clearly as I’ve said, understands the threat that North Korea poses. Having someone with the potential nuclear capability to strike another country, and potentially our country at some point in the future, is something the President takes very seriously,” Spicer said, adding that the Philippines is just one of the neighbors that could help the U.S.

This post has been updated.

Read More →