David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

The Washington Post's Erik Wemple on Monday dug into the New York Review of Books' exclusive interview with "Misha," who was allegedly a mentor to Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.

Christian Caryl, who interviewed "Misha" and wrote it up for the NYRB, told the Post that he got a tip from Review editor Robert Silvers. He followed subsequent leads and eventually showed up at the man's address in Rhode Island and knocked.

Read Caryl's description of the interview with "Misha," whose actual name is Mikhail Allakhverdov, here

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Newt Gingrich opened up to TIME about the prospect of reviving the political talk show "Crossfire" on CNN, telling the magazine that the prospect is "serious enough that I feel comfortable telling you about it."

Gingrich, who is reportedly in talks with CNN to join former Obama campaign adviser Stephanie Cutter in relaunching the program, discussed two recent topics in the news that would make good fodder. From TIME's interview, published on Monday:

“People forget but for the first 10 years it was a very serious program,” he says of the Tom Braden and Pat Buchanan years. “I remember doing it as a junior member — it was a real workout. It was a destination for people to hear both sides discuss serious issues in an entertaining way.”


Musing about potential topics, Gingrich says, “the controversy over the FAA and even Syria would be great Crossfire.”

h/t Politico.

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Veteran NBA player Jason Collins, the first U.S. major league athlete to come out as gay, opened up to "Good Morning America" about the experience, telling George Stephanopoulos that he's surprised no one else came forward first.

"That's kind of mind-boggling," he said in the interview, which was set to air Tuesday on "GMA." "I think I talk about that. That, you know, I never set out to be the first."

Collins also addressed the huge response his announcement generated. Kobe Bryant, former President Bill Clinton, President Obama and many others celebrated Collins' decision.

"It's incredible," he said in the interview. "You just try to live an honest, genuine life and next thing you know you have the President calling you."

Read more from the interview here

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President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, including Obama's concern about the use of chemical weapons there, as well as the Boston Marathon bombing, according to a White House readout of the call between the two world leaders. 

Full details from the White House:

President Obama spoke by phone today with President Putin of Russia to convey his condolences on the tragic hospital fire outside of Moscow that killed dozens last week, and to reiterate his appreciation for the close cooperation that the United States has received from Russia on the Boston marathon attack.  The two Leaders discussed cooperation on counterterrorism and security issues going forward, including with respect to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.  President Obama and President Putin reviewed the situation in Syria, with President Obama underscoring concern over Syrian chemical weapons.  The Presidents agreed to stay in close consultation and instructed Secretary Kerry and Foreign Minister Lavrov to continue discussions on Syria.  Finally, both Presidents noted that they look forward to meeting in person in June at the time of the G-8 meeting in Northern Ireland and again in September for a bilateral Summit in Russia.

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday responded to one of President Obama's jokes from the weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner

Obama said at the dinner that even with his recent outreach to congressional Republicans, some people don't believe he reaches across the aisle enough. "'Why don't you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?' they ask," Obama said. "Really? Why don't you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?"

The Twitter account managed by McConnell's senate campaign tweeted a photo of the senator having a drink next to an empty chair, meant to represent Obama -- an allusion to Clint Eastwood's performance at the Republican National Convention. McConnell has a beer in front of him. A glass of red wine appears to be on the bar in front of the empty chair.

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"Good Morning America" has landed an interview with Jason Collins, the NBA center who came out as gay on Monday. ABC said in a statement that the interview will air on Tuesday. 

Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated op-ed, making him the first athlete in U.S. major league sports to do so. "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," he wrote in the piece.

"GMA" co-host George Stephanopoulos was soliciting questions on Monday afternoon on Twitter:


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White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday declined to comment on a New York Times article that reported bags of money from the CIA have been secretly delivered to the office of Afghan President Hamid Karzai for more than a decade. 

Carney referred reporters in the daily press briefing to the CIA for questions about the story and declined to answer several questions about the report's claims.




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A group of former members of Congress is scheduled to hear testimony this week on the existence of space aliens, the Detroit News reported on Monday. Former Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI) is presiding over the hearings, which have been sponsored by Paradigm Research Group, an organization that describes itself as a "political advocacy organization seeking an end to a 64-year, government imposed truth embargo regarding an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race." 

The hearings, the Detroit News said, will focus on "proving alien contact with Earth and a government effort to cover it up." They will be held through Friday, clocking in at around 30 hours.

Kilpatrick told the paper that she is waiting to hear the testimony before passing judgment on the topic of debate. The group is paying her about $20,000 for her services. The hearings are being held at the National Press Club in Washington.

Joining Kilpatrick are: Former Sen. Mike Gravel (D-AK) and former Reps. Reps. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Darlene Hooley (D-OR), Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) and Merril Cook (R-UT).

Read more here

h/t Political Wire.

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The pro-Hillary Clinton political group, "Ready for Hillary PAC," on Monday is scheduled to hold a rally in Washington, D.C. The "Bill for First Gentleman" rally is expected to take place before Bill and Chelsea Clinton attend an event in Washington, the group said in a written statement. 

Correction: This post originally stated that Hillary Clinton was accompanying Bill Clinton to the event. 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has conceded that he won't run for President if Hillary Clinton decides to launch a campaign in 2016, New York Post columnist Fred Dicker reported on Monday. 

A Cuomo administration source told the columnist, "The governor has told people in recent weeks that there’s not a chance for him to run if Hillary gets in the race because she’ll easily wrap up the Democratic nomination."

As the New York Times reported last month, supporters and donors are eagerly awaiting the former secretary of state's decision. And some are urging her to make up her mind soon, in case another candidate, such as Vice President Joe Biden, enters the fray. 

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