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Cristina Cabrera

Cristina Cabrera is the social media editor at TPM based in New York. Previously, she worked for Vocativ and interned at USA Today and New York 1 News. She received her B.A at NYU. Follow her on Twitter @crismcabrera

Articles by Cristina

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) said on Saturday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly should apologize to the nation for his false claims about her speech at a federal building ceremony.

“General Kelly owes the nation an apology,” Wilson tweeted. “When he lied about me, he lied to the American public.”

The Florida Democrat’s biting remark comes about a month after a hostile back-and-forth with Kelly, who claimed Wilson had bragged about getting the funding for a federal building during her speech at the building’s dedication ceremony in 2015.

Wilson slammed Kelly’s comments as a “lie,” and shortly afterwards, the Sun Sentinel backed her up with a video that proved Kelly’s claims were false and that the congresswoman hadn’t mentioned funding at all, in fact.

The entire debacle was sparked by the controversy over President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of recently-fallen Sgt. La David T. Johnson in October.

Wilson, a family friend to the Johnsons and who was present for the call, had said Trump didn’t even mention the soldier’s name and told the widow that Johnson “knew what what he was signing up for.”

The widow was left in tears, according to Wilson.

Trump vehemently denied her account of the call multiple times, and Kelly took to the podium during a White House press briefing to berate the Democrat for both going public with the call and for supposedly boasting about the building funds.

Despite the video, the White House doubled down on Kelly’s comments, and Kelly himself told Fox host Laura Ingraham that he has no plans to apologize.

“Never,” Kelly said. “I’ll apologize if I need to. But for something like this, absolutely not. I stand by my comments.”

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Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) isn’t beating around the bush.

The Arizona senator was caught telling Mesa Mayor John Giles on a live mic, “If we become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast” during a Friday night event.

Apparently having zero regrets about his remark, Flake tweeted on Saturday, “No news here. I’ve been saying this to anyone who will listen.”

It’s true that Flake has been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump, one of very few within the Republican party, which culminated in a withering retirement speech aimed at the party leader on October 24.

“When the next generation asks us, ‘Why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up?’ What are we going to say?” he asked. “Mr. President, I rise today to say, enough.”

In response to the speech, the White House said Flake’s retirement is “probably a good move.”

Flake has also spoken out against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces a growing number of accusations alleging sexual assault and misconduct with teenage girls.

“Just to be clear. If the choice is between Roy Moore and a Democrat, I would run to the polling place to vote for the Democrat,” Flake tweeted.

Watch the video of the hot mic moment below:

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Montana congressman Greg Gianforte (R-MT) misled the police when he was being interviewed for bodyslamming a reporter during his election campaign, according to newly-released documents of the investigation.

In his interview with a Gallatin County police sergeant on May 24, Gianforte blamed the incident on Ben Jacobs, the Guardian reporter he assaulted, and claimed that Jacobs had “started interrogating in a very intensive way.”

He then told the sergeant, “I probably shouldn’t do it, but I reached out for his phone…he grabbed my wrist, he spun and we ended up on the floor…so he pulled me down on top of him.”

Gianforte’s campaign had released a statement that day giving the same story.

Gianforte’s version of events contradicted that of Jacobs, who said that the then-candidate had bodyslammed him and broke his glasses in response to a question about Obamacare repeal. Several Fox reporters who were at the scene confirmed Jacobs’ story, and said that the reporter hadn’t been aggressive at all.

Gianforte’s spokesman released a statement to the Associated Press that pushed back against the documents’ revelations, insisting that “no one was misled.”

“Greg took responsibility for his actions and is focused on serving the people of Montana,” said the spokesman.

Questions about Gianforte’s misleading account were met with a shrug from Gallatin County Attorney Marty Lambert, who said, “It is not a crime per se to lie to the cops.”

“When the police are investigating a case, suspects of crimes will say misleading things, and apparently that’s exactly what happened here on the part of both Mr. Gianforte and his campaign,” Lambert, a Republican, told the Associated Press.

In any case, Gianforte went on to win Montana’s special election the very day after the assault. He apologized to Jacobs and was later sentenced to 40 hours of community service after pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault.

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President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning to rail against former election opponent Hillary Clinton, calling her “the worst (and biggest) loser of all time.”

