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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

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) faced a raucous crowd at a town hall in Aurora, Colorado, on Wednesday night, where constituents grilled him on his support for the House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Coffman spoke to the crowd for about two hours, with health care as the main topic on voters’ minds. The Republican congressman was sometimes confronted with jeers and shouting, according to the Denver Post.

“I’m sorry to say I was shocked when you declared your intention to vote for the American Health Care Act,” one attendee, Steven Haas, told Coffman, according to Politico. “That is not the way we do things here in Colorado.”

Another audience member expressed concern that Republicans would push a bill that eliminated protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

“Are you going to side with Trump or are you going to … stand with your constituents?” the audience member asked, according to CNN.

“I don’t think that’s right. Somehow he thinks that the Democrats are going to come around if it implodes,” Coffman replied, per CNN. “I think we need to fix it. And we need to fix it now.”

Before the town hall started, Coffman told Politico that he supported the American Health Care Act as a good “starting point” and said it would be “tough” for him to back legislation that reduced protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Toward the end of the town hall, Coffman called for the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who recently incorrectly stated that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons.

“Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday,” Coffman said, per CNN. “He needs to go.”

The Republican lawmaker was also pressed about support for President Donald Trump, with constituents criticizing him for not representing their interests.

“When the majority of your constituents’ input to you strongly disagrees with the Republican party position on notable issues, what will it take for you to vote with your constituents?” one attendee asked, according to 9 News.

“I think I’ve won a few elections around here. So I think majority of the people in this district believe that I’m representing them,” Coffman answered, per 9 News.

He told the crowd at one point that he will only speak out against Trump when it is “something significant.”

“The people, Republicans, when Obama was President, everything was ‘What are you doing to stand up to the President? what are you doing?’ Every time the President does something, ‘Why aren’t you speaking out against the President?’ Now I’m getting the same thing from the left,” Coffman said, according to 9 News. “When I disagree with the president, I will speak out with the President. I’m not going to do it every other day. It’s when there is something significant.”

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Though the Trump administration has requested deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, the department is looking for an increase in security for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the New York Times reported this week.

The EPA has asked to add 10 security agents to provide a 24/7 security detail for Pruitt, which would be the first time an EPA administrator has had around-the-clock security, according to the New York Times.

According to an E&E News report resurfaced on Wednesday by Quartz, the EPA’s criminal enforcement office had expected the request for additional security.

The EPA currently does not have enough agents to provide a 24/7 detail, and between 2008 and 2010, the administrator’s security staff ranged from six to eight employees, according to E&E News. Past administrators only had door-to-door security protections where agents would accompany them to and from work, and travel with them to events and trips, per the report.

Myron Ebell, who led President Donald Trump’s EPA transition team, told E&E News in February that the additional security agents could help protect Pruitt from protesters and his department’s own employees.

“I think it’s prudent given the continuing activities by the left to foment hatred, and the reported hostility within the agency from some unprofessional activists,” he said.

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President Donald Trump believes "it's not too late" to ask for James Comey's resignation, but he indicated during a Tuesday interview on Fox Business Network that he doesn't currently have plans to dismiss the FBI director.

"No, it's not too late," Trump said when Maria Bartiromo asked if it was too late to fire Comey. "But you know I have confidence in him. We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be interesting."

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday tried to clarify his administration's policy toward Syria after ordering missile strikes on a Syrian air base last week in response to a chemical attack.

"We’re not going into Syria because you know there were some questions,” Trump told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo. “But when I see people using horrible, horrible chemical weapons—which they agreed not to use under the Obama administration, but they violated it."

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The FBI obtained an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor the communications of Carter Page, a campaign aide to President Donald Trump, for its probe into any connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night, citing unnamed law enforcement and other American officials.

The FBI received the secret order after arguing to the FISA court that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as a Russian agent, the officials told the Washington Post. However, Page has not been accused of committing any crimes.

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President Donald Trump would not say whether he has confidence in Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon, who was recently removed from his spot on the National Security Council's Principals Committee.

The New York Post's Michael Goodwin asked Trump in an interview published Tuesday night whether he has confidence in Bannon. In response, Trump did not say whether he has confidence in Bannon, and instead downplayed Bannon's role in his campaign and emphasized that that he is his "own strategist."

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday evening apologized for stating earlier in the day that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons, even though Hitler killed millions of Jews, many of whom perished in gas chambers.

"I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly used an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which frankly there is no comparison," Spicer said on CNN. "And for that, I apologize. It was a mistake to do that."

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The Republican candidate won an open House seat in Kansas in a special election on Tuesday night after the GOP made a last-minute effort to hold the seat in a surprisingly close race.

Kansas state treasurer Ron Estes won the election by seven points over Democrat James Thompson. Estes will fill the House seat vacated by CIA chief Mike Pompeo.

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The Government Accountability Office plans to investigate any conflicts of interest issues with President Donald Trump's transition process, as well as whether his transition staff followed any available guidelines on communicating with foreign governments, the government watchdog confirmed in an April 5 letter to Democratic lawmakers.

GAO, Congress' investigative arm, was responding to a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that expressed concern about potential issues with Trump's transition team.

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With Democrat Jon Ossoff maintaining his momentum in the special election to fill an open congressional seat in Georgia, the Cook Political Report on Monday changed the historically ruby-red district's rating to a Republican toss-up.

"There is a real chance Democrat Jon Ossoff, who is dramatically outspending the rest of the field while the main GOP contenders turn on each other, could hit 50 percent on April 18 and avoid a runoff," Cook Political Report's David Wasserman wrote in a post about the rating change.

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