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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

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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Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill were forced Tuesday to grapple with the Trump administration's first major personnel crisis—less than a month into President Donald Trump's tenure at the White House—after Michael Flynn resigned from his role as national security adviser.

Some congressional Republicans instinctively worked to protect and defend Trump, praising the President for booting Flynn from the administration and shifting focus to leaks of information about Flynn's calls with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Flynn had several phone conversations with the diplomat before Trump’s inauguration, during which he reportedly discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia. Both Flynn and the Trump administration initially denied that Flynn discussed sanctions on the call; however, after several news outlets reported last week that Flynn did in fact discuss the sanctions, Flynn stopped denying that he discussed the issue and conceded he could not be sure whether he talked about sanctions.

Other Republicans seized on Flynn's resignation to call for investigations into his calls to Russia and their implications for the Trump administration's approach to Russia and Vladimir Putin.

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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday morning downplayed Michael Flynn's resignation from his role as national security adviser to President Donald Trump.

"Michael Flynn served in the U.S. military for more than three decades. Washington, D.C. can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn—who has always been a soldier, not a politician—deserves America’s gratitude and respect for dedicating so much of his life to strengthening our national security. I thank him for his many years of distinguished service," Nunes, who served on Trump's transition team, said in a statement.

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During several television interviews on Tuesday morning, Kellyanne Conway insisted that it was Michael Flynn's decision to resign from his role as National Security Adviser.

During an interview on NBC's "Today," Matt Lauer asked Conway how Flynn resigned so quickly after she had said earlier Monday that Flynn had Trump's "full confidence."

In response, Conway indicated that her comment was true at the time and that it was Flynn's decision to resign.

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After Michael Flynn resigned from his role as President Donald Trump's national security adviser on Monday night, two top Democrats in the House demanded a briefing from the FBI and Justice Department about Flynn's actions and what the White House knew about his contact with Russia.

"We were shocked and dismayed to learn this evening of reports that three weeks ago, U.S. law enforcement officials warned the White House Counsel that General Flynn had provided false information to the public about his communications with the Russian government, but that the Trump Administration apparently did nothing about it – neither to clarify the truth to the American public or to stop General Flynn from being an ongoing national security concern," Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), ranking member of the Oversight Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a joint statement.

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President Donald Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned from the administration late Monday night.

In his resignation letter, Flynn apologized for not informing Trump and Vice President Mike Pence about the details of his calls with the Russian ambassador ahead of inauguration.

"Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador. I have sincerely apologized to the President and the Vice President, and they have accepted my apology," he wrote.

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Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax and a friend of President Donald Trump, signaled on Sunday that White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus may be in trouble.

That makes Priebus the second White House staffer in a week to be the subject of rumors that he's on the chopping block, as Trump's inner circle struggles to move past a tumultuous and leak-filled first few weeks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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