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

A South Carolina state representative, who has come out against removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds, suggested on Tuesday that the nine people shot in Charleston could have tried to do more to defend themselves.

"We're focusing on the wrong thing here," State Rep. William Chumley told CNN after explaining that his constituents have told him that the flag should not come down.

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While explaining his newfound support of removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina capitol grounds, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) also expressed his frustration that the debate turned to the Confederate flag so quickly following the deadly shooting at a Charleston church.

Mulvaney said in a statement on Facebook that he was hesitant to support the removal of the flag given how quickly the debate took place.

He also said he had always viewed the compromise in 2000 that moved the Confederate flag from the capitol dome to the grounds "a high point in South Carolina politics: a time when people got together and worked through their differences in a way that all could accept with pride."

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Conservative author Ann Coulter claimed on Tuesday that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) has a poor grasp on American history as "an immigrant," even though Haley was born in the U.S.

During an appearance with Kennedy on Fox Business Network, Coulter said that the deadly shooting at a history black church in Charleston "had nothing to do with the Confederate flag." And she lamented that that Americans do not understand the history of the Confederate flag.

She then said that many media outlets, such as MSNBC, got the flag's history in South Carolina wrong, noting that the flag first went up at the capitol in 1962 under a Democratic governor and legislature to mark the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.

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Former Rep. Ben Jones (D-GA), known for his role as "Cooter" in the "Dukes of Hazzard," a television series that aired from 1979 to 1985 and featured the Confederate flag prominently, made an appearance on CNN Tuesday. The segment on the renewed debate over the Confederate flag quickly descended into a shouting match.

After playing the show's "Good Ol' Boys" theme song, CNN "Legal View" host Ashleigh Banfield asked Jones, who is also the chairman of the Sons of Confederate Veterans heritage operations, if the song has now "taken on different meaning."

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NASCAR on Tuesday expressed support for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's (R) call for the state to remove the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds.

"As we continue to mourn the tragic loss of life last week in Charleston, we join our nation’s embrace of those impacted. NASCAR supports the position that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley took on the Confederate Flag on Monday," the NASCAR statement reads. "As our industry works collectively to ensure that all fans are welcome at our races, NASCAR will continue our long-standing policy to disallow the use of the Confederate Flag symbol in any official NASCAR capacity. While NASCAR recognizes that freedom of expression is an inherent right of all citizens, we will continue to strive for an inclusive environment at our events."

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Tuesday said that the Confederate flag should be removed from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol.

"I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hatred so vicious that you would kill somebody, I think that that symbolism needs to end, and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing," he told host Jeff Kuhner on WKRO radio, according to audio highlighted by Buzzfeed News.

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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Tuesday announced that he has begun the process to remove Confederate flag symbols from state-issued license plates following a Supreme Court decision on the matter and the renewed debate in South Carolina over the flag.

“As Governor Haley said yesterday, her state can ill afford to let this symbol continue to divide the people of South Carolina," he said in a Tuesday statement. "I believe the same is true here in Virginia. Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people."

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Numerous Democratic lawmakers in Tennessee and the state's Republican party chairman on Monday called for the state to remove the bust of a Confederate general from the Tennessee capitol following the debate over whether South Carolina should continue to fly the Confederate flag on its capitol grounds.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) on Monday called for the state to remove from the capitol the bust of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was also a grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

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Don Lemon on Monday night held up an uncensored sign with the N-word ahead of a debate about racism and President Obama's use of the racial epithet, prompting Twitter users to troll him and his placard.

After holding up the sign, the CNN anchor asked, "Does this offend you?" He also held up a Confederate flag, as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday called for the flag to be removed from the state's capitol grounds.

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