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

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that she does not personally know of any currently unknown hush money payments to women with whom President Donald Trump had affairs at Monday’s press briefing.

“I’m not aware of anything like that,” she said, before referring reporters to the President’s outside counsel.

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This year’s National Defense Authorization Act, the Republicans’ proposed 2019 defense spending bill, greenlights funding for President Donald Trump’s long-coveted military parade.

“In order to honor American veterans, including American veterans of past wars that the Secretary of Defense determines have not received appropriate recognition, the Secretary may provide such support as the Secretary determines is appropriate for a parade to be carried out in the District of Columbia,” the bill reads.

“The Secretary would be authorized to expend funds authorized to be appropriated under this Act for the display of small arms and munitions appropriate for customary ceremonial honors and for the participation of military units that perform customary ceremonial duties,” it continues.

Trump first voiced his desire for a military parade in September 2017, after being wowed by the Bastille Day display in France.

“So we’re actually thinking about Fourth of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength,” Trump said at the time.

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After President Donald Trump used former Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore’s loss to dissuade West Virginians from voting for coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship, Blankenship hit back Monday by reminding voters that Trump backed Moore before his shocking loss.

“We all really like the President’s policies, but we know that he doesn’t get things right,” he said in an interview with WZTS TV. “I mean, he recommended that people vote for a guy that was basically accused of pedophilia in Alabama.

“My accusers are Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, not anyone I’ve damaged,” he continued. “It’s really sad that pressure on the President and misinformation and untruths caused him to suggest that people vote for two guys that have failed you. I will not fail you if I get to D.C. … and I can tell you, I am more capable of representing you than anyone you ever sent to the U.S. Senate.”

Blankenship, who was recently imprisoned for failing to prevent a fatal mining accident, heads into a competitive primary on Tuesday against two establishment Republicans, the winner of which will face incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in the fall.

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West Virginia Senate candidate, coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship said in a statement Monday that he is “Trumpier than Trump” and that “no one” can tell his fellow West Virginians how to vote.

The statement was issued in response to President Donald Trump’s tweet urging voters to choose anyone in Tuesday’s West Virginia Republican Senate primary other than Blankenship.

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National security officials and Republicans are preparing contingency plans behind the scenes should President Donald Trump’s CIA director nominee Gina Haspel fail to be confirmed, according to a Monday CNN report.

One of the rumored plans is to groom Susan Gordon, the deputy director of national intelligence, for the job. Gordon has worked in the CIA for decades, specializing in intelligence technology.

Haspel is slated to face tough confirmation hearings on Wednesday, where her participation in a Bush-era torture program will certainly be raised. She reportedly considered backing out of the process on Friday due to the likely grueling questioning.

 

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Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that he feels “pretty good” about his recent media tour, and that the President’s legal team has “straightened everything out” and is “setting the agenda,” according to a Sunday Washington Post report.

“Everybody’s reacting to us now, and I feel good about that because that’s what I came in to do,” he reportedly added.

Giuliani said that that the plan for the weekend was for Trump to focus on foreign affairs, while the lawyers dealt with matters related to Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit and Michael Cohen’s legal trouble. They promised to only “bother” the President when necessary.

Giuliani has embarked on a wide-ranging cable news tour in recent days, making contradictory statements about Trump’s reimbursement of Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels, a bombshell he first dropped on Wednesday.

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President Donald Trump defended his CIA director nominee Monday, saying that Gina Haspel has been attacked for being “too tough on terrorists.”

Haspel is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, during which questions about her participation in a Bush-era torture program will be raised. She reportedly considered backing out of the process on Friday due to the likely tough questioning.

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Invoking the specter of Roy Moore’s Senate loss in Alabama, President Donald Trump tweeted Monday urging Republicans to choose any candidate in Tuesday’s West Virginia Republican Senate primary other than coal baron and ex-convict Don Blankenship.

Blankenship recently spent a year in prison for his failure to prevent a fatal mine explosion and has spent the last few weeks of the campaign attacking Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his family, calling them “China people.”

Some say that Blankenship has gained some momentum in his race against two establishment candidates in recent weeks, despite his many flaws.

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Former DOD and CIA chief of staff Jeremy Bash says that CIA director nominee Gina Haspel is going “full steam ahead” into Wednesday’s confirmation hearings, despite her brief consideration of withdrawing.

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