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

President Donald Trump on Saturday morning praised the “perfectly executed” airstrike in Syria coordinated by American, British, and French forces late Friday night.

“Thank you to France and the United Kingdom for their wisdom and the power of their fine Military,” Trump tweeted. “Could not have had a better result. Mission Accomplished!”

In a following tweet, Trump said he was “so proud of our great Military.”

The U.S. and its allies coordinated three airstrikes targeting the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons facilities in response to the regime’s alleged chemical attacks in the rebel-occupied town of Douma earlier this month.

Russian president Vladimir Putin, a key Syria ally, condemned the strikes as an “act of aggression against a sovereign state that is on the frontline of the fight against terrorism.” Russia had previously threatened to shoot down any American missiles aimed at Syria.

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The Atlantic has fired conservative columnist Kevin Williamson, who tweeted that women who have abortions should be hanged.

“Late yesterday afternoon, information came to our attention that has caused us to reconsider this relationship,” Atlantic editor-in-chief Goldberg wrote in a memo to employees on Thursday. “Specifically, the subject of one of Kevin’s most controversial tweets was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion.”

He added: “The language he used in this podcast—and in my conversations with him in recent days—made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views.”

Goldberg had previously responded to the backlash over Williams’ hiring by defending his decision, saying that “I don’t think that taking a person’s worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation is the best journalistic practice.”

On Wednesday, MediaMatters resurfaced a National Review podcast from 2014 in which Williamson said he “would totally go with treating [abortion] like any other crime, up to and including hanging,” and repeated the sentiment several times throughout.

The Atlantic provided TPM with Goldberg’s full letter below:

Dear All,

Last week, I wrote you about our decision to hire Kevin Williamson. In that note, I mentioned my belief that Kevin would represent an important addition to our roster of Ideas columnists, and I addressed the controversy surrounding some of his past tweeting and writing. I expressed my belief that no one’s life work should be judged by an intemperate tweet, and that such an episode should not necessarily stop someone from having a fruitful career at The Atlantic.

Late yesterday afternoon, information came to our attention that has caused us to reconsider this relationship. Specifically, the subject of one of Kevin’s most controversial tweets was also a centerpiece of a podcast discussion in which Kevin explained his views on the subject of the death penalty and abortion. The language he used in this podcast—and in my conversations with him in recent days—made it clear that the original tweet did, in fact, represent his carefully considered views. The tweet was not merely an impulsive, decontextualized, heat-of-the-moment post, as Kevin had explained it. Furthermore, the language used in the podcast was callous and violent. This runs contrary to The Atlantic’s tradition of respectful, well-reasoned debate, and to the values of our workplace.

Kevin is a gifted writer, and he has been nothing but professional in all of our interactions. But I have come to the conclusion that The Atlantic is not the best fit for his talents, and so we are parting ways.

We remain committed to grappling with complex moral issues in our journalism. Some of our colleagues are pro-life, and some are pro-choice; we have pro-death-penalty and anti-death-penalty writers; we have liberals and conservatives. We obviously understood that Kevin himself is pro-life when we asked him to write for us. This is not about Kevin’s views on abortion.

We are striving here to be a big-tent journalism organization at a time of national fracturing. We will continue to build a newsroom that is, as The Atlantic’s founding manifesto states, “of no party or clique.” We are also an organization that values a spirit of generosity and collegiality. We must strive to uphold that standard as well.


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Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) on Tuesday said that the teachers currently protesting for increases in school funding were like “a teenage kid that wants a better car.”

Teachers statewide have been on strike and protesting in front of the Capitol since Monday, forcing hundreds of schools to close for three days in a row. Pointing to shabby education materials and Oklahoma’s ranking as 49th in teacher pay, they demand higher wages and more school funding.

Last week, Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled legislature passed a bill that would increase the average teacher salary by about $6,000 and bring an extra $50 million for school funding, falling far short of the $200 million the teachers were asking for.

“Teachers want more, but it’s kinda like having a teenage kid that wants a better car,” Fallin told CBS correspondent Omar Villafranca.

Villafranca pointed out that “their car has been taken away over the last 10 years.”

