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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

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled that he will not support bipartisan legislation announced yesterday that would prevent President Donald Trump from rolling back sanctions on Russia.

"I don’t think that’s necessary at this point," McConnell told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Wednesday evening. He did add that he would "certainly encourage" Trump to leave sanctions in place.

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The leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday asked the FBI and the Justice Department to brief members of the committee on the events that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

"According to media reports, both the FBI and the Justice Department were involved. These reports raise substantial questions about the content and context of Mr. Flynn’s discussions with Russian officials, the conclusions reached by the Justice Department and the actions it took in response, as well as possible leaks of classified information by current and former government employees," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the committee's chair, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the ranking member, wrote in a letter to the agencies. "Accordingly, we request that individuals with specific knowledge of these issues from both the FBI and Justice Department brief Committee Members and staff."

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Two top House Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to the Justice Department inspector general, urging the agency watchdog to investigate leaks about communications between aides to President Donald Trump and Russian officials.

"We have serious concerns about the potential inadequate protection of classified information here," wrote Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chair of the Oversight Committee, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chair of the Judiciary Committee. "In light of this, we request that your office begin an immediate investigation into whether classified information was mishandled here."

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Wednesday said that if there is truth to reports that aides for President Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials ahead of the election, Congress should form a special committee to carry out an investigation.

"If in fact there are campaign contacts between Trump officials and Russian intelligence officers that would be a very serious event and would justify the Senate forming a Select Committee to look at all things related to Russia," Graham said in a statement. "The Russians have been trying to break the backbone of democracies all over the world, and clearly in my view, interfered in the 2016 election."

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House Democrats on Wednesday announced a bill geared toward preventing President Donald Trump from relaxing sanctions against Russia.

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), the House minority whip, announced the legislation at a press conference along with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). Hoyer said that the bill would "ensure that Russia does not receive any sanctions relief."

"We want to have no doubt where we stand with these sanctions," he later added.

Reps. Tom Rooney (R-FL), Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), and Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) are also co-sponsors of the bill but were not present at the press conference.

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) on Wednesday morning called for congressional investigations into Michael Flynn and the Trump administration's ties to Russia, warning that failure to address the issue could "destabilize" the federal government's ability to enact policy.

"The base issue is getting to the bottom of what the Russian interference was and what the relationship was with associates of the Trump effort, and so that is the big elephant in the room that has got to be dealt with in the most appropriate way," Corker said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday shot down President Donald Trump's repeated claims that millions of "illegal" votes cost him the popular vote in the 2016 election.

"There’s no evidence that enough votes were stolen to change the outcome of the election," McConnell said in an interview taped Tuesday for MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

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Members of President Donald Trump's campaign staff were in contact with Russian officials several times before the November election, according to reports from the New York Times and CNN.

American officials intercepted communications between Trump campaign aides and officials in Russia around the same time that they were uncovering Russian cyber attacks on the Democratic National Committee, the New York Times reported, citing unnamed former and current American officials.

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The Office of Government Ethics sent a letter Monday to the White House calling on it to investigate whether Kellyanne Conway broke ethics rules by promoting Ivanka Trump's business on television and to consider disciplining Conway.

The letter was made public by the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee.

Walter Shaub, the director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote in the letter that it appears Conway broke ethics rules barring administration employees from misusing their position.

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