Trump was likely attacking Clinton over a Mother Jones interview that was published on Friday, during which she discussed the 2016 election and said that “there are lots of questions about its legitimacy” due to Russian interference and voter suppression.

That likely struck a nerve with the President, who is quick to defend his electoral victory and often lashes out against charges that Russian election meddling got him to the Oval Office.

Trump also tells Clinton to “get on with your life,” though POTUS himself periodically circles back to the election and Clinton, usually to push back on reports of his aides and campaign staffers’ contacts with Russia. He even went as far as suggesting that the Department of Justice investigate his former opponent and the Democrats.

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President Donald Trump announced on Friday evening that he would put on hold the Interior Department’s controversial decision to lift two elephant trophy bans.

“Put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts,” he tweeted. “Under study for years. Will update soon with Secretary Zinke. Thank you!”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued his own statement later on Friday confirming Trump’s announcement.

“President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical,” he said. “As a result, in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, the issuing of permits is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed.”

The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service announced on November 16 that it was rolling back an Obama-era ban preventing the import of hunted elephants in Zimbabwe. A similar ban had also been lifted for hunted elephants in Zambia.

The decision was met with overwhelming backlash, with both liberals and conservatives slamming the move as needlessly cruel and inhumane. The notorious photos of the President’s sons posing with a dead leopard and a dismembered tail of a elephant from their hunting expeditions didn’t help.

According to the Service, it can allow such imports “only when the killing of the animal will enhance the survival of the species.” African elephants are protected as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, and critics questioned the Interior Department’s defense that allowing hunters to kill more of them would enhance their survival.

On Saturday, Trump seemed to enjoy the positive response to his announcement, re-tweeting Piers Morgan and Greta Van Susteren thanking him for his decision.

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The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) dropped its fundraising agreement with Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore on Friday.

Politico noted that the NRSC was no longer listed as a part of a joint fundraising committee in the Federal Election Commission filings for Moore’s campaign. The Alabama Republican Party and the Republican National Committee remain listed.

The move came amid Thursday’s bombshell report from the Washington Post detailing an alleged sexual encounter Moore initiated with a 14-year-old girl, along with three other relationships he pursued with girls between the ages of 16 and 18.

Moore has denied the accusations, and several top Alabama Republicans immediately rallied to his defense.

Yet establishment Republicans on the Hill, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), have spoken out against Moore – albeit while notably repeating “if it’s true” – following the report.

“If these allegations are true, he must step aside,” said McConnell. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) voiced a similar sentiment, saying “If it is true, I don’t think his candidacy is sustainable.”

A more forceful response came from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who demanded that Moore drop out immediately due to the “deeply disturbing and disqualifying” allegations.

The White House described the charges as a “mere allegation,” but said they believe Moore will “do the right thing and step aside” if the accusations are true.

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State Rep. Ed Henry (R) thinks that the women accusing GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of pursuing sexual relationships with them as teens are not only lying, but should also face prosecution.

“I think someone should prosecute and go after them,” Henry told the Cullman Times on Thursday evening. “You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion.”

Henry, who co-chaired President Donald Trump’s Alabama campaign, had similarly attacked the accusers in an interview with TPM, saying the allegations were “very opportunistic” and that the women “are just looking for their chance to get on some liberal talk show.”

The women need to provide photographic evidence of the encounters, Henry said. “They got some pictures? That’ll do.”

Further piling blame on the women, the state representative argued that their delay in making their stories public rendered them suspect.

“If you believe for a second that any of these are true then shame on these women for not coming forward in the last 30 years,” Henry told TPM. “It’s not like this guy hasn’t been in the limelight for decades.”

On Thursday, the Washington Post dropped an explosive report in which Alabama resident Leigh Corfman accused Moore of initiating a sexual encounter when she was only 14 years old. Three other women told the Post that Moore pursued sexual relationships with them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.

The alleged encounter and relationships date back about 40 years, when Moore was in his thirties. The Senate nominee has vehemently denied the accusations.

Henry isn’t alone; a number of his Republican colleagues in Alabama’s state legislature were quick to defend Moore, who served as an Alabama Supreme Court justice before getting kicked off the bench for ordering judges to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

“I think it’s just a bunch of bull,” said Perry Hooper Jr., Trump’s other Alabama campaign chairman.

