Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) said Tuesday she has received at least one angry phone call from a Roy Moore supporter claiming to be an Associated Press reporter since she warned the Senate Sergeant at Arms of Roy Moore’s “predatory” behavior.

Gwen Moore tweeted that “another Roy Moore supporter” had called her office pretending to be an AP reporter and “started screaming and called me and my staff the n-word and other racial slurs” when the caller’s cover was blown.

She said she would not “stop speaking out” or be “intimidated” by the calls.

The alleged harassment comes a day after Gwen Moore sent a letter to the Senate Sergeant at Arms, asking Congress to share what “preventative steps are being taken to safeguard Senate Pages from the predatory conduct of U.S. Senators and Senate staff.” She cited Roy Moore specifically, saying he would be a threat to the “safety of the young men and women” in the page program if he were elected.

Roy Moore, who is the Republican candidate in the Alabama Senate race, has been accused of pursuing relationships or making unwanted sexual contact with multiple women when they were teenagers and Roy Moore was in his 30s.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is scheduled to deliver an on camera press briefing at 3:00 p.m. ET Tuesday. Watch live below:

President Donald Trump was furious that his top United Nations diplomat on Sunday said the women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault should be heard, the Associated Press reported.

“I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up,” U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” The comments infuriated the President, the Associated Press reported, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Trump has become increasingly irked by the recent attention that the women who have accused him of misconduct are getting, and has reportedly expressed solidarity with Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, according to the Associated Press.

Multiple women have accused Moore of either pursuing relationships or making unwanted sexual contact with them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. At least 16 women accused Trump of sexual misconduct in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

Several of the women who accused Trump of misconduct have re-upped their claims in recent interviews with the media amid a wave of sexual misconduct allegations on Capitol Hill and against other powerful men.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) called on the President to resign on Monday over the allegations, and asked the Congressional Ethics Committee to launch a probe into the accusations.

Trump on Tuesday attacked Gillibrand as a “lightweight” who “would do anything” for campaign contributions,” and again denied all the allegations against him. Moore has also denied the allegations against him on the eve of his special election.

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is not backing down from her efforts to hold President Trump accountable for the accusations of sexual misconduct against him.

After Trump tweeted calling the senator names and suggesting that Gillibrand was once willing to “do anything” for campaign contributions from him, Gillibrand responded with a simple message: “You cannot silence me.”

Gillibrand has become a prominent force in combatting sexual harassment and assault in Washington in recent weeks. She, along with Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), introduced legislation last month that would overhaul the way Congress handles sexual harassment complaints. She was the first to call on her colleague, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), to resign after weeks of mounting allegations against him. On Monday, she called on Trump to resign the same day three of his accusers came forward to shed new light on their claims of sexual misconduct against the President.

On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted that Democrats had given up on the Russian collusion investigation and had moved on to highlight “the fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met.” He called Gillibrand a “lightweight” and “total flunky” for Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and claimed she used to come to his office “begging” for campaign donations.

Trump has flatly denied all the allegations and has called the more than a dozen women who have spoken out liars. The White House on Monday said Trump was glad that women feel more comfortable speaking out in today’s climate, but continued to deny all the accusers’ accounts.

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President Donald Trump on Tuesday said Democrats weren’t able to find any “collusion” between his campaign and the Russians, so “they are moving on” to promoting the women who have accused him of sexual harassment and assault.

“Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia — so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met,” he tweeted early Tuesday morning. “FAKE NEWS!”

He then moved on to attack Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has led the charge against Trump, saying the President should resign “immediately” on Monday, amid the revival of sexual misconduct allegations against him. She said if Trump doesn’t hold himself accountable, Congress should launch an ethics probe into the allegations.

Trump called the senator “a total flunky” for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), claimed she was disloyal to Bill and Hillary Clinton and appeared to suggest that she was desperate for campaign donations from Trump in the past.

