Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. Before joining TPM, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She is a graduate of New York University, where she served as the deputy managing editor of NYU's student newspaper, the Washington Square News. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) underdog gubernatorial campaign latched on to growing anti-Syrian refugee sentiment in the final days before Saturday's runoff election.

But in the process, Vitter tapped into rampant paranoia about a "missing" refugee that led to threats being made against a Catholic charity organization in charge of resettling Syrians in Louisiana—one that has a connection to his own wife.

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There is no shortage of conspiracy theories surrounding Barack Obama's presidency: some people believe he was born in Kenya, some believe he's secretly a practicing Muslim and others see his gun control efforts as a prelude to mandatory gun confiscation.

And those are just a few examples. But Obama really gets a kick out of one fever swamp dream in particular: the notion that he planned to use the "Jade Helm 15" military training exercise as a cover to implement martial law and stay in office for a third term.

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Dr. Ben Carson insisted last week that he had “better sources” than the U.S. government after Obama administration officials said there was no evidence to support his claims that the Chinese military was getting involved in Syria.

But what are those sources, exactly?

Carson's campaign has been coy about where the retired neurosurgeon is getting his advice on foreign policy, so far identifying a single confidante on national security: retired Maj. Gen. Robert Dees. When Yahoo News' Katie Couric on Friday asked Carson who was telling him about China's presence in Syria, Carson pointed to Dees and "some CIA people who know a lot of stuff."

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