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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

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday that his endorsement of Donald Trump does not give the Republican nominee "blank checks."

The comment came while Ryan was addressing Trump's hesitance to endorse him in his primary.

"The only endorsements that I want are those of my own employers here in the First Congressional District. And that's really what my focus is," Ryan said on Wisconsin radio station WTAQ about Trump's snub before pivoting to his own endorsement of the GOP nominee.

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Donald Trump's campaign team came out on Thursday with a bogus new explanation for why Trump declined to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in his primary. His aides said the campaign has a policy of not getting involved in primaries.

But that explanation rings hollow.

When Trump hesitated on Tuesday to endorse Ryan in his primary, he made no mention of a wish to stay neutral in Republican primaries. He simply said, "I’m just not quite there yet."

On top of that, Trump hasn't actually stayed neutral in the primaries. He endorsed Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) in the primary she lost back in June, and he even recorded a robocall for her.

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Donald Trump appeared to claim Wednesday that he saw footage of American cash being unloaded off of a plane in Iran, but the video he seems to be referencing shows hostages from Iran arriving in Geneva, Switzerland, the Washington Post reported.

While reporting on the $400 million payment from the United States to Iran that was part of a settlement for a failed decades-old arms deal, Fox News played footage that's been labeled as the scene of American hostages arriving in Geneva in January, according to the Washington Post. But during a rally in Daytona Beach, Florida, Trump seemed to think that the footage was taken in Iran.

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Donald Trump on Wednesday acknowledged that he should focus more on Hillary Clinton, as opposed to the other battles he has been waging this week.

During an interview with the CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, Trump was asked how he felt about his supporters who wish he would focus on Clinton more and who are concerned that he has been "baited into battles that distract you."

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Hillary Clinton trounced Donald Trump in a New Hampshire poll from WBUR/MassINC released Thursday, leading him by 15 points, 47-32, among likely voters.

Clinton's lead over Trump expanded by 13 points since a May WBUR/MassINC poll when she led the Republican nominee by just two points, 44-42.

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In a national TV appearance, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence on Wednesday endorsed House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) in his primary election after Donald Trump declined to do so on Tuesday.

"I strongly support Paul Ryan, strongly endorse his re-election," the Indiana governor said on Fox News. "He is a long time friend. He’s a strong conservative leader. I believe we need Paul Ryan in leadership in the Congress of the United States to rebuild our military, to strengthen our economy, and to ensure that we have the kind of leadership in this country that will make America great again."

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), a vulnerable Republican incumbent engaged in a tough re-election fight, called Wednesday for Donald Trump to apologize to the parents of a deceased Muslim American soldier.

"I’ve spoken to a number of Gold Star moms and dads, and they just deserve our utmost respect. What else can you say? I can't put myself in their position. I can't imagine losing a child. I can’t imagine that sacrifice. So all you can do is respect it and honor it and that’s all that you should do," Johnson said during an interview with Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes.

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Donald Trump surrogate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) said Wednesday that Trump has been "very self-destructive" by hesitating to endorse House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in their primaries.

"Let me just say flatly I am totally for John McCain, who is a great war hero and a terrific human being, who has worked very hard for veterans, and I’m totally for Paul Ryan, who is the heart of the House Republican Party and probably the most problem-solving leader we’ve had in the Congress on the Republican side, I think, in the last 20 years," Gingrich said on Fox Business Network, according to Politico. "So I think somewhat what Trump has done is just very self-destructive."

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An adviser to Donald Trump criticized United States policy toward Russia in a July trip to Moscow, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday. The trip came the week before the Trump campaign reportedly worked to soften language in the Republican party platform regarding U.S. support for Ukraine against Russian aggression.

"Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change," Trump adviser Carter Page said in a speech at a graduate school in Moscow in July, according to Huffington Post.

He also called for the U.S. to lift sanctions on Russia that were put in place after the annexation of Crimea.

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