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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

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday defended the administration's decision to negotiate for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, assuring that the U.S. will protect Americans from the Taliban.

"I don’t think anybody should doubt the capacity of the United States of America to protect Americans," Kerry said in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" when asked about the five Taliban members released from Guantanamo Bay in the prisoner swap. "So these guys pick a fight with us, in the future or now or at any time, at enormous risk, and we have proven what we’re capable of doing with al Qaeda."

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The open carry activists who prompted Chipotle to ask customers to refrain from bring guns into its restaurants, have also stopped bringing their firearms to Target and Wal-Mart stores.

“It was distracting from our mission,” C.J. Grisham, the president of Open Carry Texas, told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “Our purpose and goal is to get open carry of handguns to pass into law. The conversation was allowed to shift by gun-control extremists to whether guns could be carried at all.”

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Hillary Clinton described in her new book her participation in the discussions about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's release, knowing that any swap would be difficult for the public to accept.

"I acknowledged, as I had many times before, that opening the door to negotiations with the Taliban would be hard to swallow for many Americans after so many years of war," she wrote, according to a copy of "Hard Choices" obtained by CBS.

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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) on Thursday disputed accusations that he changed his tune on prisoner exchanges and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl after the soldier was released from the Taliban.

In February, McCain told CNN's Anderson Cooper that he would be "inclined to support" a prisoner swap to bring Bergdahl home, but has since come out in opposition to the exchange for the soldier's release.

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Thursday lamented that Americans are "whiny" about statutory rape and that when it comes to rape, boys are different than girls.

While discussing the recent case in New York, in which a female teacher has been charged with rape for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old student, Carlson refused to believe that it should be considered rape.

"It's ludicrous that we are calling this a rape. Are you serious?" Carson asked on Fox News' "Outnumbered." "I'll tell you what's wrong to this extent — he went and tattled to the police and destroyed her life. Are you joking? What a whiny country this is."

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The Senate on Thursday confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services in a 78-17 vote.

Burwell, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget, replaces former Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, who resigned in April.

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President Obama on Thursday stood by his decision to negotiate for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

"We have a basic principle. We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind. We had a prisoner of war whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about, and we saw an opportunity and we seized it, and I make no apologies for that," Obama said when asked about the controversy surrounding the prisoner swap at a press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels.

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Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Wednesday said it was too soon to "judge" Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Obama administration's decision to negotiate for his release from the Taliban.

"I think we're going to have to wait and talk to Sgt. Bergdahl now and get his side of the story," McChrystal told Yahoo News about the soldier, who has been characterized as a deserter by some of his platoon members. “One of the great things about America is we should not judge until we know the facts. And after we know the facts, then we should make a mature judgment on how we should handle it.”

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