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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

Donald Trump enjoyed learning about Dr. Ben Carson's theory that the Egyptian pyramids were built to serve as grain silos on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday morning, noting that he will likely start mentioning Carson's beliefs on the campaign trail.

"You informed me very interestingly about the pyramids. I think I’ll have to put that into my repertoire when I talk about Ben," Trump told the "Morning Joe" hosts. "That was a strange deal."

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In a biography of the 41st president set to hit bookstores next week, George H.W. Bush heavily criticized former Vice President Dick Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, as well as his son, George W. Bush, for giving them too much power.

Bush Sr. told his biographer, Jon Meacham, that Cheney had too much "hard-line" influence on George W. Bush, according to a copy reviewed by the New York Times.

"He had his own empire there and marched to his own drummer," Bush Sr. said of Cheney. “It just showed me that you cannot do it that way. The president should not have that worry.”

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Dr. Ben Carson on Wednesday night confirmed his belief that the pyramids in Egypt were built for grain storage by Joseph, the Biblical figure who helped the Egyptians survive famine, even though archaeologists have concluded that the pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs.

"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said in a 1998 speech surfaced by Buzzfeed News on Wednesday. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain."

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Before officials on Wednesday said that Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz died of suicide, the Illinois police officer's death spurred commentators and Illinois residents to rally against Black Lives Matter, placing blame on the group's rhetoric for the deaths of police officers.

Police groups quickly compared Gliniewicz's death to the shooting death of Texas sheriff's deputy Darren Goforth and charged that police officers were under attack.

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Now that House Republicans have elected Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as speaker, members of the House Freedom Caucus are preparing to push changes to the Republican steering committee.

Members of the conservative caucus that pushed to oust Boehner have started circulating a plan to reduce the power of the GOP leadership team on the panel that decides committee assignments, The Hill reported on Wednesday.

Currently, the speaker has five votes on the Steering Committee and the majority leader has two. The Freedom Caucus would keep the representatives in six top leadership spots on the committee, but give those individuals the same voting power as the rest of the Steering Committee's members.

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Fox News Megyn Kelly, who has expressed skepticism of Republican candidates' demands following the CNBC debate, on Tuesday night quizzed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) on his pitch that only Republican journalists moderate the Republican primary debates.

Kelly first asked Cruz about a few candidates' plan to send a letter to networks with a list of demands for future debates.

"I'm not interested in signing onto a letter of demands," Cruz said before launching into his thoughts on "liberal" moderators. “The one point I have made — and I’ve made it several times — is why is it that we have Republican primary debates that are moderated by liberal Democrats? Liberal Democrats moderate the Democratic debates and they moderate the Republican debates. I don’t think that makes any sense."

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Dr. Ben Carson's plot to force changes to future presidential debates appeared to largely collapse on Tuesday as more of his GOP rivals refused to go along with him, and he dialed back many of the demands he hoped to make to television networks.

Carson's campaign in recent days had attempted to build a coalition of Republican candidates to send a letter to networks demand changes to future debates after last week's rocky match-up hosted by the financial news network CNBC.

On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he would not sign the letter, and an aide to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said that the campaign had "no intention to" either, Politico reported.

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Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and real estate mogul Donald Trump are effectively tied for the lead in a national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Wednesday.

Among Republican voters, Trump received 24 percent support and Carson received 23 percent support. Following the two frontrunners, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) got 14 percent of voters and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) got 13 percent of the vote. The rest of the Republican candidates polled in the single digits.

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Voters in Jefferson County, Colorado, on Tuesday voted to oust three conservative members of the district's school board following a push to recall the members over their stance on issues like teacher pay, school choice, and curriculum, the Denver Post reported.

The three board members -- Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk -- made the national news last year when Williams proposed controversial changes to the AP U.S. History curriculum. She wanted the make sure the class would "present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage" and not "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." Students in the county staged walk-outs protesting the changes, which the JeffCo board eventually dropped.

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