Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

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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Ronald Beasley Chaney III didn't have a good feeling about a planned meeting to discuss weapons purchases with an illegal arms dealer.

"It just sounds like, it sounds like ATF to me. It sounds like a fucking Fed operation...infiltrate the fucking, you know, our fucking people..." Chaney was recorded saying on Oct. 25, according to a criminal complaint.

He couldn't know it at the time, but Chaney was right.

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