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

President Donald Trump on Tuesday night bashed his FBI director, James Comey, and Hillary Clinton, after Clinton placed some blame on the FBI for her loss in the 2016 election.

In two tweets published around 11 p.m. Trump said that Comey aided Clinton by not recommending charges following a probe into her use of a private email server.

During an interview at a Women for Women International luncheon on Tuesday, Clinton said that she was “on the way to winning” the presidency until Wikileaks published her campaign staffers’ emails and the FBI reopened its investigation into her emails.

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President Donald Trump is expected to appoint Teresa Manning, an activist who opposes birth control and abortion, to run the Health and Human Services office that oversees family planning for low-income Americans, PoliticoPro reported.

Manning, who used to work for the National Right to Life Committee and Family Research Council, has argued in the past that contraception does not work.

“Contraception doesn’t work. Its efficacy is very low, especially when you consider over years, which you know a lot of contraception health advocates want — to start women in their adolescent years when they’re extremely fertile, incidentally, and continue for 10, 20, 30 years,” she told WBUR in 2003. “Over that span of time, the prospect that contraception would always prevent the conception of a child is preposterous.”

Manning also argued that allowing women to buy the morning-after pill over the counter was “immoral” in a 2001 statement while she worked at the Family Research Council. She has also pushed the debunked claim that abortion can increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer.

As deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Population Affairs at HHS, Manning would oversee Title X funds that help low-income women afford birth control and preventative health care.

Following the PoliticoPro report about Manning’s pending appointment, Democrats and pro-choice groups denounced the Trump administration’s choice.

“This is the fox guarding the hen house, and women with low incomes will pay the price. It is a cruel irony to appoint an opponent of birth control to oversee the nation’s only federal program dedicated to family planning,” Dawn Laguens, vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a Monday statement.

Teresa Manning has spent her career denying science and peddling fiction about family planning and abortion,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said in a statement Tuesday. “Her appointment to oversee our nation’s family planning program is yet another step in the Trump Administration’s dangerous campaign to roll back women’s reproductive rights and undermine the immense progress we have made to reduce teen pregnancy and abortions, both at an all-time low, in part because of funding through the Title X family planning program.”

News of Manning’s pending appointment comes after Trump appointed Charmaine Yoest, an anti-abortion leader, to be the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS. He also brought on Katy Talento to help shape the White House’s health policy. Talento has claimed that chemical birth control causes abortions and hurts a woman’s chances to have a baby later in life.

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Ivanka Trump pleaded with her father to issue a vigorous, sincere apology for his notoriously vulgar comments about women on a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape—and left the room visibly upset when Donald Trump would not take her advice, according to a Tuesday report in the New York Times.

Donald Trump at first only agreed to “say he was sorry if anyone was offended,” which bothered his daughter, per the New York Times:

Ivanka Trump made an emphatic case for a full-throated apology, according to several people who were present for the crisis discussion that unfolded in Mr. Trump’s 26th-floor office. Raised amid a swirl of tabloid headlines, she had spent her adult life branding herself as her father’s poised, family-focused daughter. She marketed her clothing line with slogans about female empowerment and was finishing a book on the topic. As she spoke, Mr. Trump remained unyielding. His daughter’s eyes welled with tears, her face reddened, and she hurried out in frustration.

In the tape, Trump bragged to former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that he could do “anything” with women, including “grab” them by their genitals. Trump ultimately issued an apology for those comments, but dismissed the remarks as nothing more than “locker room banter.”

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning complained that he had needed Democratic support for the deal to fund the government through September, and he suggested a government shutdown in September to fix the “mess” in Congress, hinting that he does not want to negotiate with Democrats on the next budget.

The President’s call for a shutdown is odd given that Republicans control Congress and the White House.

Trump’s public grousing about the spending deal struck between Democrats and Republicans on the Hill undermined efforts by the White House and GOP leaders to portray the deal as a win for him.

Trump also proposed that the Senate eliminate lawmakers’ ability to filibuster legislation to make it easier for Republicans to pass the next budget – and the Obamacare repeal bill still stuck in the House – without Democratic votes.

The spending deal agreed upon by Republicans and Democrats in Congress does not include funding for Trump’s signature campaign promise, a wall along the southern border. The measure also includes provisions opposed by the White House like Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and a $2 million increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health.

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Fox News host Sean Hannity closed his show on Monday night by saying that the “lies” about him are “not true” in an apparent attempt to push back on reports that he is planning to leave the network.

“By the way, special thank you to all our friends in the media that were tuning in tonight, maybe for the first time. And all the lies you’ve heard about me are not true,” he said just before ending his show.

Hannity’s comment follows a Daily Beast report that he is looking to leave Fox News now that Bill Shine is resigning as co-president. Hannity has also been accused of inappropriate behavior by a former Fox News guest who said Hannity did not invite her back on his show after she declined his invitation to his hotel room.

Fox News also pushed back on reports that Hannity is looking to leave the network on Monday, calling the report “completely untrue.”