Trump is likely irked by the recent attention being paid to his accusers. On Monday, three of the more than a dozen women who have accused Trump of harassment or assault held a press conference to tell Trump to resign. Over the weekend, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the women who have spoke out against Trump “should be heard.”

Since then, more than 50 Democratic female lawmakers have joined Gillibrand, calling for an ethics investigation into Trump’s behavior.

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After taking a week off for his son’s heart surgery, a tearful Jimmy Kimmel returned to late-night Monday to plead with Congress to fund health insurance for kids from low-income families.

“Daddy cries on TV, but Billy doesn’t, it’s unbelievable,” Kimmel said, holding his son Billy Kimmel to open the show. He launched into an explanation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which is designed to cover some 9 million children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but don’t have access to affordable coverage through their jobs.

CHIP has been held in a political stalemate since September after Congress failed to approve funding for the program for the first time since it was created 20 years ago.

“If these were potato chips they were taking away from us, we’d be marching on Washington with pitchforks and spears right now,” Kimmel said.

He took the first four minutes of his show to encourage viewers to call their senators and representatives to demand they fund the program and stop using kids lives as a “bargaining chip” to pass a tax plan.

“This is literally a life or death program for American kids, it’s always had bipartisan support, but this year they let it expire as they work on getting tax cuts for their millionaire and billionaire donors,” Kimmel said. “I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know what could be more disgusting than putting a tax cut that mostly goes to rich people, ahead of the lives of children.”

He also reminded the audience of the Friday deadline to enroll in Obamacare.

Kimmel has become the unlikely late-night advocate for universal health care since his son Billy was born in April with a heart defect, routinely using his platform to call out Republicans in Congress and President Trump for its efforts to weaken and attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Watch his opening monologue below:

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The White House said Monday that President Trump wants women to feel comfortable coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, but that doesn’t mean he believes every accusation, especially those levied against him.

“As the President said himself, he thinks it’s a good thing that women are coming forward, but he also feels strongly that a mere allegation shouldn’t determine the course and in this case, the President has denied any of these allegations as have eyewitnesses and several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President’s claims in this process,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “The American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we’re ready to move forward in that process.”

In recent weeks, Trump has said he thinks it’s a good thing that more women are coming forward, but he has since backed Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct toward them when they were teens.

Before the election, Trump was accused by more than a dozen women of sexual harassment and assault. Trump has denied all the claims and called the women liars.

On Monday, three of Trump’s accusers went public and asked for a congressional ethics probe into the allegations against him. In the last week, several Democratic lawmakers have called on the President to resign, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Kirsten Gillabrand (D-NY).

The White House has continuously defended the President, saying the American people made a judgment on whether they believed the Trump accusers by electing him President. On Monday, Sanders mildly dialed back on that outright rejection of the claims and suggested there were “eye witnesses” to refute the women’s accusations.

“The President has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations and this took place long before he was elected to be President and the people of this country had a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel that these allegations have been answered through that process,” she said.

When asked whether she struggled personally, as a woman, with the President’s response to the allegations, Sanders shot down the question, saying she’s there to relay Trump’s message. 

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said Sunday that even before Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, he wasn’t fit to serve in the Senate.

Calling the Republican National Committee’s decision to fund Moore’s campaign a “mistake,” she said she was “disappointed” the committee resumed last week its support of the embattled candidate, whom multiple women have said either pursued relationships or made unwanted sexual advances toward them when they were teens and he was in his 30s.

“I would point out that I did not support Mr. Moore even prior to these allegations of sexual misconduct because I was concerned about his anti-Muslim comment, his anti-LGBT comments, most important of all he’s been removed twice from the Alabama Supreme Court for failure to follow lawful judicial order,” she said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.   

She said her party cares just as much about addressing sexual harassment and assault as Democrats and said members of Congress have a “tough decision to make” about “whether it’s our role as senators to overturn the will of the people” when someone is accused of sexual misconduct after they’ve been elected, like what happened with Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).

