Kate_riga_profile2019

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

My fellow Americans, we’ve received rather shocking news. It’s time to stow our emotions and star-spangled banners, to embrace gloomy weather and oversized red buses, to go nuts about a spy who likes weak drinks, to scoop that tea back out of the harbor — we’re British now.

President Donald Trump added to the worldwide respect and prestige he gained at the G-7 summit by musing over dinner that Crimea (which Russia invaded and annexed from Ukraine in 2014) was actually Russian all along, since that’s the language its inhabitants speak.

By that logic, we have some reshuffling to do. As we speak, confusion over “football” is growing, the Hamilton script is undergoing some serious edits, and the Washington Monument has been swapped out for a giant crooked tooth.

We’re not the only ones being subsumed back into Mother England. Its ranks will also be swelled by Canada, Australia, Ireland, and New Zealand, our new brothers in arms. Good thing Americans and Canadians have been getting on like tea and crumpets lately.

Spain will also grow, as it swallows the entirety of South America, except for Brazil which will skip on over to Portugal. We’ll throw France a bone with Luxembourg.

Donald Trump, known the world over as a foreign policy wunderkind, who has definitely given this arrangement the requisite thought and consideration, is presumably currently heaping MAGA hats and fast food wrappers on a funeral pyre. In keeping with the new world order, later today he’ll meet with NFL players for a group tutorial on “God Save the Queen.”

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As circulated by North Korean state media, footage shows President Donald Trump saluting a top North Korean military official, a stunning display of respect from the American President to a hostile and oppressive regime.

The salute harkens back to an incident when former President Barack Obama bowed to the king of Saudi Arabia and received widespread GOP criticism, including from then-citizen Trump.

Watch Trump salute below:

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel sent a threatening tweet Wednesday, warning that those who do not get on board with the Trump agenda are “making a big mistake.”

Many interpreted the tweet as a demand for fealty to Trump — or else.

From a conservative Daily Beast columnist:

From Sen. John McCain’s daughter:

From the editor-at-large at the Weekly Standard:

She later clarified by giving the context of a comment she made from which the tweet was pulled.

McDaniel is a true Trump acolyte, dropping her maiden name (Romney) when Trump made a derisive comment about it and reversing course to pour money into the Alabama special election senate race even when pedophilia allegations against former candidate Roy Moore surfaced.

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As staffers stream out of the White House like water through a sieve, the small contingent remaining is getting desperate.

According to a Wednesday Politico report, flyers are circulating emblazoned with “interested in a job at the White House?” encouraging conservatives to apply at a Friday job fair on Capitol Hill.

It advertises the presence of Trump administration officials eager to meet with interested parties “of every experience level.”

Along with the White House, the flyer lists openings in agencies like NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services.

Per Politico, the fair is being hosted by the Conservative Partnership Institute.

An unnamed Obama administration official told Politico that resorting to a job fair is an unusual measure for an administration to take, as White House jobs are usually highly sought after. The official added that West Wing jobs are rarely even listed on the official job site for the federal government, and that the Obama administration only recruited to increase the diversity of White House staff.

The Trump administration is unique given its extremely high rate of turnover, which has left wide swaths of important positions unfilled.

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A Republican Senate lunch on Wednesday devolved into bickering as senators unloaded their anger with President Donald Trump and each other, according to a Politico report.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who has been loose-lipped with his frustration about his party and its leader all week, reportedly took his colleagues to task for whining that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is blocking amendments to the defense bill, saying that they are using the blockage to dodge having to vote on the amendments themselves.

Per Politico, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) jumped into the fray, berating Corker for his Tuesday Senate floor speech where he mocked his party for being afraid of contradicting the President.

“You don’t care about the Republican Party because you’re leaving,” Graham shot at the retiring Corker.

Graham reportedly later apologized. Corker responded that Graham “would have been applauding” if he’d heard the whole speech.

