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

This post has been updated.

After Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced on Tuesday night that he will consider a bid for House speaker as long as a few conditions are met, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus expressed skepticism about Ryan and his proposals.

Ryan asked that three groups of Republicans, including the House Freedom Caucus, endorse him by Friday in order to ensure that he will run for the top leadership spot. Freedom Caucus members did not dismiss Ryan's candidacy outright, but members indicated that they will need to speak with Ryan and deliberate before backing him. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the caucus, told Roll Call that members of the group will need to take a vote.

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Donald Trump on Tuesday night lamented that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chair of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has turned his attention away from Hillary Clinton amidst admissions from Republicans that the investigation was launched in order to attack Clinton politically.

During an interview on Fox News, host Sean Hannity asked Trump how he felt about the upcoming Benghazi hearing with Clinton.

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In a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, Senate Democrats this week demanded that the Republican party cover the costs of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Roll Call reported on Wednesday morning.

"Over the past several weeks, several House Republicans have made clear what many observers have suspected all along: that the Select Committee has conducted a political inquisition aimed at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Due to the political nature of the committee, we believe it is inappropriate that a reported 4.7 million taxpayer dollars were used to finance its operations and that the RNC subsequently orchestrated numerous fundraising opportunities in its wake," Democrats wrote in the letter obtained by Roll Call.

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) may not be on board with a bill offered earlier this month that would keep elementary and middle school students from learning about religion. The legislation was proposed amidst complaints from parents and lawmakers that students were learning about too much about Islam.

"I don't know how you talk about the founding of America, and what became of the United States, without talking about religious doctrine," Haslam told reporters, according to the Associated Press. "Now, that's very different than indoctrinating, or teaching that doctrine as truth."

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Former President George W. Bush described Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as "opportunistic" at a Sunday night fundraiser for his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), according to a Politico report.

"I just don’t like the guy," Bush said, according to a donor who spoke with Politico.

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Co-host of Fox News' "The Five" and former press secretary to President George W. Bush Dana Perino on Monday evening slammed Donald Trump for suggesting that Bush was partially to blame for the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"I think it was a dismal weekend when you have liberal conspiracy theories being introduced by the Republican frontrunner," she said on "The Five."

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After repeatedly defending his brother, President George W. Bush, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) took an opportunity on Monday night to criticize how former President Bill Clinton addressed Osama bin Laden and the threat posed by al Qaeda.

On Fox News Monday night, Sean Hannity played an audio clip for Bush in which Clinton discussed that the U.S. could not take bin Laden when he was released by the Sudanese government in 1996 because bin Laden had not committed a crime against America, although he had made his intentions known.

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