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Tom Kludt

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Tom

Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker on Tuesday said he intends to make a decision on whether to run in the state's 2013 gubernatorial race "as quickly as possible," but he won't be influenced by the news that popular Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) will seek re-election. 

"I'm giving a run for governor thorough consideration," Booker said in an interview with The Star-Ledger. "I will make a decision as quickly as possible. Critical to my decision is not the difficulties of the politics or positioning in polls but choosing the position — mayor, governor, U.S. senator or one outside of electoral politics — from which I can make the best contributions to the city and state I love."

A poll from Quinnipiac University out Tuesday suggested that Christie would make for a formidable foe, with 72 percent of New Jersey voters currently approving of the job he is doing as governor.

In an interview with the website TVNewser on Tuesday, Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente stood by his claim that author Tom Ricks offered a private apology following his appearance on the network.

Ricks denied that he ever expressed contrition following his interview on Monday, during which the Pulitzer Prize winner sharply criticized Fox's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi.

“I’m surprised by the General’s utter dishonesty,” Clemente said, as quoted by TVNewser. “I’ll refresh his memory – what he said following the segment was, ‘Sorry… I’m tired from a non-stop book tour.’ Perhaps now he can finally get some rest.”

Ricks is not a military general, although Clemente may have been making a reference to the title of the author's latest book, "The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today."

 

Update: This post has been changed to correct the name of the book. The post and headline have also been updated to clarify that Clemente accused Ricks of dishonesty and that he may have been referring to Ricks' book in his quote.

 

Author and reporter Tom Ricks on Tuesday kept the heat on Fox News Channel after an executive for the network claimed in an interview that the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist apologized in private for his sharp criticism of Fox's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi.

FNC executive vice president Michael Clemente told the Hollywood Reporter that Ricks apologized behind closed doors following his appearance on the network on Monday, something the Ricks denied ever took place. In an interview with Politico's Mackenzie Weinger on Tuesday, Ricks gave an even more critical assessment of Clemente's claims, as well as the journalistic practices of both Fox and the Hollywood Reporter.

“Clemente is making it up, and it is sloppy of Hollywood Reporter to not ask him for specifics (what exactly am I alleged to have said?) and also to seek a response from me,” Ricks wrote via email. “Why are they doing this? Because their MO is that when the facts aren’t on their side, they attack the person.”

Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente on Monday responded to the much-discussed interview with Tom Ricks, claiming that the Pulitizer Prize winner apologized privately for criticizing the network's coverage of the September attack in Benghazi, Libya. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Clemente accused Ricks of using the interview to generate publicity for his new book, The Generals. Clemente also seemed to take exception to the lack of public contrition from Ricks.

“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book," Clemente told THR via email. "He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

But that's news to Ricks, who told THR in his own email that he never offered an apology to Fox — privately or publicly.

"Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I'd be interested to know," Ricks said. "Frankly, I don't remember any such apology."

Watch the exchange between Ricks and Scott:

 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) elaborated on his decision to seek a second term during a news briefing on Monday, saying that he's "in this for the long haul" and highlighting the work that remains following Superstorm Sandy.

"It would be wrong for me to leave now. I don't want to leave now," Christie said. "We have a job to do. That job won't be finished by next year. The public needs to know that I'm in this for the long haul, that the person who has helped to lead them through the initial crisis wants to help lead them through the rebuilding and restoration of our state."

Despite the incumbent's entrance in the race, the 2013 New Jersey governor's campaign has not fully taken shape. Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker said that he hoped to make a decision on whether to run by December, but Sandy delayed his plans. poll from Quinnipiac University out Tuesday indicated that Christie will be a tough out, with 72 percent of New Jersey voters approving of the job he is doing as governor.

The body of former Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, was exhumed in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, the Washington Post reports

Authorities are opening an inquiry into Arafat's death after evidence surfaced in July suggesting he may have actually been poisoned.

 

Police fired tear gas and protesters threw rocks in the streets of Cairo on Tuesday, the Associated Press reports

The clash took place on a street between the U.S. Embassy and Tahrir Square, hours before a planned demonstration by opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Protesters have been gathered in Tahrir Square since Friday to protest Morsi's controversial power grab. On Monday, Morsi agreed to limits to his decree, which he announced last week.

The date for the special election to fill the House seat being vacated by Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) was set for March 19 on Monday, but the state's governor hopes to ultimately move it back to coincide with municipal elections already planned for April 9, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

A spokeswoman for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) told the Sun-Times that holding the special election on the same date as the other elections will save the state money. Former Illinois Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D) announced Monday that she will pursue Jackson's seat. 

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday agreed to limits to his controversial decree that set off a wave of protests in the country, the New York Times reports.

According to the Times, Morsi reached an agreement with judicial authorities that will subject most of his actions to "review by the courts." Morsi's original decree, made last week, would have exempted his edicts from any judicial review. 

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