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

MSNBC host Chuck Todd expresses his incredulity Tuesday afternoon that Fox News will take no punitive actions upon finding out that Fox News host Sean Hannity is Michael’s Cohen’s client, despite the fact that he has reported extensively on Cohen without disclosing that relationship.

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Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) has confirmed that he will leave Congress in the next few weeks, declining to serve out the remainder of his term.

“After discussions with my family and careful reflection, I have decided to leave Congress in the coming weeks,” he said in a statement. “I am especially proud of the work I have done to give voice to the sensible center in our country that is often overlooked or ignored.”

He announced in September 2017 that he would not seek reelection, but initially intended to serve out his current term.

In recent days, Dent has vented on CNN about how running as a Republican during the Trump administration is a “no-win position.”

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Former FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday defended his editorial choice to include details in his new memoir painting President Donald Trump in an unflattering light by pointing out vestiges of his tanning habit and focusing on the size of his hands.

“I’m not making fun of the President,” Comey told NPR’s Carrie Johnson and Steve Inskeep. “I’m trying to be an author, which I’ve never been before in my life.”

Comey added that he was just trying to show readers how the world looked to him, including details to illustrate his narrative, not to belittle the President.

“By the way, not that this matters, but I found his hands to be about average in size, and so I’m not making fun of the man, I’m trying to tell the reader what’s in my head,” he said.  

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has reportedly been touting his credentials as a “geologist” to lend his decisions and opinions a professional foundation — despite the fact that his only experience in the field is an undergraduate degree obtained 34 years ago.

According to CNN, Zinke has referred to himself as a current or former geologist at least 40 times in public settings, including under oath before Congress. He uses the title to preface his opinions on everything from climate change to offshore drilling, quipping “as a geologist,” before launching into his opinions on the most pressing environmental issues of the day.

Several career geologists told CNN that Zinke’s claim is baseless and dangerous, and that he attaches the moniker to opinions that do not match current geological knowledge. One pointed out that, in particular, modern geologists acknowledge that climate change is caused by humans’ actions, a stance that Zinke has routinely wavered on.

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Fox News host Sean Hannity addressed the revelation that he is the mystery third client of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen in a statement via Fox News.

“Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter,” Hannity said in a statement obtained by TPM. “I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees.

“I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective,” he continued. “I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third party.”

He elaborated on his original statement in additional tweets.

“We have been friends a long time,” Hannity told the Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Ballhaus. “I have sought legal advice from Michael.”

Hannity was on air for his radio show as the news broke, teasing his response saying, “I’m going to have to decide if I’m going to put out a statement here.” He added that he wanted to keep the media listening since “they might learn something.”

Fox News did not immediately respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

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Stormy Daniels was mobbed by reporters Monday as she arrived at the downtown Manhattan courthouse where President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is appearing for a hearing on the FBI raid against him.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Air Force One Monday afternoon that President Donald Trump watched “bits and pieces” of former FBI Director James Comey’s interview on ABC Sunday night.

“He didn’t watch the whole thing,” she added, according to a pool report. “We didn’t learn anything new.”

She went on to slam Comey’s credibility, calling him a “self-admitted leaker.”

Trump has tweeted prolifically about Comey in recent days, calling him “slippery James Comey,” listing his “many lies,” and declaring that Comey will go down as the “worst FBI director in history.”

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday morning that former FBI Director James Comey changed the outcome of the 2016 election with his announcement about Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“This guy swung an election,” Conway said to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “He thought the wrong person would win.”

She tried to walk the comment back in a later appearance on CNN, telling Chris Cuomo that Clinton was already set to lose the election and that Comey’s announcement had no bearing on her doomed campaign.

“I saw Jim Comey last night and I said: ‘this guy swung an election?’ I don’t think so,” she said. She continued to push back against Cuomo’s assertion that Comey’s announcement hurt Clinton’s chances.

“She hurt herself; she was never at 50 percent,” she said. “Show me the swing states where she was above 50 percent on October 20 before Comey came out … It had nothing to do with Comey.”

Shortly after her lap on the morning shows, Conway told the Daily Beast that she was being “tongue-in-cheek” during her comments on ABC. “I rolled my eyes and said really, this guy swung an election? It was sarcastic,” she reportedly said.

Watch the ABC interview below:

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President Donald Trump called his embattled personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Friday to “check in,” according to the New York Times.

Meanwhile, lawyers for both men were battling in a New York courtroom to prevent the prosecution from examining documents taken during the FBI’s Monday raid of Cohen’s offices and hotel room until they could review them first.

The Times reports that both men are unsure of which specific documents were taken during the raid, the scope of which seems much larger than initially reported. Agents reportedly had warrants for Cohen’s cellphone, laptop, email accounts, and safe deposit box as part of a long-term investigation.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood said Friday she wouldn’t make a decision on who will first examine the seized records until a hearing set for Monday.

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