Nicole Lafond

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Nicole Lafond is TPM’s special projects editor, based in New York. Previously, she was a senior newswriter for TPM. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and formerly covered education for The News-Gazette in Illinois.
Where Things Stand: Check Out Melania’s Latest Side Project Prime Badge

If you watched the debate on Tuesday or have paid attention to the Trump family’s public appearances in the last 48 hours, you don’t need me to point out the irony here.

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Where Things Stand: Does Tim Scott Get Tired? Prime Badge
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He’s been one of the most confusing senators to me for some time.

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Where Things Stand: No Surprises Here Prime Badge
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White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was practically jumping at the opportunity to back Rep. Kevin Brady’s (R-TX) attempt to force an investigation into one of the most basic pillars of journalistic protections.

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Where Things Stand: The Short List Prime Badge
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President Trump wasted no time declaring when his SCOTUS nomination announcement will be because the Senate majority leader wasted no time — literally no time, maybe minutes after the late justice’s death broke news Friday night — to declare he’d bring him or her to the Senate floor.

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Where Things Stand: More Than Just ‘Disgruntled’ Ex-Employees Prime Badge
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In the last 24 hours, we’ve seen two former Trump administration officials take significant steps to speak out against President Trump and Vice President Pence, flinging their White House secrets-laced weight behind Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

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Where Things Stand: If The CDC Chief Isn’t ‘Closest To The Process’ Of Vaccine Creation, Who Is? Prime Badge
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We covered news this morning of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows attempts to distance President Trump’s own CDC director from the vaccine development process in order to adhere to Trump’s own political narrative surrounding its creation.

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Where Things Stand: Both Barr And Caputo Hype Sedition, But Only One Is Leaving Prime Badge
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Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee during a closed-door session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Caputo resigned from being a Trump campaign communications advisor after appearing to celebrate the firing of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Denying any contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, Caputo did live in Moscow during the 1990s, served as an adviser to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and did pro-Putin public relations work for the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media.

Michael Caputo, the longtime Trump hype man and HHS official, is taking a leave of absence from the Department of Health and Human Services.

This follows a tumultuous few days in which reports surfaced showing Caputo and one of his close aides at HHS were involved in a scheme to pressure the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into cooking the books on COVID-19 reporting data to more closely adhere to President Trump’s rosy rhetoric on the pandemic.

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Where Things Stand: Just The Latest DOJ Attempt To Do Trump’s Bidding Prime Badge
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We learned this morning that DOJ prosecutors are investigating the publication of former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s new tell-all memoir about his time in the White House, a twist in the increasingly unsurprising narrative that President Trump’s been loudly building since he appointed Bill Barr his attorney general.

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Where Things Stand: Caputo’s Having A Normal One Prime Badge
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Former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee during a closed-door session at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Caputo resigned from being a Trump campaign communications advisor after appearing to celebrate the firing of former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Denying any contact with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign, Caputo did live in Moscow during the 1990s, served as an adviser to former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and did pro-Putin public relations work for the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media.

We reported on the news this weekend after Politico published a piece based on emails it had obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services. Essentially, for weeks, HHS public affairs chief Michael Caputo (and former member of the 2016 Trump campaign), along with his scientific adviser, pressured the CDC to change its reports on COVID-19 spread and case data from across the U.S.

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Where Things Stand: It’s September 11 And We’re Nearing 200,000 Dead Prime Badge
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Tragedy is tragedy. And while the invisible crisis our country is currently facing looks and feels and hurts differently than this day 19 years ago, the parallels of massive loss of life and the infiltration of a society-altering fear are clear.

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