“Well, it has been a difficult time,” Fallin responded. “And that’s why I’m very proud that this year we were able to get something done for our teachers.”

Vox reporter Alexia Campbell posted several pictures showing the crumbling textbooks students are forced to use:

Villafranca tweeted on Wednesday that Fallin had also said “outside groups” were involved in the protests, including “ANTIFA,” a left-leaning anti-fascist group often disparaged by conservatives.

The governor’s office did not respond to TPM’s request for clarification on her comments.

h/t Tulsa World.

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Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI) has scrubbed all traces of his pro-gun stance and A/A+ rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) from his campaign site.

The Detroit News reported on the change Wednesday, days after the massive nationwide March For Our Lives rallies that called for tighter gun control measures in wake of the Parkland high school shooting.

The move could signal at least one Republican’s concern that the gun group’s mark of approval may not go over well with voters amid the burgeoning gun control movement.

Campaign spokesman Stu Standler told TPM in an email that the change merely “reflects an update for a Congressman who has served for 2 terms and has worked on several pieces of legislation that have been signed into law and are helping the community,” and that “Mike Bishop has not changed positions on these issues.”

“The last version of the website was written when Mike Bishop was a candidate in 2014 and never served in Congress,” Standler added.

Bishop’s district is one of the Democrats’ targets in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program for the 2018 midterms, and the Detroit News noted that Democratic candidate Elissa Slotkin raised more money than Bishop during the last two quarters of 2017.

This story has been updated to include the campaign’s statement to TPM.

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Fox News host Laura Ingraham apologized to Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg on Thursday “for any upset or hurt” after she mocked the student’s GPA and his rejection from several colleges.

“On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland,” Ingraham tweeted.

Hogg dismissed the apology, however, telling the Fox host that “an apology in an effort just to save your advertisers is not enough.”

“I will only accept your apology only if you denounce the way your network has treated my friends and I in this fight,” he wrote in a tweet. “It’s time to love thy neighbor, not mudsling at children.”

On Wednesday, Ingraham tweeted a Daily Wire story about Hogg being rejected from four colleges he applied to, saying, “David Hogg Rejected By Four Colleges To Which He Applied and whines about it. (Dinged by UCLA with a 4.1 GPA…totally predictable given acceptance rates.)”

Where Ingraham got 4.1 was unclear. As the article she linked to states, Hogg’s GPA is 4.2.

The teen responded by asking Ingraham who her biggest advertisers were.

“Asking for a friend. #BoycottingIngramAdverts” he tweeted. He later posted a list of companies for his followers to contact.

Several advertisers subsequently announced they were pulling their ads from Ingraham’s show.

This story has been updated.

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Atlantic editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg earlier this week defended his decision to hire conservative columnist Kevin Williamson, who once tweeted that women who’d had abortions should be hanged.

“I don’t think that taking a person’s worst tweets, or assertions, in isolation is the best journalistic practice,” Goldberg said in a memo sent to the Atlantic staff, which Slate published on Tuesday. “I have read most, or much, of what he has written; some of his critics have not done the same.”

The Atlantic did not immediately respond to TPM’s request to obtain Goldberg’s full memo.

Goldberg’s memo came after the publication was criticized for bringing on such an extreme figure in an effort to make its newsroom “ideologically diverse.”

“By hiring Williamson, The Atlantic is sending a clear message: That the worst kind of harassment and intimidation women face — extremism that has been directly linked to real life violence — is acceptable,” Guardian columnist Jessica Valenti wrote in a Medium post.

In the memo, Goldberg stated that it’s “my mission to make sure that we outdo our industry in achieving gender equality,” a claim critics say is difficult to square with this latest hire, which could be seen as disregarding any female Atlantic employee who may or may not have had the procedure Williamson believes should subject her to execution.

Williamson’s tweet wasn’t his only controversial “assertion.” The former National Review writer also described a black child as a “three-fifths-scale Snoop Dog” while comparing him to a primate, and insisted trans actress Laverne Cox “is not a woman.”

Williamson later defended his description of the black child.

Read the full memo at Slate.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials deported an army veteran who had served two tours of duty in Afghanistan on Friday following a PTSD-related drug conviction.

