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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

In a Monday letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), climate change denier and chair of the House Science Committee, several constitutional experts argued that the committee should not have issued subpoenas to environmental groups as part of its probe into state investigations of Exxon.

The scholars wrote in the letter obtained by InsideClimate News that "these Subpoenas violate the separation of powers, exceed the committee’s delegated authority, abridge the First Amendment, and undermine fundamental principles of federalism."

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During a Tuesday visit to Capitol Hill, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence again blasted Hillary Clinton for saying that some of Donald Trump's supporters are part of a "basket of deplorables."

"I think millions of Americans were shocked and saddened to see Hillary Clinton refer to people across this country as a 'basket of deplorables' in a prepared speech before wealthy donors in New York City on Friday night. She said that, at the time, half of the people supporting Donald Trump and I were irredeemable, were not American, and frankly, I've never heard a major party candidate in the United States speak about the American people with such contempt," he said in a press conference.

Addressing reporters along with the House GOP leadership, including Speaker Paul Ryan, Pence gave every indication that the Trump campaign will continue to highlight the "deplorables" comment.

"For Hillary Clinton to express such disdain for millions of Americans, I think is one more reason that disqualifies her to serve in the highest office in the land," he added. "Anyone who has that low an opinion of the American people should never serve as president of the United States of America."

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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus on Monday questioned whether the Hillary Clinton campaign is being honest about Clinton's health and her decision to leave a 9/11 memorial ceremony early on Sunday.

"I don’t know what’s going on actually. I don’t know what to believe as far as what they’re saying is the problem, because they don’t tell the truth from the beginning," he said on Sean Hannity's radio show, according to a clip highlighted by Buzzfeed News. "It is reasonable for people to not accept what they say because they say things that are lies so often. We don’t know what’s going on with Hillary Clinton."

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced on Monday that it would pull seven championship games from North Carolina over the states anti-LGBT law known as HB2.

In the announcement, the NCAA said that North Carolina laws make it challenging to "promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans."

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Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) said on Monday that he is not convinced that Hillary Clinton has pneumonia.

"I’ve got serious doubts as to whether or not it’s pneumonia. But I can’t say," he said Alabama radio station WAPI, according to a clip posted by Buzzfeed News. "In my opinion, just my observation, if it were pneumonia, I would’ve thought they would’ve come out and said that very early on. You know, she’s disappeared for a few days, and if I’d been her adviser, I would’ve said, ‘You need to get out there and let people know what’s wrong with you, get treatment, get a few days’ rest, get back on your feet.’”

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James Woolsey, who served for two years as director of the CIA under former President Bill Clinton, has become an adviser to Donald Trump, the campaign announced on Monday.

Woolsey, who was a vocal supporter of the Iraq War, said that he support's Trump's call to "reinvest in and modernize our military in order to confront the challenges of the 21st century."

"Mr. Trump’s commitment to reversing the harmful defense budget cuts signed into law by the current administration, while acknowledging the need for debt reduction, is an essential step toward reinstating the United States’ primacy in the conventional and digital battlespace," Woolsey said in a statement sent out by the Trump campaign.

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Following a months-long standoff between the House Science Committee and state attorneys general conducting an investigation into Exxon over climate change denialism, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) has called a hearing to affirm his right to subpoena the state officials overseeing criminal investigations.

Smith, a noted climate change denier, has made repeated demands that the attorneys general and several environmental groups turn over their communications about Exxon, accusing them of embarking on an "unprecedented effort against those who have questioned the causes, magnitude, or best ways to address climate change." The attorneys general, as well as the activist groups, have refused to comply with the committee's requests, setting up a battle over subpoena power.

In a June statement, the committee's ranking member, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), said that Smith's demands were "not about legitimate oversight," but that the committee was "harassing" attorneys general investigating Exxon.

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The Donald Trump campaign continued to blast Hillary Clinton's "basket of deplorables" comment on Monday morning, releasing a new ad framed around Clinton's remark that the campaign says it will be airing on television.

In the 30-second spot titled "Deplorable," a narrator says that Clinton told "wealthy donors" that "tens of millions of Americans" are "deplorable."

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During an interview that aired Sunday on CNN, Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump displays "phony strength" when he makes "outrageous statements" about national security.

"There’s phony strength and there’s real strength," Clinton said when asked about Trump's supporters who believe he is a strong leader. "And it's phony strength to not know what you're talking about, and to make outrageous statements that will actually make our job harder, no matter how, in the moment, it sounds."

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