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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 progressive public relations firm FitzGibbon Media closed abruptly on Thursday due to several accusations that the company's president, Trevor FitzGibbon had sexually harassed and assaulted multiple female employees and clients, the Huffington Post reported.

FitzGibbon has been on leave from the firm since Monday, and Al Thomson, the firm's senior vice president of finance and administration, told employees that the company would close immediately, according to the Huffington Post.

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Hate crimes committed against Muslims and mosques in the U.S. have tripled since the Paris terrorist attacks, according to an analysis from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino reviewed by the New York Times.

"The terrorist attacks, coupled with the ubiquity of these anti-Muslim stereotypes seeping into the mainstream, have emboldened people to act upon this fear and anger," Brian Levin, the center's director, told the New York Times.

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The Augusta County school district in Virginia will be closed on Friday after parents inundated the school district with complaints about an Arabic calligraphy assignment at Riverheads High School that use the Muslim statement of faith.

The Dec. 11 assignment prompted "voluminous phone calls and electronic mail locally and from outside the area," according to NBC Washington. Augusta County Sheriff Randy Fisher told CBS News that the "profane" and "hateful" prompted Riverheads High School to lock and monitor all of its doors on Wednesday and Thursday.

As the complaints increased throughout the week, law enforcement advised the school district to close all schools, according to CBS News.

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This post has been updated.

The Democratic National Committee suspended Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) presidential campaign from its voter files after a staffer for the campaign improperly accessed Hillary Clinton's voter information, the Washington Post reported on Thursday night.

CNN and the New York Times confirmed that the Sanders campaign was suspended for viewing Clinton's confidential information while a software error made the rival campaign's voter information temporarily available to others.

Jeff Weaver, Sanders' campaign manager, told the Washington Post that a low-level staffer accessed the information. And Michael Briggs, a spokesman for the campaign said that the employee had been fired.

However, Bloomberg Politics reported that the campaign fired its national data director, Josh Uretsky, on Thursday afternoon for viewing Clinton's confidential information. And Uretsky told CNN on Friday morning that he did not intentionally view the voter files of Clinton's campaign.

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Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) suffered a stroke in November -- not long after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges -- and has been recovering in a hospital for six weeks, Politico reported on Thursday.

"I am confirming that during the first week of November our client Dennis Hastert was admitted to the hospital," Hastert's attorney, Tom Green, said in a statement to Politico. "Mr. Hastert has suffered a stroke and has been treated for Sepsis. While in the hospital, two back surgeries were performed. We are very hopeful that Mr. Hastert will be released from the hospital in the early part of the new year."

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This post has been updated.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Tuesday sent some internal communications regarding a June climate study to the House Science Committee after Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) subpoenaed the agency.

NOAA sent internal communications from some NOAA officials about the climate study, but did not include communications from any agency scientists. Smith had told the agency earlier this month that NOAA could prioritize documents from non-scientist officials.

"I am encouraged by NOAA’s acknowledgment of its obligation to produce documents and communications in response to the Committee’s lawfully-issued subpoena," Smith said in a Wednesday statement. "I am also glad to see that NOAA has committed to produce additional items as they are identified. We will carefully review these documents and expect additional productions from NOAA."

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This post has been updated.

During a discussion with Fox News' Megyn Kelly about Donald Trump's success in the Republican presidential primary, Glenn Beck said that he would not vote in the presidential election if Trump wins the Republican nomination.

"I know I won’t go to the polls. I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton and I won’t vote for Donald Trump. I just won’t. And I know a lot of people who feel that way," Beck said on Fox News.

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Fox News host Bret Baier on Wednesday evening confronted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) over comments the senator made in 2013 about the immigration reform bill, at one point causing Cruz to stumble and mumble while responding.

During the Tuesday night Republican presidential debate, Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) battled over their positions on immigration. Rubio insisted that Cruz once supported a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. And Cruz responded by saying, "I have never supported legalization and I don't intend to support legalization."

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Updated at 5:14 p.m.: The Senate Intelligence Committee has announced that it will not be investigating anything said during Tuesday's debate.

Staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are looking into whether Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) disclosed classified information during the debate, according to the committee chair.

"I'm having my staff look at the transcripts of the debate right now," Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters on Wednesday, according to The Hill. "Any time you deal with numbers... the question is 'Is that classified or not?' or is there an open source reference to it."

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