There’s a new awakening in our country that this is pervasive, whether we’re talking about Hollywood or Wall Street or the media or Capitol Hill,” she said. “And that’s why I’m joining a bipartisan group of senators who are trying to look at our own procedures on Capitol Hill to assure that allegations of sexual misconduct involving members or staff are dealt with seriously.”

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While Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore has made his name as a self-proclaimed supporter of upholding the rights awarded by the Constitution, he’s not a big fan of all those rights.

In 2011, Moore appeared on a conspiracy-theorists’ radio show, and said if the U.S. got rid of all the amendments after the Bill of Rights, it would “eliminate many problems,” according to audio of the radio show, the “Aroostook Watchmen” show, obtained by CNN’s KFile.

“That would eliminate many problems,” Moore said. “You know people don’t understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended.”

In the interview, Moore specifically cited the 17th Amendment, which allows voters to directly elect senators instead of state legislatures, and the 14th Amendment, which granted citizenship to former slaves.

“The danger in the 14th Amendment, which was to restrict, it has been a restriction on the states using the first Ten Amendments by and through the 14th Amendment,” Moore said. “To restrict the states from doing something that the federal government was restricted from doing and allowing the federal government to do something which the first Ten Amendments prevented them from doing. If you understand the incorporation doctrine used by the courts and what it meant. You’d understand what I’m talking about.”

Other amendments post-Bill of Rights include the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, the 15th, which prohibited the government from blocking people’s right to vote based on race, the 19th, which gave women the right to vote and the 22nd, which limits the number of times a person can be elected to the presidency to two terms.

Moore’s campaign told CNN that he doesn’t actually believe in eliminating amendments 11 through 27, but was rather speaking about “the overall framework for the separation of powers” in the U.S. government.

In that same interview, Moore questioned the validity of former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Both comments fall in line with controversial remarks Moore has made recently and in the early days of his career in the public eye, from claiming homosexuality should be illegal to saying in September that America was great back when “families were united — even though we had slavery.”

Listen to the interview below:

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Here’s a new entry in the annals of Steve King.

The Iowa Republican congressman known for his racially insensitive rhetoric tweeted on Friday that “diversity is not our strength.”

And, descending further into the catacombs of nativism, he took it further, quoting a statement from the Hungarian prime minister who was advocating for the dissolution of the obligation of countries to accept immigrants.

“Mixing cultures will not lead to a higher quality of life, but to a lower one,” King wrote.

While Friday’s comments may be one of the most forward indications that he has a penchant for ethno-nationalism, King has a long history of making controversial comments, as TPM has documented over the years.

In 2006, while advocating for electric fences along the U.S.-Mexico border, he equated undocumented immigrants to livestock: “We could also electrify this wire with the kind of current that would not kill somebody, but it would simply be a discouragement for them to be fooling around with it. We do that with livestock all the time.”

In 2008, he claimed that former President Barack Obama’s middle name, Hussein, is proof that he is linked to radical Islamic terrorists:

I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al Qaeda, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11 because they will declare victory in this war on terror.”

Also, unsurprisingly, King’s a birther:

“(I) found a microfiche there of two newspapers in Hawaii each of which had published the birth of Barack Obama… That doesn’t mean there aren’t some other explanations on how they might’ve announced that by telegram from Kenya,” he said in 2012.

In 2013, he said that while some undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. by their parents could be “valedictorians,” most are drug dealers:

Some of them are valedictorians — and their parents brought them in. It wasn’t their fault. It’s true in some cases, but they aren’t all valedictorians. They weren’t all brought in by their parents. For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’ve been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

In September 2016, he called the Congressional Black Caucus, the “self-segregating caucus” and in August this year he defended embattled former sherif Joe Arpaio, who the President pardoned for racially profiling Latinos in his county:

I don’t agree that profiling is wrong. … In fact, if you would take profiling away from the tools of law enforcement, you couldn’t describe a criminal in any way whatsoever.”

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