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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

The Republican presidential primary in South Carolina was too close to call as polls closed at 7 p.m. ET, according to NBC News and CNN.

The networks said it was a three way race between Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

A small crowd of protesters carrying guns arrived outside an Irving, Texas, mosque which was holding an event to welcome refugees, carrying signs that read, "Say No To Syrian Refugees," according to the Dallas Morning News.

The protest was organized by the Bureau of American Islamic Relations, meant to mimic the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The group's president, David Wright, told the Dallas Morning News that he wanted to see the refugees that arrived at the event.

"We want to see how many are actually women and children," he said.

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In an op-ed in the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley reiterated that they believe the next president should fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

"Americans issued a stinging rebuke to this president and his policies in our latest national election, delivering a landslide for the opposition party as they handed control of the Senate to Republicans in 2014," the two senators wrote in the op-ed.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday morning said he did not think Pope Francis should have commented on Donald Trump's plans to build a border wall or his faith.

"I thought it probably was inappropriate for the Pope to intervene at the -- in the height of a contested primary in that way," Bush said when asked about the Pope's comments on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I don't question Donald Trump's Christianity, that's between him and his creator. The fact is, he's got the wrong policy. Building a wall and making Mexico pay for it is not a policy."

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In a Thursday post on Facebook, the Rev. Franklin Graham defended Donald Trump's support for building a wall along the United States border with Mexico, and called on Pope Francis to "build a bridge" to the Republican presidential candidate.

The Pope on Thursday said that anyone who wants to build walls, rather than bridges, "is not Christian" when asked about Donald Trump.

"A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian," Pope Francis said. "This is not in the Gospel."

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A judge in Illinois will hear arguments on Friday for a case challenging Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) eligibility to run for president, according to USA Today.

Lawrence Joyce filed a complaint with the Illinois Board of Elections charging that Cruz is not a "natural born citizen." The board of elections ruled against Joyce earlier in February, writing that Cruz "is a natural born citizen by virtue of being born in Canada to his mother who was a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth as the candidate did not have to take any steps or go through a naturalization process at some point after his birth."

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Throughout the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump has said that he opposed the Iraq from the beginning, but in 2002, the real estate mogul indicated that he supported the invasion.

In a 2002 interview with Howard Stern surfaced by Buzzfeed News on Thursday, Stern asked Trump if he supported the invasion.

"Yeah I guess so," Trump responded, according to audio published by Buzzfeed News. "I wish the first time it was done correctly."

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Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) on Thursday sought to clarify a series of remarks he made over the course of this week about how he thinks Senate Republicans should approach President Obama's nominee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. But in doing so, Grassley offered an incomplete timeline of his remarks and left his position on the confirmation process unclear.

The senator said earlier this week that he had not yet decided whether to hold a hearing on the nomination, but those comments followed a statement his office issued in which he indicated that he felt the nomination should wait until after the 2016 presidential election.

The Judiciary Committee chairman made his first comments about Scalia's death to the Des Moines Register on Saturday.

"I wouldn’t make any prognostication on anything about the future because there’s so many balls in the air when those things are considered," he said at the time.

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During a campaign rally in South Carolina on Thursday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) corrected an audience member who accused Hillary Clinton of being a "traitor."

The exchange came as Rubio railed against Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton has serious problems. First of all, she’s under FBI investigation because she put classified information on her server," he said. "She did it because she thinks she’s above the law. They’ve always thought they’re above the law."

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During a Wednesday night town hall moderated by CNN, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) acknowledged that the United States has a problem with racism and a lack of opportunity for minorities, but he said he wasn't sure the issue could be solved politically.

When Rubio was asked how he would address systemic racism if elected president, the Florida senator began by addressing the relationship between the police and minority communities.

He said that most law enforcement officers are "incredible people" before launching into an anecdote about racism.

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