But Graham still had some gas in his tank during the lunch, next taking on Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and accusing him of fundraising off of a border policy amendment. Lee was reportedly so outraged that he used the word “hell,” a startling cuss from the squeaky-clean mouth of the Mormon senator.

Sen. Joni Ernst had the best spot during the pugnacious lunch: out of the room. “Basically what everybody told me is: Be glad you weren’t there,” Ernst, who was presiding over the Senate during the lunch, told Politico.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) reportedly tried to play down the infighting, saying that “everybody got kind of spirited, but no foul.” When pressed about comments Corker made about him, singling him out as killing the momentum of his tariff proposal, Cornyn waved a white flag.

“That’s just a sign of his own frustration and I really don’t feel the need to get into it,” he told Politico.

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When asked how he feels about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s many murders and human rights abuses, President Donald Trump merely shrugged.

“He’s a tough guy, it’s a tough country,” he told Fox News host Bret Baier Wednesday. Trump went on to praise Kim for taking over the country at such a young age calling him a “very smart guy” and a “great negotiator.” “I think we understand each other,” Trump added.

When Baier pressed Trump, protesting that Kim has done many “bad things,” the President was unmoved. “So have a lot of other people,” he said, before moving on to praise himself for his performance at the United States-North Korea summit this week.

Watch below:

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The staggering number of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s ethics scandals has even the Trump administration’s staunchest supporters showing him the door, as Fox News host Laura Ingraham tweeted that he’s “GOTTA GO” Wednesday afternoon.

The straw that broke the camel’s back for Ingraham seems to be a Wednesday Washington Post report charting the many times Pruitt used his position to try to secure his wife a job.

Despite the dozen federal ethics investigations and widespread criticism Pruitt’s actions have provoked, he still maintains the support of the President. Last week, Trump fielded a reporter’s question about his confidence in Pruitt before leaving for the G-7 summit in Canada.

“Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA,” Trump said. “I mean, we’re setting records. Outside, he’s being attacked very viciously by the press. I’m not saying that he’s blameless, but we’ll see what happens.”

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Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is letting loose this week, expressing anger and frustration with his party after Republican leaders blocked his trade proposal from the Senate floor.

“We are in a strange place. I mean, it’s almost, it’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it?” he said to reporters Wednesday. “And it’s not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a President that happens to be of, purportedly, of the same party.”

He continued to say that some Republicans in congress still stand up to Trump, but there is a clear resistance by many, including leadership, to “poke the bear” that is Trump.

These comments come on the heels of an impassioned floor speech he delivered Tuesday, when he took his party to task for letting the looming election castrate any willingness to stand up to the President. “My gosh, if the President gets upset with us we might not be in the majority,” he said sarcastically.

Corker’s proposed amendment would curtail Trump’s ability to levy international tariffs on national security grounds by requiring congressional approval first.

Watch below:

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt asked EPA aides and top Republican donors to set up a job for his wife, Marlyn, last year and ultimately got her a spot in a conservative political group, according to a Wednesday Washington Post report.

A spokesperson for the Judicial Crisis Network confirmed that Marlyn Pruitt had been hired temporarily on recommendation by Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society and a longtime Pruitt friend who set up his $100,000 taxpayer-funded trip to Italy last year.

Marlyn Pruitt reportedly left the organization earlier this year.

This is just the latest in a long list of ethically dubious actions Pruitt has taken since becoming administrator, actions which have catalyzed a dozen separate federal ethics probes.

Virginia Canter, executive branch ethics counsel for the Washington watchdog CREW, told the Post that for an EPA administrator to “become the headhunter for his spouse” would be “highly inappropriate” since the search would affect Pruitt’s finances. “It’s above and beyond anything I’m aware of, with respect to any government employee,” she added.

Per the Washington Post, this attempt to secure Marlyn a job from his perch in the EPA was not Pruitt’s first — his maneuvering to get his wife a Chick-Fil-A franchise is the most recently reported precedent.

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