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

President Donald Trump has decided to delay signing a new executive order to replace the order to suspend the refugee program and bar travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, according to reports from CNN and Politico late Tuesday night.

The President was initially scheduled to sign the new executive action on Wednesday, but the administration decided to postpone the signing so that the order would come down during a new news cycle, according to the reports.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said that members of Congress have not seen evidence yet to support reports that associates of President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election.

"We have seen no evidence so far based upon the investigations that have already been conducted," Ryan told reporters when asked if he was confident that Trump aides were not communicating with Russian officials.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said that Republicans are united in their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, despite some conservative House members' opposition to a draft of repeal legislation that recently circulated.

"Look, you'll have a lot of turning on any kind of legislative product like this," Ryan told reporters when asked about pushback from conservative members. "This is a plan we're all working on together."

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Former President George W. Bush is a little disheartened by the state of the country under President Donald Trump, but the former President said he is still "optimistic" about the future of the United States.

"I’m optimistic about where we’ll end up. I mean, yes, I don’t like the racism, I don’t like the name-calling, and I don’t like the people feeling alienated. Nobody likes that," Bush told People Magazine about the state of the U.S. in an interview published late Monday. "On the other hand, we’ve been through these periods before and we’ve always had a way to come out of it. I’m more optimistic than some.”

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In an interview that aired Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," President Donald Trump said that he was fine with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's decision to look through his staffers' phones, but Trump said he would not have taken the same approach.

"Sean Spicer is a fine human being. He's a fine person. I would have done it differently. I would have gone one-on-one with different people," Trump said when asked about a report that Spicer had communications staffers turn over their devices for a "phone check" in an attempt to find leakers.

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During an interview taped Monday for "Fox and Friends," President Donald Trump said that former President Barack Obama is behind protests at Republican town halls and that Obama loyalists are also behind leaks from the Trump administration.

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade suggested to Trump that Obama's organization, perhaps a reference to Organizing For Action, was behind the raucous crowds at town halls held by Republican lawmakers and asked Trump if he felt Obama was behind the protests.

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In a lengthy, wide-ranging press conference Monday about the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election, the committee's chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), repeatedly defended the Trump administration.

He declared that he has seen no evidence that aides to President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election and dismissed calls for a special prosecutor to look into the matter. He also fiercely defended the White House's attempts to get members of Congress to push back on reports about Trump aides' alleged contacts with Russia, applauding the effort as a move for greater transparency.

The Intelligence Committee chair even went to bat for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who resigned following reports that he talked with the Russian ambassador about U.S. sanctions before Trump's inauguration.

Here are the five main takeaways from Nunes' comments Monday:

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Rep. Darell Issa (R-CA) said on Friday that a special prosecutor should investigate allegations that aides to President Donald Trump were in contact with Russian officials before the election.

During an interview on HBO's "Real Time," host Bill Maher asked Issa whether there would be an investigation into allegations that Trump aides had been in contact with Russians in addition to Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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Former President George W. Bush on Monday morning told NBC's "Today" that the media is crucial to democracy.

"I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We needed independent media to hold people like me to account," Bush said. "Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power."

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