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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

Incoming Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Sunday said that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) should remain in Republican leadership despite recent reports that he spoke at an event for a white nationalist group in 2002.

"These groups are awful. And the last thing I want to do is give them any sort of publicity or credibility, and I can say, as far as I'm concerned, with Representative Scalise, he has been absolutely wonderful to work with," Love said on ABC's "This Week."

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House GOP Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) claims he didn't realize that he was speaking at an event for a hate group in 2002, but not many completely believe that explanation.

"Yesterday, Steve Scalise tried to explain that he didn’t know he was speaking to a white supremacist group when he addressed them as a state legislator. Seriously? He didn’t know?" Democratic National Committee communications director Mo Elleithee said in a Monday statement. "The group was named the ‘European-American Unity and Rights Organization,’ it was founded by David Duke, and he was invited by two of Duke’s longtime associates. It doesn’t get much more clear than that."

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Conservatives are not shy about their pet scandals — whether there's anything to them or not. Throughout 2014, Republican lawmakers and conservative pundits found ways to call attention to Benghazi and other "scandals" plaguing the Obama administration, no matter what the news of the day.

When the GOP wants to guide the media away from a new, shiny scandal and back to the most important scandal, they fall back on the distraction meme. Conservatives have employed this tactic by labeling any major news story, including entirely apolitical events like the World Cup, as distractions from the true matter at hand.

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After the Washington Post reported that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) spoke at a 2002 event hosted by a white nationalist group, RedState editor Erick Erickson knocked Scalise's supposed ignorance about the organization.

According to the Post's Robert Costa, Scalise appeared at an event for the European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a group founded by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, but didn't know at the time that the organization was a hate group.

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The mother and widow of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer, on Sunday condemned the shooting of two officers in Brooklyn.

"We are going in peace, and anyone who is standing with us, we want you to not use Eric Garner's name for violence because we are not about that," Garner's mother Gwen Carr said at a press conference with Al Sharpton. "These two (NYPD) police officers lost their lives senselessly. Our condolences to the families — and we stand with the families."

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