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

After House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)'s Tuesday comment that the House Select Committee on Benghazi has succeeded in hurting Hillary Clinton politically, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), a member of the committee, believes it's time for Democrats to walk away from the investigation.

During a Wednesday night interview, Smith told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that when the House first formed the committee, he wanted Democrats to boycott it. But he now believes that would have been a mistake, because Democrats would have given Republicans "the high ground."

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Following House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA) Tuesday remark that the House investigation into Benghazi hurt Hillary Clinton politically, Democratic leaders in the Senate called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to disband the House Select Committee on Benghazi immediately.

In the letter, Democrats said that McCarthy admitted that the select committee "was put together to serve the political purpose of defeating Secretary Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential elections by hurting her in the polls, rather than conducting a serious investigation into a terrorist attack that killed four Americans."

"We should not disrespect their sacrifice by further politicizing this tragedy," the letter from Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and four other top Democrats reads.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, on Wednesday slammed House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for his recent comment that the investigation into Benghazi had hurt Hillary Clinton politically.

"That’s an absolute inappropriate statement. It is not how this started. We wanted to get to the truth of it," Chaffetz told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

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CNN host Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday quizzed House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on the lengthy Planned Parenthood hearing he conducted on Wednesday.

Blitzer first asked Chaffetz about a chart from anti-abortion group Americans United For Life that the congressman used during the hearing. The chart reflects the number of abortions and cancer screenings provided by Planned Parenthood between 2006 and 2013. But the lines on the chart make it seem like the organization performs more abortions than cancer screening if one cannot see the numbers.

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During an interview with CNN's Don Lemon on Wednesday night, Donald Trump said that a "certain segment" of the Muslim population are a "problem."

Lemon mentioned a Trump's failure to correct a man at a New Hampshire town hall who said that President Obama is a Muslim and that Muslims are a "problem in this country." The real estate mogul said that if he would not have handled the situation any differently.

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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) said on Wednesday that even though the Senate passed a temporary funding bill that includes funds for Planned Parenthood, lawmakers should still work to defund the organization. He said that the government should instead help clinics that provide "legitimate care."

"I think it’s worth continuing to fight to defund. Taxpayer dollars should not be going to Planned Parenthood," he told Fox host Neil Cavuto. "I think our legislation makes a lot of sense. It says, not only do you not send taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, but those tax dollars instead go to community health centers — there are a lot more of them than Planned Parenthood clinics; eight times more in the state of Ohio for instance — and they can provide the women’s health needs that are legitimate, that are needed."

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A new poll released by Winthrop University in South Carolina shows that many residents in the state changed their minds about whether the Confederate flag should fly on the state capitol grounds after the deadly shooting at a Charleston church in June.

In the poll released on Wednesday, 66 percent of South Carolina residents said the state legislature made the right decision to remove the flag from the statehouse grounds. And 41 percent of South Carolina residents said they approved of the flag flying at the statehouse grounds before this summer, while 49 percent said they disapproved before this summer.

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The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the state capitol grounds after a court ordered the state to remove the 6-foot-tall, 2,400-pound granite monument, according to the Tulsa World.

The state's Office of Management and Enterprise Services will work with the builder who installed the monument to remove it from the grounds, John Estus, a spokesman for the office, told the Tulsa World. Estus also said that he will speak with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

"The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has concerns about individuals or groups interfering with the removal or tampering with the monument," he told the Tulsa World.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced on Wednesday that the House will hold elections for the next speaker on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Boehner said that he scheduled the election for next week after consulting his colleagues in the House. Boehner announced last week that he will resign from his leadership position and from his seat on Oct. 30.

Read his full statement:

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) urged Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the leader of the House's special investigation into the Benghazi attacks, to run for majority leader in a secret meeting on Tuesday, Politico reported on Wednesday.

Numerous House members, including House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) encouraged Gowdy to run for the No. 2 leadership spot this week. Boehner reached out to Gowdy after hearing that he was considering a bid, according to Politico.

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