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

The Republican candidate won an open House seat in Kansas in a special election on Tuesday night after the GOP made a last-minute effort to hold the seat in a surprisingly close race.

Kansas state treasurer Ron Estes won the election by seven points over Democrat James Thompson. Estes will fill the House seat vacated by CIA chief Mike Pompeo.

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The Government Accountability Office plans to investigate any conflicts of interest issues with President Donald Trump's transition process, as well as whether his transition staff followed any available guidelines on communicating with foreign governments, the government watchdog confirmed in an April 5 letter to Democratic lawmakers.

GAO, Congress' investigative arm, was responding to a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that expressed concern about potential issues with Trump's transition team.

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With Democrat Jon Ossoff maintaining his momentum in the special election to fill an open congressional seat in Georgia, the Cook Political Report on Monday changed the historically ruby-red district's rating to a Republican toss-up.

"There is a real chance Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is dramatically outspending the rest of the field while the main GOP contenders turn on each other, could hit 50 percent on April 18 and avoid a runoff," Cook Political Report's David Wasserman wrote in a post about the rating change.

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Republicans are making a last-ditch effort to maintain the House seat in Kansas vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, with President Donald Trump recording a robocall for the Republican candidate, state treasurer Ron Estes.

The special election taking place on Tuesday has unexpectedly tightened, with an internal Republican poll showing Estes leading the race by just one point last week, according to the Kansas City Star. He's running against Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold.

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Ahead of his trip to Moscow on Tuesday morning, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters that Russia has aligned with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, and that the country must choose between Assad and the United States.

Tillerson said that "the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end," according to CBS News.

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Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Monday said that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) either needs to make changes or step down from his role leading the Republican caucus.

"We need either a change in direction from this speaker, or we need a new speaker," Amash said at a town hall in Michigan, according to CNN.

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There's been a marked increase in the amount of anti-Semitic tweets aimed at Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser over the past week, the Anti-Defamation League has found.

The wave of anti-Semitic tweets from white nationalist accounts came as Steve Bannon was removed from the National Security Council's Principals' Committee and as Trump ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a chemical attack believed to be carried out by Bashar al-Assad's regime.

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Back home in his California district for a two-week House recess, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) faced boos and tough questions at a town hall on Saturday.

During the two-hour event, attendees held up signs reading "Obamacare Fix It, Don't Nix It" and "Independent Commission Re Russia/Trump," and audience members shouted "Do your job," according to CNN.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Sunday said that President Donald Trump's administration was likely "partially to blame" for the recent chemical attack in Syria.

During CBS' "Face the Nation," host John Dickerson noted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before the chemical attack that the Syrian people would decide the fate of leader Bashar al-Assad. Dickerson asked if this rhetoric encouraged the chemical attack at all.

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The parent company of Fox News will investigate a sexual harassment claim made against host Bill O'Reilly by a former guest on the network, the lawyer for the accuser told CNN on Sunday.

"On Friday, we received a return phone call from a couple of attorneys who represent Fox News, and they said they are indeed going to do an investigation based on Wendy’s complaint," lawyer Lisa Bloom told CNN's "Reliable Sources." "I'm told that they are taking it seriously, and they are going to do the investigation that's legally required of them."

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