Kate Riga

Kate Riga is a news writer for Talking Points Memo based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Kate was the political reporter for The Southampton Press. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and a native of Philadelphia.

Articles by Kate

Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren, who boasts an extensive record of controversial comments, attracted attention Monday for her colorful depiction of San Francisco.

Many are … skeptical.

Mediaite gathered some of the best responses.

From a ProPublica reporter:

From a comedian:

That’s another city crossed off Lahren’s list, after she received an icy reception in Minneapolis in May.

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This weekend, President Donald Trump’s wrath was far-flung. From environmental laws to the press to China, all the usual suspects took heat. But upon closer inspection of his Twitter outrage, three of his insults highlight the President’s insidious tendency to specifically attack the intelligence of black critics he doesn’t like.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In one late night Friday tweet, Trump insulted both basketball legend LeBron James and CNN host Don Lemon.

The tweet was a reaction to James’ interview with Lemon on Monday (re-aired on Friday) about the athlete’s new school, during which James said he would “never sit across from Trump,” adding that he would “sit across from Barack (Obama) though.”

Along with the new, incendiary insults, Trump also leaned on one of his old favorites during a rally in Ohio on Saturday, calling Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) “a seriously low IQ person.”

The comments sparked a retaliatory firestorm, with many calling out the racism of Trump’s words.

From a senior fellow of the conservative Ethics and Public Policy Center think tank, who served in three Republican administrations:

From a sports journalist at ESPN:

From an NBA player:

Even some of Trump’s allies distanced themselves from his comments.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation,” said first lady Melania Trump through her spokeswoman, adding that she would be open to visiting James’ new school.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) took on Trump’s age-old insult of Rep. Waters, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd on Sunday that “And, you know, a lot of things, for instance, you could say about Maxine Waters, but to indicate she’s not a bright person is not one of them. She is very smart and very calculating.”

He added that the GOP is “not anti-black.”

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After Russians successfully hacked into the United States’ electric utilities, giving them the power to trigger catastrophic blackouts throughout the country, officials are sounding the alarm and prepping punishments in case it happens again.

According to a Sunday Wall Street Journal report, in June, a group of presidential advisers warned that the U.S. should be stockpiling resources to prevent “mass migrations” in the case of a nationwide blackout caused by foreign hackers.

The privately-owned utility companies that run the three big electrical grids in the U.S. have reportedly said that they desperately need help from the federal government and the military to protect the technology.

Per the Wall Street Journal, punishments being discussed for those who hack U.S. utilities include indicting the known attackers, seeking help from other countries to find and arrest them and seizing their assets and sanctions.

Russians have used electricity blackouts as weapons before, against Ukraine in 2015 and 2016.

“We should be thinking about how we sustain society after a huge power outage,” said Terry Boston, a member of the President’s infrastructure council.

Read the rest of the report here.

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday that she does “not believe that journalists are the enemy of the people” after President Donald Trump tweeted his most aggressive attack of the fourth estate yet, calling journalists “dangerous,” “sick” people who could “cause a war.”

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Conway said of the tweet: “It refers to those [reporters] who aren’t always telling the truth and who are giving emotion over information. Who are talking more about their own egos than doing everyman interviews.”

She continued, in a notable break from her boss: “I don’t believe journalists are the enemy of the people.”

“I think some journalists are the enemy of the relevant, and the enemy of the news you can use,” she added.

Trump’s fusillade against the press has been in the spotlight lately, as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to deny that the reporters are enemies of the people during her White House press briefing last week.

Watch the interview here.

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Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said Sunday that if Special Counsel Robert Mueller subpoenas President Donald Trump to force a sit-down interview, the move would likely end in a Supreme Court battle.

“If you get a subpoena, you file what’s called a motion to quash,” Sekulow said to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “That will be argued at the District Court, then it would go to the Court of Appeals, then it would go to the Supreme Court of the United States. From the Supreme Court of the United States, it goes back down to the lower courts again.”

“A subpoena for live testimony has never been tested in court as to a President of the United States, and there is a lot of language, articles and precedents against that,” he added.

During the same bombshell interview, Sekulow admitted that he had “bad information” when he claimed last year that Trump was not involved in the writing of a misleading statement about the infamous Trump Tower meeting.

Watch the interview here.

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Senate Democrats are planning to probe Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s close, long relationship with the now disgraced former Judge Alex Kozinski, who was forced from the influential 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after more than a dozen women came forward with sexual harassment accusations.

