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

Dr. Ben Carson defended his recent claims that the Chinese are involved in Syria during an interview with Yahoo News published on Friday. He said that the Chinese government sells weapons and other supplies in Syria.

"They supply a lot of military equipment and they supply radar equipment and sophisticated monitoring systems. And I don’t think, quite frankly, that you can just send that stuff there and not have a support system for it," he told Yahoo News' Katie Couric when she asked about the claim he made during the last Republican presidential debate.

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A Utah judge who ruled on Tuesday that a 9-month-old foster child be removed from the home of a married same-sex couple and instead be placed with heterosexual parents, reversed his ruling on Friday after pressure from state officials, according to Ben Winslow, a reporter for Salt Lake City television station Fox 13.

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A married same-sex couple in Utah asked a judge Thursday to reverse his order removing a 9-month-old foster child from their home after he concluded that children are better off with heterosexual parents, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Citing unspecified research on children of gay couples, District Court Juvenile Judge Scott Johansen ruled Tuesday that the child must be removed from the foster home of Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland. The judge ordered the child to be sent "to a more traditional home," the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) told CNN.

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Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and National Security Agency, on Friday morning said that Dr. Ben Carson has made a serious effort to wrap his head around foreign policy issues since the retired neurosurgeon didn't have an "understanding" of the issues in the past.

During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-host Mika Brzezinski mentioned Carson's recent claim that the Chinese are in Syria and asked Hayden, "Are you concerned that there is a frontrunner whose foreign policy sensibilities seem to lack, to say the least?"

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Donald Trump targeted Dr. Ben Carson and the retired neurosurgeon's descriptions of his violent youth in a lengthy, rambling rant at a rally in Iowa on Thursday night.

Trump mocked Carson's claim that when he tried to stab a relative, the knife hit the person's belt buckle and broke.

"Give me a break. Give me a break. Give me a break," Trump said on Thursday after recounting Carson's story.

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While discussing his belief that Ben Carson's "pathological temper" from his youth is not curable, Donald Trump on Thursday compared Carson's temper to child molesting.

"You know, when he says he went after his mother and wanted to hit her in the head with a hammer, that bothers me. I mean, that's pretty bad," Trump said on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," adding that Carson described his temper as "pathological" in his book.

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Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R) has launched an effort to stop a University of Missouri graduate student from studying the impacts of a state law mandating a 72-hour abortion waiting period passed last year.

He accused the university of breaking a state law that prohibits the use of state funds to "encourage or counsel a woman to have an abortion not necessary to save her life," the Columbia Tribune reported last week.

"The study does not appear to be designed as an objective, unbiased research project, but rather as a marketing aid for Planned Parenthood — one that is funded, in part or in whole, by taxpayer dollars," Schaefer wrote in an October 30 letter to the university's chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin.

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The Oregon Department of Justice has placed an investigator on paid leave after that individual searched for the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag while searching for potential threats, according to The Oregonian.

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum confirmed to The Oregonian Thursday that the investigator had targeted Black Lives Matter supporters with an online search tool, including a senior attorney at the state Department of Justice. Rosenblum pledged an independent probe into the investigator's actions and the Criminal Justice Division's data collection process. She also ordered the department to stop using the search tool.

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Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman and transportation secretary under President Obama, does not believe the president followed through on his promise to push for bipartisanship.

"Bipartisanship is in his DNA. I’m proof of it," LaHood told the New York Times in an interview published on Wednesday. "But time and intervening circumstance didn’t allow him to do it in the way that he would have wanted to."

LaHood told the Times that he was quickly disappointed after joining the Obama administration when Democrats pushed for an economic stimulus package without much support from Republicans.

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