Miguel Perez Jr., pictured above in a photo held by his father, was a legal permanent resident living in Chicago. According to CNN, he arrived in the U.S at age 8 from Mexico and had a green card. He faced deportation after being sentenced to prison in 2010 for dealing cocaine while he was struggling with drug addiction — which he says came as a result of PTSD from serving in the army.

Perez retroactively applied for legal citizenship, pointing to both his military service and the danger he would encounter at the hands of Mexican drug cartels. He even went on a hunger strike to protest his deportation. However, the courts rejected his argument in January, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Perez’s lawyer told NBC News that Perez was “dumped in one of the most dangerous areas of the Mexican border” without any money.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) blasted the move, saying: “This is a deplorable way to treat a veteran who risked his life in combat for our nation.”

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Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) defended one of his staffers on Monday after a high school student’s profanity-laced call led the staffer to report the call to the student’s school, resulting in the student’s suspension.

“I’m not apologizing because my guy accurately described what happened in the phone call,” Amodei told the Nevada Independent.

17-year-old Noah Christiansen called Amodei’s office during Wednesday’s national school walkout to say that lawmakers needed to “get off their fucking asses” and do something about gun violence, such as raising the minimum age to purchase firearms.

The staffer who took the call contacted the principal of Christiansen’s high school about the incident, who then slapped the student with a two-day suspension for “disrespectful language.” Christiansen was also barred from assuming his role as elected class secretary-treasurer.

Amodei, a strong gun rights supporter, denied the suspension was an act of retaliation or a stifling of the student’s First Amendment rights, saying that “what the principal decided to do is, I mean, that’s what principals get paid for.”

The ACLU of Nevada and Christiansen are pushing for the school to wipe the suspension from his record and allow him to serve his elected class position, along with an apology from Amodei and the school administrators.

“I’m smart enough to use better words than of course the f-word,” Christiansen told the Independent. “But, at the same time, even if I do want to use words and use them over and over again, it’s my right to do so.”

“It is unbelievable that a constituent should have to worry about calling a congressional office to share their opinions because your congressman’s office might retaliate against you by reporting you to your school or place of employment,” said Nevada ACLU executive director Tod Story in a statement.

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A California teacher trained in firearm use accidentally fired his gun during a class demonstration on gun safety on Tuesday, resulting in a student getting injured.

The teacher, identified by police as Dennis Alexander, offers a public safety class at Seaside High School in Seaside, California.

According to the Monterey County Weekly, Alexander’s gun accidentally fired as he was pointing it toward the ceiling during a firearm safety presentation. Bullet fragments ricocheted and struck a student in the neck, causing non-life threatening injuries.

The student was rushed to the hospital after school when his parents noticed blood on his shirt.

Alexander has been placed on administrative leave, according to a statement from the school. The statement said teacher was also a “reserve police officer.”

The school district superintendent told the Weekly that Alexander was not authorized to carry a firearm on campus.

This latest incident comes as President Donald Trump pushes for arming teachers as a solution for preventing school shootings.

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Days before President Trump announced his proposed steel tariffs, former Trump advisor Carl Icahn sold $31.3 million worth of stocks in a company that relies heavily on steel.

According to the SEC filings flagged by ThinkProgress, Icahn started selling off his stocks in Manitowoc Company Inc. between February 12 and February 22. Manitowoc, being a “global manufacturer of cranes and lifting solutions,” is naturally a large consumer of steel.

Trump announced plans to slap a 25% tariff on imported steel on March 1.

U.S manufacturing companies saw their shares plunge after POTUS’ announcement, including Manitowoc. The crane company fell by 6 percent.

Filings show that until February 12 of this year, Icahn had not actively traded his stocks in Manitowoc since January 2015.

A longtime friend to Trump, Icahn served as a “special advisor” to the President before resigning in August 2017 ahead of an incoming New Yorker story that outlined his attempts to use his position to help his investments.

On the same day Trump made the announcement, Icahn told CNBC’s Scott Wapner that he hasn’t “had much” interaction with Trump “in the last four or five months.”


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