Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is projected to win the Democratic primary in West Virginia, a state his rival Hillary Clinton won against Barack Obama in 2008. Clinton supporters were anticipating an uphill battle in the lead-up to Tuesday’s election. His West Virginia victory was projected by NBC and Fox News.

Despite the win -- and a series of recent success -- Sanders still trails Clinton in the delegate count and has virtually no path to making up the difference and winning the Democratic nomination.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders proclaimed himself the victor of the West Virginia primary Tuesday evening even as many networks and the Associated Press had yet to call the race.

"We just won West Virginia!" was the subject of a Sanders campaign email that went out to supporters not long after polls closed. At that point, NBC projected him the winner, but other networks have held off.

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Back on Capitol Hill for the first time since dropping out of the GOP 2016 race, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) again refused to say Tuesday whether he would support Donald Trump, after dodging the question earlier in the day in a radio interview.

"We suspended our campaign one week ago today. There are two and half months until the Republican convention, six and half months until the general election," Cruz said to reporters outside his Senate office. "There will be plenty of time for voters to make the determination who they are going to support."

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While avoiding saying Donald Trump's name out loud, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill that "the early indications are that our nominee is likely to be very competitive."

"We know that Hillary Clinton will be four more years of Barack Obama. I think that's in the end going to be enough to unify Republicans across the country," McConnell said in a press conference after the GOP caucus lunch, the first official gathering of Republican senators since Trump emerged as the party's presumptive presidential nominee.

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Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus was highly critical of the idea put forward by some Never Trump GOPers that conservatives should rally behind an independent or third party alternative to Donald Trump. Priebus called it a "stupid" idea that would "ensure a liberal Supreme Court for generations" while on the Sean Hannity Show Monday, as reported by Buzzfeed.

Preibus was asked by Hannity if he had spoken to 2012 GOP nom Mitt Romney or Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) about their desire to support a third party option.

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Thanks to North Carolina, major legal questions about how civil rights law applies to transgender people will be hashed out in a case about their access to bathrooms.

“Transgender rights still are very much an open question in American law,” Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA, told TPM. “It’s going to take a law like the North Carolina bathroom bill to bring the question of transgender rights to the courts for final resolution.”

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The Department of Justice Monday filed a lawsuit challenging North Carolina's HB2, known as the state's "bathroom bill." The complaint alleges that provisions in the law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms of public agency aligned with their gender identity violates various civil rights laws.

In particular the Justice Department is focusing on North Carolina state government as an employer and alleges that enforcement of the law discriminates against transgender state employees.

"This action is about a great deal more than bathrooms," Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in press conference announcing the lawsuit. "This is about the dignity and the respect that we accord our fellow citizens and the laws we as the people and as a country have enacted to protect them, indeed to protect of all of us."

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Donald Trump accused the New York Times and others Monday of misreporting his assertion -- made on live national TV last week -- that he would "make a deal" with U.S. creditors if he were elected and not fully pay back the national debt. In Trump's new remarks Monday, he also asserted that the U.S. government would never default "because you print the money."

Given the chance to respond to the firestorm created by his ill-informed comments on the national debt, Trump took aim at the New York Times, in particular.

"It was reported in the failing New York Times and other places that I want to default on debt," Trump said on a CNN phone interview Monday, reiterating his claim that he is "the king of debt."

"People had it, the Times and others, that, 'Oh Trump wants to go and see creditors and buy debt at a discount," Trump said.

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Donald Trump's newly installed campaign finance chair tried to walk back Friday Trump's idea that the U.S. should flirt with defaulting on its debt.

"I’d say, I’m not going to comment specifically on that. Obviously, the government has to honor its debts," Steven Mnuchin, who worked for years in the finance industry, said on CNBC. He was asked whether Trump was suggesting he was willing to "'adjust and massage' the full faith and credit of the United States."

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