The Fox host on Monday evening tweeted a link to a story reporting that he is not looking to leave Fox News. He said that the article was “true” and hinted he may address the matter on Monday night.

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After praising Andrew Jackson in a Monday interview with the Washington Examiner, President Donald Trump on Monday night repeated his claim that Jackson could have prevented the Civil War.

Trump made to sure to mention that Jackson died years before the Civil War began, perhaps because it was unclear from his initial comments that he knew Jackson was no longer alive when the Civil War began.

“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump told the Washington Examiner earlier on Monday. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart.”

“He was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, he said, ‘There’s no reason for this,’” Trump added. “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

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President Donald Trump will speak over the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday afternoon, according to the White House schedule.

It is the first time the two leaders will speak since Russia denounced the United States’ missile strike on a Syrian airfield.

Trump praised Putin on the campaign trail, but following the gas attack in Syria that prompted the U.S. missile strike, Trump sang a different tune about Russia.

“We’re not getting along with Russia at all,” Trump said last month. “We may be at an all-time low.”

The FBI and congressional committees are also investigating whether there are any ties between Trump associates and Russia.

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White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that President Donald Trump was aware of the human rights concerns surrounding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte when he invited him to the White House.

During the White House press briefing, journalists asked Spicer about Duterte encouraging the extrajudicial killings of drug users and his comment that journalists are not exempt from assassination.

That knowledge, Spicer argued, was balanced by Trump wanting to work with Duterte to prevent North Korea from becoming a nuclear power.

“The President gets fully briefed on the leaders that he’s speaking to, obviously,” Spicer said at his daily press briefing when asked if Trump was aware of Duterte’s human rights abuses. “The number one concern of this president is to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our people and specifically to economically and diplomatically isolate North Korea.”

“I’m not gonna tell you every single thing that’s in his brief, but he’s well aware of, when he speaks with a leader, he gets briefed on a lot about what they’re doing, what they’ve done,” Spicer added.

When asked earlier in the briefing about concerns that Trump was giving Duterte’s human rights abuses his stamp of approval, Spicer said the purpose of the White House invitation was to address North Korea.

“I think it is an opportunity for us to work with countries in that region that can help play a role in diplomatically and economically isolating North Korea,” Spicer replied. “And frankly, the national interest of the United States, the safety of our people, and the safety of the people in the region are the number one priorities of the President.”

Later in the briefing, the New York Times’ Glenn Thrush noted that Trump invited Duterte to the White House after praising Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Does the President have a thing with these totalitarian leaders? Does he admire something about the way these guys conduct themselves?” Thrush asked.

Spicer did not directly answer the question and instead repeated that the purpose of Duterte’s visit would be to discuss North Korea.

“The President, clearly as I’ve said, understands the threat that North Korea poses. Having someone with the potential nuclear capability to strike another country, and potentially our country at some point in the future, is something the President takes very seriously,” Spicer said, adding that the Philippines is just one of the neighbors that could help the U.S.

This post has been updated.

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President Donald Trump on Monday said that he is open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances.

“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” he told Bloomberg News. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”

Trump acknowledged that “political people would never say that.”

“But I’m telling you under the right circumstances I would meet with him. We have breaking news,” he told Bloomberg.

The President has warned that “major conflict” with North Korea is possible as the country continues to build its nuclear weapons program.

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” he told Reuters last week. “We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.”

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Karen Handel, the Republican candidate for a runoff congressional election in Georgia, said over the weekend that she welcomed President Donald Trump’s support after he held a Friday fundraiser for her.

That’s a shift from her earlier approach to the campaign, when she avoided invoking the President’s name at all.

During a Saturday interview on Fox News, host Neil Cavuto asked Handel if it’s an “indictment on all things Trump” if she were to lose the June runoff race to Democrat Jon Ossoff.

“Well, obviously I feel the pressure, but not so much for what it means for the President, but what it means for the people of the 6th district,” she replied.

Cavuto pressed further, asking if Trump’s controversies could hurt her in the race. Handel did not directly answer the question and instead said that she’s glad to have Trump’s help.

“He’s the president of the United States, so to be able to have the President’s support is a good thing, especially in a very solid Republican district,” she said. “With that said, it’s the press and the Ossoff folks and the Democrats who want to make this about the president. This is about the people of the 6th District.”

Handel shied away from Trump in the run-up to the April jungle primary, barely mentioning him on the campaign trail and leaving him out of her election night “victory” speech altogether. But since she advanced to the runoff, she has embraced Trump’s support.

Handel told Cavuto she would welcome Trump back to Georgia and said she expects House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) to help out soon, too.

Trump raised about $750,000 for Handel’s campaign at a fundraiser in Atlanta on Friday. He also praised her during a speech at the National Rifle Association.

“She’s totally for the NRA and she’s totally for the Second Amendment. So get out and vote,” Trump said. “You know, she’s running against someone who is going to raise your taxes to the sky and destroy your healthcare.”

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