The Post reports that the women were initially reluctant to come forward, but ultimately decided it was important for people to know about their experiences.

“I have prayed over this,” Corfman told the Post. “All I know is that I can’t sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed.”

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Former congressman and 2018 House hopeful Michael Grimm (R-NY), formerly known as inmate No. 83479-053, wants everyone know that President Donald Trump really does have big hands. “Massive hands,” in fact.

In an interview with New York Magazine, Grimm mentioned meeting Trump at his Trump Tower office and recalled being awestruck by the President’s hands and physical size in general.

“I remember saying to myself, I never realized what a large man — I mean stature-wise, he’s a big man, with massive hands,” Grimm said. He then outstretched his own hands in demonstration as he explained, “I don’t have small hands, but when I shook hands with him, the first time I shook hands with him, I realized he was a big man.”

The former congressman emphatically claimed that he was being completely honest. “I thought he had a big, strong grip. I’m dead serious,” he insisted.

Grimm represented Staten Island in Congress before he pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2015, leading to a seven-month stint in prison. He is also known for threatening to throw a NY1 reporter off a balcony.

In September, Grimm announced that he would run for his old seat. His campaign has hitched onto the #MAGA train, which included hiring a former Trump campaign adviser and a meeting with ex-White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. Since leaving the White House, Bannon has pledged to target the Republican establishment by backing far-right candidates.

Hand size has proven to be a sensitive topic for POTUS.

After Spy magazine called Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian” in 1986, the former editors said that to this day, he repeatedly sends them pictures of his hands with his fingers circled by a gold Sharpie and a defiant message: “See, not so short.”

He insisted to the Washington Post editorial board that he has “normal hands,” and a verbal sparring match with Marco Rubio during a GOP debate led to Trump claiming “there is no problem” with both the size of his hands and his penis. He even mentioned it while doing Hurricane Harvey relief work.

However, it’s not clear whether Grimm’s ringing endorsement of Trump’s hand size will be enough to get a boost from the man himself. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told New York Magazine that “[w]e have nothing to announce at this time” regarding Grimm’s candidacy.

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A shooting on Sunday night at a Las Vegas music festival has left at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured. Vegas police say they believe the suspected shooter, identified as Stephen Craig Paddock, fatally shot himself before the police could enter his hotel room.

Videos from the scene showed the chaos as people ran or ducked from the spray of bullets coming from the suspect, who was firing from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Warning: Content may be disturbing.

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Fans of the “horrorcore” hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse, also known as Juggalos, marched into the nation’s capital on Saturday to protest being labeled as a gang by the FBI.

“This is the day that we are asking every single Juggalo to join us in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., to make a collective statement from the Juggalo Family to the world about what we are and what we are not,” the march organizers declared on the official site.

Distinguished by heavily painted faces that pay tribute to the band’s “horror clown” theme, Juggalos were classified as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang” by the FBI in 2011. The agency’s report cited drug use and “their general destructive and violent nature.”

Juggalos, named after one of the band’s songs called “The Juggla,” claim the FBI’s label has led to discrimination and harassment.

“Being labeled a gang member can be a permanent stain on an individual’s life, since it will come up in a simple background check every single time,” wrote the march organizers. “Whether that person is applying for a job, trying to adopt a child, join the armed forces, or attempting to acquire housing … their name may pop up as being “gang-affiliated,” even if that person has never been charged with any kind of crime.”

USA Today reports that about 1,000 people were gathered at the Washington Monument, which included attendees of a pro-Trump rally held on the same day called the “Mother Of All Rallies.” However, there were no reports of conflict between the two groups.

Several videos of the Juggalo march circulating online show protesters shouting “stop censorship” and “the FBI fucked up, music is not a crime!

“Juggalos are contributing members of society. Some of us are medics, military folks, we are the people who work at the cash register, who save your lives at the hospital,” one Jugalette (a female Juggalo) told the Hill.

According to Mic’s Jack Smith, the D.C chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America group joined the Juggalos.

The Insane Clown Posse filed a lawsuit against both the FBI and the Justice Department in 2014, demanding for the Juggalos to be removed from the list. A judge threw out the case, but the band won in a federal appeals court the following year.

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