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

During his speech on the final night of the Republican convention, Trump offered a dark description of violence and crime in the United States, arguing that crime rates have increased under President Obama.

"Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement," Trump said.

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Billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel got a rousing ovation when he declared he is gay during his speech at the Republican convention Thursday night even as he dismissed the debate over transgender bathroom use.

"When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union, and we won," said Thiel, the founder of PayPal. "Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?"

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Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chair, suggested on Thursday night that after the FBI did not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information, the agency's crime statistics cannot be trusted.

CNN's Jake Tapper noted in an interview with Manafort that much of the Republican convention has focused on violent crime but that "according to FBI statistics, crime rates have been going down for decades."

"How can the Republicans make the argument that somehow it's more dangerous today when the facts don't back that up?" he asked.

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It's the Clintons' fault.

After the NBA announced on Thursday that the league would no longer hold the 2017 All-Star game in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to the state's anti-LGBT law, the re-election campaign of Gov. Pat McCrory (R) placed the blame where it squarely belonged: on Bill and Hillary Clinton.

"It is no surprise that the NBA has chosen to politically target North Carolina during an election year since Doug Sosnick, Bill Clinton's former White House Political Director, serves as the NBA's chief political advisor," the campaign said in a Thursday evening statement.

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A leaked copy of Donald Trump's speech for the final night of the Republican convention reveals that he will paint a dark picture of crime and violence in the United States, pledging to restore law and order in the country.

The speech, leaked Thursday afternoon by pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, hits on all of the central themes of Trump's campaign and includes hints of Trump's authoritarian style. Trump will note recent attacks on police and terrorism attacks before launching into his thoughts on immigration, linking undocumented immigrants to crime in the U.S. He will also bash President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton's foreign policy.

He'll tell the crowd that Americans "will come first once again" under his presidency, touching on crime, terrorism, trade, and the economy.

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A former ambassador to NATO said Thursday that Donald Trump's hesitance about supporting NATO allies against Russian aggression was "disturbing" and that his comments will cause anxiety in Europe about the United States' commitment to its allies.

"It was a shocking statement. It was reckless and deeply unwise," R. Nicholas Burns, who served as ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush, told TPM. Burns is a career foreign service officer who served in the state department under Presidents Bill Clinton and Bush. He is now a professor at Harvard and serves as an adviser to Hillary Clinton.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday was forced to reassure NATO allies that the United States will support them after his party's nominee was remarkably hesitant about backing Baltic states in need of defense.

"I disagree with that," McConnell told Politico of Trump's comments. "NATO is the most important military alliance in world history. I want to reassure our NATO allies that if any of them get attacked, we'll be there to defend them."

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Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) did not mince words when responding to Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-TX) refusal to endorse Donald Trump during his speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention.

"I think what people saw last night is what we have seen in the Senate. No matter how conservative you are, you never can meet Ted’s standard," Coats told the IndyStar on Thursday. "He only thinks of himself, he doesn’t think about party. He’s a wrecking ball."

"He’s the most self-centered, narcissistic, pathological liar I’ve ever seen – and you can quote me on that," Coats added.

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John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, said Thursday morning he was "disturbed" by Donald Trump's recent remarks about NATO, according to the Palm Beach Post.

"When an American leader says 'I'll look at what the situation is after the Russians attack,' that is an open invitation to Vladimir Putin," Bolton said at an event for Florida delegates at the Republican convention, according to the Palm Beach Post.

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The head of NATO was forced to offer public assurances that the alliance remains firmly committed to its mission after Donald Trump expressed hesitance on Wednesday that the United States would honor NATO's security guarantees to its member countries.

"Solidarity among allies is a key value for NATO. This is good for European security and good for US security. We defend one another," NATO Secretary General‎ Jens Stoltenberg told BuzzFeed News in an interview published on Thursday.

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