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

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in 2002 used his position as majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives to help his brother-in-law, a convicted drug trafficker just released from prison, obtain a real estate license in the state, according to a Washington Post report.

Rubio sent a letter to the Florida Division of Real Estate recommending Orlando Cicilia for a license, but did not disclose that Cicilia was married to his sister, Barbara, according to records obtained by the Post. Rubio only wrote that he had known Cicilia for more than 25 years. Cicilia was also living with Rubio's parents at the time, and still lives with Rubio's mother, according to the Post.

The state of Florida approves the licenses of convicted felons on a case-by-case basis and granted Cicilia a license after a hearing before the Real Estate Division in 2002, according to the Post.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential campaign has pulled major television ad buys from Iowa and South Carolina as the presidential candidate struggles in the polls, the Des Moines Register reported on Wednesday.

Bush campaign manager Danny Diaz told the Des Moines Register that the campaign cancelled a $1 million television ad buy in Iowa and a $2 million buy in South Carolina.

Bush is polling in the single digits in both key primary states.

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Police on Wednesday arrested and charged 37-year-old Gary Nathaniel Moore with arson following a fire on Christmas day at a mosque in Houston, according to local television station KTRK.

According to a court filing by the police, Moore used a charcoal lighter to set fires in five different places in the mosque. Police used surveillance footage to identify the suspect, and then searched Moore's home, according to the court filing. Police found a charcoal lighter in the home that appears to be part of a pair, one of which was found at the mosque.

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Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to use Bill Clinton to attack Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and said that his recent comments may have prompted the former Secretary of State not to mention Trump on the trail again.

During a rally in South Carolina, Trump noted that Clinton has "been hitting me really hard with the woman card." Clinton last week said that Trump has "demonstrated a penchant for sexism." In response to her comment, Trump criticized former President Bill Clinton, alluding to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

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During a contentious radio interview last week, John Whitbeck, the chair of the Virginia Republican Party, fiercely defended the party's requirement that primary voters sign a statement saying they are Republican, rebutting the argument that it is an attempt to hurt Donald Trump.

The Virginia state board of elections earlier this month approved the state GOP's plan to require residents voting in the Republican primary to sign a statement declaring that they are Republicans. Donald Trump on Sunday tore into the state Republican party over the pledge, arguing that it will keep new voters from participating in the primary.

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Given his recent comments about Bill Clinton, Donald Trump on Tuesday night told a reporter that his own personal behavior would also be fair game during the presidential campaign.

Trump this week alluded to the Monica Lewinsky scandal in response to Hillary Clinton accusing him of sexism, and he said that her husband's past would be "fair game" during the campaign.

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During an Iowa campaign rally on Tuesday night, Donald Trump took a shot at rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), noting the senator's Cuban ancestry.

"You gotta remember. In all fairness, to the best of my knowledge, not too many evangelicals come out of Cuba, OK? Just remember that, OK? Just remember," he told the crowd in Council Bluffs, Iowa. "When you're casting your ballot, remember."

Trump made the comments while discussing Cruz's support in the polls, according to Business Insider.

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This post has been updated.

A new ad from Right to Rise, the Super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's presidential bid, criticizes Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) for missing national security briefings, hearings, and important votes in the Senate.

The 30-second spot slams Rubio for putting politics first by skipping votes and briefings to attend fundraisers.

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