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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

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has long been signaling that Senate Republicans should confirm Merrick Garland, President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, in the lame duck session if Hillary Clinton wins the election, and on Thursday he confirmed his position.

"I said if we were in a position like we were in in '96 and we pretty much knew the outcome that we ought to move forward. But I think we passed that awhile ago," Flake told Politico. "If Hillary Clinton is president-elect then we should move forward with hearings in the lame duck. That's what I'm encouraging my colleagues to do."

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a vulnerable Republican senator locked in a tough re-election battle with former Sen. Russ Feingold (R-WI), on Thursday said that candidates must accept the results of the election following Donald Trump's failure to commit to accepting the November results during Wednesday night's debate.

"Ron believes we need to respect the results on Election Day, and is confident Wisconsinites will once again pick an Oshkosh manufacturer who gets results over a career politician who says one thing and does another," Johnson campaign spokesman Brian Reisinger said in an email statement.

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After Donald Trump fueled his warnings about voter fraud on Wednesday night by refusing to commit to accepting the results of the election, one Fox News editor pointed out that there couldn't possibly be enough voter fraud to account for the Republican nominee's significant lag in the polls.

During a post-debate discussion about Trump's warnings about a "rigged" election, Megyn Kelly asked Chris Stirewalt, the outlet's digital politics editor, "What if there is voter fraud?"

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During the final presidential debate, Hillary Clinton defended her past comment that the Supreme Court was "wrong on the Second Amendment," arguing that her comment referenced a specific provision about safe gun storage.

Moderator and Fox host Chris Wallace asked Clinton about her comment last year that the Supreme Court was "wrong on the Second Amendment" and asked her to address the Heller case in which the court struck a Washington, D.C., law banning handguns and requiring safe gun storage.

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Lauren Fox contributed reporting.

Following the final presidential debate on Wednesday night, conservatives shook their heads at Donald Trump's refusal to commit to accepting the November election results.

On MSNBC, conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said Trump "hit himself in the head and knocked himself out" with his answer on accepting election results.

"It is outside the norm of American political rhetoric to express a contingent acceptance of the result," Hewitt said. "He might have phrased it in a way that said, if there is a state that is contested by a small number of votes, I will, like Al Gore, contest that state. But he didn't say that. The contingent nature of his commitment to the results is unsettling to many people."

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During the final presidential debate Wednesday night, Donald Trump was grilled on his personal foundation following reports that he used his charity's money to settle personal legal disputes and to buy a portrait of himself.

Hillary Clinton brought up the Trump Foundation while defending the Clinton Foundation and its work in Haiti.

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Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien did not seem impressed by Donald Trump's campaign in a Wednesday interview, dissing the Republican nominee's intelligence.

"When Hillary had pneumonia, there are pills to help you against pneumonia, but apparently there is no pill against something like stupidity," he said in an interview at a fundraiser for St. Francis Xavier University when asked about Trump's campaign.

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Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday said that she does not believe there will be widespread voter fraud in the November election, despite Trump's repeated warnings about voter fraud and an election "rigged" against him.

"No, I do not believe that. So absent overwhelming evidence that there is, it would not be for me to say that there is," Conway told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle when asked if she thinks there will be widespread voter fraud in November. "We know in the past, we know that people who are dead are still on the voter rolls, we know that people are voting a couple of different times in places. So you do hear reports here and there, but I think Donald Trump's point is a larger one."

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President Obama on Tuesday said that Donald Trump's "flattery" of Russian President Vladimir Putin is "unprecedented," and he called out Republicans who criticized the administration's approach to Russia and then turned around and endorse Trump's position on Putin.

"Mr. Trump's continued flattery of Mr. Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches to politics on Mr. Putin is unprecedented in American politics. And is out of step with not just what Democrats think, but out of step with what, up until the last few months, almost every Republican thought, including some of the ones who are now endorsing Mr. Trump," Obama said when asked about Trump's comments about Putin during a press conference with the Italian prime minister.

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When asked on Monday whether he is proud of the campaign Donald Trump is running, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump surrogate who is leading the campaign's transition team and helping with debate prep, avoided weighing in on Trump's recent rhetoric and said that he can only control his own comments.

"For me, the person who needs most to be concerned about the kind of campaign they’re running is the candidate. Because it’s the candidate’s campaign. It’s not my campaign. It’s not Jeff Sessions’ campaign. It’s not Rudy Giuliani’s campaign. We’re surrogates," Christie told NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell in an interview that aired Tuesday morning on MSNBC. "And I’m proud of everything I’ve said and that’s all I can control. The rest of it I can’t control."

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