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 North Carolina Republican Party published a tweet on Wednesday criticizing vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for wearing a "Honduras flag pin" during his Democratic convention speech, calling it "shameful" that he would wear another country's flag without a pin representing America.

But there was one glaring problem with the North Carolina GOP's attack: Kaine was actually wearing a pin bearing the symbol for Blue Star Families, a group for families with members who serve in the military. Kaine's son Nathaniel Kaine serves in the Marines and was recently deployed to Eastern Europe.

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Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) wrote a letter to President Obama on Wednesday, asking him to keep Donald Trump from receiving classified intelligence briefings, citing the Republican nominee's Wednesday comments asking Russia to release Hillary Clinton's emails.

"It is my belief that these statements, when considered in the broader context of the Republican nominee’s prior conduct, warrant a re-examination of his access to this sensitive intelligence," Cicilline wrote in the letter. "These remarks reflect more than just a lack of good judgment—it is an explicit call for intervention from an adversarial foreign power to undermine the American democratic process, and represents an action just short of outright treason."

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In an interview on WGN radio that aired Wednesday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that Donald Trump will refine his policy views once he begins having access to better information as the nominee.

The senator made the comments when host Steve Cochran asked, "How concerned are you about his ability to do the job regardless of how you feel about Hillary?"

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Fox News host Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday night defended his comments from earlier this week that the slaves who helped build the White House were "well fed," lashing out against his critics.

During his show on Wednesday night, O'Reilly said that his comments on the slaves who helped build the White House were "100 percent accurate" and provided "context" to First Lady Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic convention. He said that it was "not a defense of slavery."

"For doing that, I was immediately attacked by smear merchants," he said. "It is a given that slavery is an abomination, but reporting the story behind Mrs. Obama’s very valid points does not diminish the horror of enslavement as these dishonest critics allege."

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During an unprecedented off-the-rails press conference Wednesday, Donald Trump fielded several questions about his business ties with Russia, but the candidate never answered the essential question — whether Russian business entities are invested in Trump or his projects.

He repeatedly said that he has "nothing to do with Russia," despite several different variations on the questions from the journalists present at the Trump resort in Doral, Florida.

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Dr. Ada Fisher, a member of the Republican National Committee representing North Carolina, has an interesting theory about the hack of Democratic National Committee emails.

At Trump's rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Fisher told The Guardian that the controversy over the DNC hack is "a false flag to cover up [Clinton]’s transgressions" and "probably the biggest lie I’ve seen."

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Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort said Wednesday morning that Trump does not have business interests in Russia, but his answers to questions about Trump's relationship to Russia during an interview with CBS' "This Morning" were vague and left unanswered some of the remaining questions about the extent of Trump's financial ties with Russian interests.

"Trump tweeted yesterday that he has zero investments in Russia, but does Russia have investments in Trump? Would Mr. Trump be willing to release his tax returns to provide transparency on this issue?" CBS' Norah O'Donnell asked Manafort Wednesday morning.

"Mr. Trump has said that his taxes are under audit, and he will not be releasing them," Manafort said in response. "It has nothing to do with Russia. It has nothing to do with any country other than the United States and his normal tax auditing processes."

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Paul Manafort, chair of the Donald Trump campaign, said on Wednesday morning that Trump still has no plans to release his tax returns despite questions about potential business dealings with Russian interests.

During an interview on CBS' "This Morning," co-host Norah O'Donnell noted that Trump has said that he does not have any investments in Russia.

"But does Russia have investments in Trump?" she then asked. "Would Mr. Trump be willing to release his tax returns to provide transparency on this issue?"

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