Hunter Walker

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

Articles by Hunter

Anthony Weiner made the first public appearance of his mayoral bid in Manhattan Thursday morning. Since his use of Twitter led to the scandal that saw him resign from the House of Representatives in 2011, TPM asked if he has anyone managing social media on his campaign.

"What's that?" Weiner asked.

We explained that we were referring to his Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages. 

"I know, I was being funny," Weiner said, before adding, "I don't know." 


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Weiner said there were  two occasions he wished he was back in Washington -- when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and last summer when a group of conservative members of Congress headed by Michele Bachmann (R-MN) accused his wife, Huma Abedin, and her family of having ties to Muslim extremists:

"The only two times I really missed being in Congress were, obviously, Hurricane Sandy where so much of my district was hit so hard. ... I mean it was a great regret watching places like Manhattan Beach and Sheepshead Bay and, obviously, the Rockaways. And frankly, I felt that, if I was there, I could have been helpful. And so, that was one time and the other time was when there was an outrageous attack on my wife by members of Congress accusing her of all kinds of things. And I couldn't help thinking that, if I were there in that chamber, Michele Bachmann and her like might not have done that type of thing and her and her family wouldnt have been dragged through that process as they were."

New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro followed up by asking Weiner if he called Bachmann during the incident. 

"No, I didn't," Weiner said. 

([Photo: TPM) 

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Anthony Weiner's announcement of his long-rumored mayoral campaign sparked a media frenzy, but he managed to avoid seeing his face plastered on the front pages of the two tabloid newspapers that relentlessly lampooned him during the 2011 Twitter photo scandal that ended his congressional career. By launching his bid via a video posted on his website around midnight Wednesday Weiner prevented the New York Daily News and New York Post from featuring him and lewd puns on their covers, leaving staffers at the papers convinced it was a deliberate dodge.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation's Boston field office released a brief statement regarding reports an FBI agent shot and killed a man in Florida who was being questioned in conjunction with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation Wednesday morning:

"The FBI is currently reviewing a shooting incident involving an FBI Special Agent. Based on preliminary information, the incident occurred in Orlando, Florida during the early morning hours of 5/22/2013. The agent, two Massachusetts State Police troopers, and other law enforcement personnel were interviewing an individual in connection with the Boston Marathon bombing investigation when a violent confrontation was initiated by the individual. During the confrontation, the individual was killed and the agent sustained non-life threatening injuries. As this incident is under review, we have no further details at this time."

Though the FBI confirmed the man was killed it did not identify him by name. Multiple media outlets including ABC News and the Orlando Sentinel have reported he was a man named Ibragim Todashev who knew deceased bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev through MMA fighting. NBC News and ABC News have also reported the FBI agent was the one who shot Todashev. 


(Updated 11:19 AM)

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After the December killings in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association's chief lambasted the the evils of violent movies and video games, saying they, rather than guns, were a source of the nation's woes.

Now, less than six months later, the NRA's "flagship publication," American Rifleman, is celebrating cinematic savagery with a list of the top 10 "coolest gun movies" that unabashedly praises Hollywood depictions of death and crime.

"Who has not dreamed of having the power and respect of Michael Corleone? That he built his empire through violence is only that much more alluring," the magazine's Associate Online Shooting Editor Paul Rackley wrote in his summary of "The Godfather."

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Update: May 21, 2013 10:54 AM

In a scathing new report Monday, the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General accused onetime Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke of leaking confidential documents to a reporter in a politically-motivated attempt to "undermine" a whistleblower who helped spark the investigation into the "Fast and Furious" operation.

Burke, a former aide to Janet Napolitano while she was Arizona governor and then secretary of Homeland Security, was appointed as U.S. attorney by President Obama in 2009. He resigned as he was initially being questioned about the leak in 2011.

The Inspector General report described Burke's conduct as "wholly unbefitting a U.S. Attorney" and referred the case for for possible disciplinary proceedings by the state bar in Arizona. The inspector general found it particularly egregious that Burke's alleged leak came shortly after he was reprimanded for another leak, to the New York Times, involving the controversial Fast And Furious operation.

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Tom Sullivan said he was just trying to show someone a few photos of his son.

Alex Sullivan, 27, was one of the young men killed last year in the Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting, and his father wanted a high-ranking Republican lawmaker to know what gun violence had taken away from him.

So this week, Tom Sullivan went to a forum being held by Denver Post. State Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman was there answering questions about the recent legislative session in which several gun control measures were debated and passed.

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In the face of a fresh attack on Friday, Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) continued to imply that he agrees with those who support expanding background checks for gun purchases despite voting against a measure last month that would have done just that.

Flake was hit with the latest ad unveiled by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's pro-gun control group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, that featured the mother of a young man killed in last year's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colo. The ad criticized Flake for breaking a promise he made to the mother to support expanded background checks.

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