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

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called Tuesday for all public schools in the state to ignore new guidelines from the Obama administration on how to accommodate transgender students.

Patrick said that he plans on sending letters to all superintendents in the state urging them to disregard the letter from the Education and Justice departments.

It's not clear what power, if any, Patrick thinks he has over local school policies as lieutenant governor.

"Transgender students deserve the rights of anyone else. It does not mean they get to use the girls' room if they're a boy," he said during a press conference, according to the NBC News affiliate in Dallas.

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In announcing Tuesday that he had raised less for veterans groups than he had originally claimed, Donald Trump teed off on the the assembled political press, expresssed anger over the scrutiny, and at one point referred to a reporter as a "sleaze."

"What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, have people say this sleazy guy right over here from ABC, he's a sleaze in my book — you're a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well," said Trump.

ABC News' Tom Llama claimed credit as the target of Trump's ire:

During the Trump Tower press conference, Trump announced that he raised $5.6 million for veterans groups, down from the $6 million he originally said that he raised for veterans group at the January fundraiser he held in lieu of attending a Fox News debate. But since his initial claim, it's been unclear just how much Trump raised, how much he personally donated to veterans groups, and which groups received donations as a result of the fundraiser. Trump on Tuesday characterized the number as "almost $6 million."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) seems unconcerned about Donald Trump's impact on vulnerable Republican senators up for re-election in November, suggesting that Republicans line up behind Trump.

In an interview with USA Today published Monday evening, McConnell was asked whether Trump could hurt Republicans chances in some Senate races.

"I don’t," McConnell responded, adding that Trump's candidacy could help in some places.

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), one of the first lawmakers who endorsed Donald Trump, said in a recent interview that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) needs to back Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

"I think he needs to recognize, on some of these issues, Trump is where the Republicans are and if you’re going to be a Republican leader you should be supportive of that," Sessions said, referring to Ryan, on an interview with Politico's "Off Message" podcast published Tuesday morning.

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During a rally in California on Friday, Donald Trump complained to the crowd that he cannot stand the sound of Hillary Clinton "screaming."

The Republican presidential candidate used a similar line last month, when he told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he had not "quite recovered" from Clinton "shouting" the night before. On Friday, he acknowledged that it wasn't politically correct for him to say certain things about Clinton.

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Friday indicated that he will fight for "conservative principles" -- particularly on abortion -- in the Republican party platform at the convention in July.

Oklahoma radio host Pat Campbell asked Cruz whether he would make sure Republicans do not "screw around with the party platform and remove the abortion plank, or alter it," according to Politico.

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North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) this week said that the state will enforce HB2, the law passed in March that keeps transgender people from using the public bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, like trespassing law.

"We're using trespassing laws that we were using before House Bill 2, we're using that now," he told reporters at a ribbon cutting for a candy plant on Thursday, according to a video from North Carolina journalist Bryan Anderson. "But you know, it's just basic privacy rights and that's trespassing and we'll continue to do that just like we were doing long before the Charlotte ordinance. So nothing's really changed in that regard."

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Ahead of a Thursday vote on an energy and water spending bill that included an LGBT amendment, one Republican member of Congress began reading from the Bible during a Republican caucus meeting, prompting several members to leave.

Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) read a passage from the Bible denouncing homosexuality, suggesting that members who supported the LGBT amendment would violate their faith, according to reports in The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico. An aide to Allen told Roll Call that the congressman did not specifically mention the upcoming vote that included the LGBT measure.

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