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

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Friday morning blasted the Obama administration's new letter directing schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

"We will not yield to blackmail from the President of the United States," Patrick said in a press conference responding to the administration's letter. "We will not sell out our children to the federal government. And the people of Texas and the legislature will find a way to find as much of that money as we can if we are forced to. There is no compromise on this issue."

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After remarking on Wednesday that his proposal bar Muslims from entering the United States was "just a suggestion," Donald Trump on Friday morning said that he is not "softening" his position on the ban.

"Well, I’m not the president right now, so anything I suggest is really a suggestion. And if I were president, I’d put in legislation and do what I have to do," Trump said when first asked by NBC's "Today" co-host Matt Lauer if he was "softening" his stance on the Muslim ban.

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Donald Trump on Thursday night lashed out at Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, arguing that Bezos bought the Washington Post to gain political power and keep Trump from cracking down on Amazon as president.

"Every hour we’re getting calls from reporters from The Washington Post asking ridiculous questions and I will tell you, this is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos, who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He’s using the Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don’t tax Amazon like they should be taxed," Trump said when Fox News' Sean Hannity asked about a comment from Bob Woodward that the Post had assigned 20 reporters to cover Trump.

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Donald Trump on Thursday night said that he had a "great meeting" with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) earlier in the day and that he does not have a problem slowly winning Ryan's support.

"I think he’s doing a good job. He’s got not an easy job, and I don’t mind going through a little bit of a slow process. It’s a very big subject," Trump said when Fox News' Sean Hannity asked if it was also Ryan's job to unite the party.

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The Obama administration will send letters to public school districts on Friday directing them to accommodate transgender students by allowing them to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, the New York Times reported Thursday evening.

The letters from the Education and Justice departments will outline how schools can ensure that transgender students are not discriminated against, but the guidelines are not enforceable by the federal government, according to the New York Times.

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Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is unplugged and unleashed and apparently reveling in his new-found freedom.

Not so much the so-called House Freedom Caucus.

During a conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, Boehner laid into the House Freedom Caucus, eliciting a response from the caucus' members.

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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus declined to provide details about House Speaker Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Thursday meeting with Donald Trump during an interview with MSNBC, but repeatedly described the meeting as "positive" and "cooperative."

Preibus hosted the meeting at the RNC's offices adjacent to the Capitol complex.

"It was a positive mood. It was a mood of cooperation and a feeling that it's time to unify the party. And I think both parties wanted to do that. It was great. It was really a positive step toward unification," Priebus said when asked about the mood at the meeting.

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The local school board member who cited the possibility that North Carolina's "bathroom bill" could be overturned when voting to lift a ban on high schoolers carrying pepper spray now says he regrets his comments.

Chuck Hughes, a member of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education, told TPM on Wednesday that his comments were aimed at "the 'straight' perverts within the community," not at LGBT students.

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