According to a Monday Politico report, Kavanaugh clerked for Kozinski in the early 1990s and considers the former judge an important mentor.

The White House, aware that the issue would likely come up during the confirmation battle, has reportedly said that Kavanaugh “had never heard any allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment.”

Per Politico, Kozinski’s actions over the years include sending out sometimes raunchy and sexually explicit jokes to an email list of law clerks, attorneys and judges called the “Easy Rider Gag List,” maintaining a publicly accessible website featuring pornographic material, and, according to multiple women who worked with him, public unwanted groping and kissing.

Democrats will push to discover if Kavanaugh actually was aware of Kozinski’s behavior to bring up questions of his complicity.

In addition, they will publicly unpack what the relationship means in the #MeToo era and what is says about Kavanaugh’s likely reaction to the reckoning with sexual harassment Kozinski’s actions have catalyzed within the judiciary.

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Some political figures loom large in history. They take on mythic proportions as their legacies transcend the centuries. Leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt and Thurgood Marshall have earned spots in the pantheon of American heroes.

One of these titans has been invoked in the congressional race in Virginia’s fifth district. His shadow stretches long and the fascination with him spans years, continents and cultures.


In a bizarre turn of events, Leslie Cockburn, the Democratic candidate running for former Duke Rep. Tom Garrett’s seat (R-VA), unearthed opponent Republican Denver Riggleman’s extensive interest in Bigfoot, tweeting censored pictures of the naked creature taken from Riggleman’s Instagram and calling him a “devotee of Bigfoot erotica.”

Riggleman laughed off the claims, saying that he is merely interested in the “belief system” surrounding the lore. He has authored “Bigfoot Exterminators Inc: The Partially Cautionary, Mostly True Tale of Monster Hunt 2006.”

“For me, the book really is an anthropological study on all the people who believe in Bigfoot and the different Bigfoot belief systems out there. That’s it,” Riggleman told the Daily Beast. “This is a real subculture in the United States and it’s hundreds of thousands of people that believe.”

Weird, but okay? Maybe that makes sense? Could it truly be just a pseudo-academic pursuit? Much like the wildly popular Animal Planet show “Finding Bigfoot” with its 90 whole episodes and two spinoff series all about a pack of avid enthusiasts’ futile efforts to find and bag the beast?


This is fishy from top to bottom and don’t let anyone tell you different.

To start, Riggleman has already titled his next installment: “Mating Habits of Bigfoot and Why Women Want Him.” When asked if maybe possibly perchance he would consider changing a title which sounds an awful lot like something a devotee of Bigfoot erotica would write, Riggleman was incredulous.

“I’m not gonna change the title,” Riggleman told the Daily Beast “Absolutely not. It’s funny, I love it.”

And then this: the Daily Beast has done the Lord’s work of actually reading Riggleman’s first tome and found some, um, peculiar details.

In no particular order, the book includes references to:

  • Capturing Bigfoot using a bait of menstrual blood
  • Denver getting an “ass massage”
  • Prodding “Bigfoot balls” with a stick
  • And an important academic thesis: “Bigfoot likes sex too”

He has also told right-wing outlet CRTV that he is fascinated by the Bigfoot belief that the beast can transmit “psychic terror vibes, to make you run through the woods and crash into a tree so they can drag you into the woods and create baby Bigfoots.”

That is a lot of erotic-y stuff for someone who claims to have been previously unaware of the wide and freaky world of Bigfoot porn.

But as the long-suffering Rigglemen sighed: “When you do anthropological studies, I think you’re misunderstood.”

For proving that naming your child Denver Riggleman certainly will take some kind of toll on his psyche later in life, the esteemed Mr. Riggleman is our Duke of the Week.

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As Democrats and Republicans brawled over obtaining possibly millions of pages of records related to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Democratic leadership withheld one-on-ones with most of its members as a punishment.

According to a Friday Washington Post report, now, they’ll end the boycott in the hope that the Senators will be more successful in getting the documents they want in a face-to-face meeting with Kavanaugh.

However, not all Democrats were beholden to the boycott — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has already met with Kavanaugh, and Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Joe Donnelly (D-IN) have meetings planned.

Republicans have so far only agreed to request documents from Kavanaugh’s days as White House counsel under George W. Bush; Democrats are pushing for the records relating to his time as Bush’s staff secretary as well.

As of now, even though the White House counsel documents alone will reportedly take at least until October to be released, Republicans are planning to force the confirmation hearing in September.

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