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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

When the Obama administration sent a letter to public schools offering guidance on how best to accommodate the needs of transgender students, conservatives lost it.

Republican hand-wringing over access to public facilities for transgender students has been percolating for a while — there are currently nine "bathroom bills" introduced in state legislatures. But the new guidance last week from the federal government prompted a whole new level of conservative freakout over transgender access to public restrooms.

Instead of lashing out at the Charlotte City Council or a superintendent in Texas for allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, conservatives can now blame Obama for destroying the Constitution with a liberal plan to make schools and bathrooms less safe.

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Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) campaign on Monday hit the senator's primary opponent, Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward (R), over her willingness to discuss chemtrail conspiracy theories at a public hearing.

McCain's campaign put out a web ad labeling Ward "Chemtrail Kelli" and hitting her for spending "your tax dollars to entertain 'chemtrail' conspiracy theories." The ad's narrator tells viewers that Ward has "bad judgment" and is "dangerous for Arizona."

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Sunday said that he intends to support but not endorse Donald Trump as the nominee, pulling back from a previous comment that he would endorse Trump if he wins the Republican presidential nomination.

"Let me tell you precisely what I’ve said. I intend to support the Republican nominee. That’s what I’ve said. I intend to support the Republican nominee," Johnson said on Big AM 1380's "The Mike Daly Show" when asked if he was concerned about backing Trump

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Former model and girlfriend of Donald Trump, Rowanne Brewer Lane, who was quoted over the weekend in the New York Times about her experience with the real estate mogul, on Monday morning said that the New York Times twisted her words.

The Times included a story from Lane about the first time she met Trump, when he offered her a swim suit to change into at a party he was hosting at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

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Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Sunday said he has not decided whether he will vote for Donald Trump, who he said is "certainly not conservative."

"The problem with Donald Trump is his position changes sometimes in the same speech," Huelskamp said on "Fox News Sunday."

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Donald Trump on Sunday warned that if the United States continues to allow Syrian refugees to resettle in the country, they will carry out a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

During an interview on the National Border Security Council's "Green Line" radio show, Trump was asked if it will take another attack on the same scale as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for Americans to call for increased border security.

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During a commencement address at Bridgewater State University on Saturday, Elizabeth Warren referenced her Twitter battle with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The Massachusetts senator told graduates that her life has been full of "mistakes and twists and turns and failures."

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White House spokesperson John Earnest on Friday brushed off remarks from Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) that the administration's guidance to schools on how to accommodate transgender students amounts to "blackmail."

"Well I think this does underscore the risk of electing a right-wing radio host to a elected statewide office," Earnest said during a press briefing when asked to respond to Patrick's concern about the letter.

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An interview between CNN's Ashleigh Banfield and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) about the Obama administration's new guidelines for schools to accommodate transgender students devolved when Banfield asked Patrick how schools should treat students who have identified as transgender from birth.

"In a circumstance where a person who is born with female anatomy and all that person’s life has identified — dresses as a male, acts as a male, looks exactly to anyone as a male, feels as a male, behaves as a male, you're saying that that person should be in the girls bathroom?" Banfield asked.

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In a statement bashing the Obama administration's letter directing schools on how to accommodate transgender students, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton signaled that the state could bring legal action against the administration.

"Once again, the Obama Administration has overstepped its constitutional bounds to meddle in the affairs of state and local government. Today’s announcement seeking to unilaterally redefine and expand federal law must be challenged," Paxton said in the statement. "If President Obama thinks he can bully Texas schools into allowing men to have open access to girls in bathrooms, he better prepare for yet another legal fight."

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