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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

Donald Trump on Thursday morning refused to acknowledge whether his relentless attacks on a Gold Star family were a "mistake," but he also avoided launching into a full defense of his comments.

"You’ll have to define what a 'mistake' means. We’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to talk about economics," Trump said on CNBC when asked if his attacks on the Khan family were a "mistake."

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Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said on Wednesday that he's excited to support Donald Trump's bid for the presidency because he thinks the GOP nominee will bring "change," even if that change isn't "good."

"I’m more excited to vote for Trump than I was to vote for Romney-Ryan," Massie told 55KRC Ohio radio's Brian Thomas, according to a clip highlighted by Buzzfeed News. "I think you’re more likely to get change. I don’t know if it’s gonna be a good change, but you gotta break eggs to make an omelette."

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A Republican state representative in Ohio said that the Donald Trump campaign withdrew an offer for him to sit in the seating area for lawmakers at a Wednesday town hall with vice presidential candidate Mike Pence over a tweet he published about voters disapproving of Trump.

State Rep. Niraj Antani (R) told Politico that he was invited to the event, but that when he arrived at the town hall, he was told to sit in the general admission section.

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During a rant about the Middle East at a Wednesday night rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Donald Trump called President Obama the "founder of ISIS."

“In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama. ISIS is honoring President Obama,” Trump said. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He founded ISIS. And I would say the co-founder would be Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

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Since Donald Trump on Tuesday appeared to suggest that "Second Amendment people" could take out Hillary Clinton if she wins the presidency, his campaign staffers and surrogates came out with conflicting explanations for the remark.

Trump staffers riffed on two basic interpretations: the campaign first said that Trump meant to call on gun rights advocates to exercise their political power and keep Clinton out of office in November, and a campaign spokeswoman later said Trump had been referencing the gun lobby's ability to persuade senators not to confirm pro-gun control Supreme Court nominees.

And even as those staffers argued Trump was making a serious point about mobilizing to keep Clinton from winning the presidency, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) suggested that the comment was just a "bad" joke.

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Katrina Pierson, a spokeswoman for the Donald Trump campaign, on Wednesday morning presented a new explanation for the Republican nominee's Tuesday remark about "Second Amendment people" and Hillary Clinton.

Pierson said that Trump was referencing the power of the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby's potential ability to persuade senators not to approve the nominee Clinton appoints to the Supreme Court if she is elected president.

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Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), one of the first members of Congress who endorsed Donald Trump, on Tuesday evening defended the Republican nominee's line about "Second Amendment" people, arguing that Trump just isn't very "articulate."

During an interview with Hunter on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer noted that after Trump said that there is "nothing you can do" if Clinton selects the next Supreme Court Justice, the GOP nominee added, "Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is." Blitzer said that the way Trump made the comment suggests he was talking about what would happen after Clinton was elected, not before, as Trump and his surrogates have been arguing.

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Hillary Clinton's vice presidential running mate, said on Tuesday that Donald Trump's line about "Second Amendment people" shows that he does not have the temperament to be president.

"Nobody who is seeking a leadership position, especially the presidency, the leadership of the country, should do anything to countenance violence," Kaine told reporters in Texas, according to CBS News.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday night said Donald Trump's comment about "Second Amendment people" and Hillary Clinton sounded like "a joke gone bad," though the Speaker admitted he did not hear Trump's full remarks.

"I’ve been a little busy today. I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that," Ryan said at a press conference after winning his Republican primary. "I didn’t actually hear the comments, I only heard about those comments."

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