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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Donald Trump's recently hired campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said Friday that Paul Manafort -- the previous campaign manager who had been moved to the position of chairman -- "was asked" to resign from the campaign. She later added that his abrupt departure "was a mutual decision."

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fired back at the suggestion by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that the agency was wasting money on Obamacare outreach that could be used on Zika funding.

"The last person who should criticize HHS for not being focused on Zika is the Senate Republican leader who has refused to compromise in order to get a clean, bipartisan funding bill to the President’s desk," an HHS spokesperson said in a statement to TPM Friday evening. The statement was in response to a letter McConnell sent to HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell Friday hounding her on reports of a new outreach campaign for Obamacare enrollment.

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Maybe this was a trick he picked up in "The Art of the Deal"

A statement sent out by the Donald Trump campaign from Rudy Giuliani defending Trump's visit to flood-ravaged Louisiana Friday includes a shout out to the former New York mayor's book.

"It is the defining principle of leadership to show up at the scene of a disaster in order to assess damage first hand. It is true leadership to go to an embattled area to rally the American people and provide aid and assistance to those suffering from the disaster," Giuliani said. "These are all points that I explain in great detail in my best-selling book, Leadership, and have lectured on all over the world."

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Only 11 percent of Donald Trump supporters said they were "very confident" that votes across the country will be counted accurately in the upcoming election, according to a new Pew survey, while half of his backers say they are "not too confident" or "not at all confident" that those votes will be counted correctly.

The findings, released Friday, come after weeks of Trump comments in campaign speeches and in interviews that if he lost to Hillary Clinton it would be because the election was "rigged."

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Late update: The Department of Health and Human Services responded to a letter sent by McConnell suggesting the agency was wasting money on Obamacare outreach that could be used for Zika. "The last person who should criticize HHS for not being focused on Zika is the Senate Republican leader who has refused to compromise in order to get a clean, bipartisan funding bill to the President’s desk," an HHS spokesperson said. Read more here.

As pressure grows on Congress to pass additional Zika funding, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) used recent instability in the Obamacare exchanges to deflect blame on the White House.

McConnell sent a letter Friday to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell demanding details on how the administration will fund a reported Obamacare enrollment campaign, while asking "why it believes that such funds would be better spent propping up the failed Obamacare exchanges than other important public health priorities - such as preventing the spread of Zika."

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With the departure of Aetna and other major insurers from a significant swath of Obamacare exchanges, health care industry analysts anticipate a dramatic increase in regions where competition in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces is low come the 2017 plan year. According to a report released Friday by the health care consulting firm Avalere, consumers in seven states are currently expected to have only one carrier option in their ACA marketplaces.

The report additionally compared the level of marketplace competition by geographical regions within each state.

"Avalere experts predict that one-third of the country will have no exchange plan competition in 2017, leaving consumers with few options for coverage," a press release unveiling the report said.

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Eric Trump offered vague explanations for the resignation of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, from his father's team Friday in which Eric alluded to a "distraction looming over the campaign."

"My father didn't want to be you know distracted by whatever things Paul was dealing with," the younger Trump said in a preview of a Fox News interview airing Sunday. The full interview will air on Fox News Channel’s Sunday Morning Futures on Sunday.

In the preview, Eric Trump went on to praise the "amazing" Manafort for helping the campaign "get to the convention."

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North Carolina's Republican Party has had an interesting response to a recent appeals court ruling that said a number of voting restrictions passed by the state's GOP legislature were enacted with the intent to discriminate against minorities, specifically African Americans. In their scramble after the ruling, party operatives and local Republican officials have perhaps inadvertently provided more evidence that the restrictions were passed with the intent to discriminate.

The most egregious example was a memo sent by North Carolina Republican Party executive director Dallas Woodhouse to county election officials urging them to continue to push for reductions in voting access, in which he explicitly spelled out a partisan motivation.

The memo came as the state is asking the Supreme Court to reverse the appeal court ruling, and restore for November's election some of the restrictions the appeals court struck down. And it may provide additional fodder for the voting rights advocates fighting the state's restrictions.

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The Woodhouse brothers are at it again.

It's not just voting rights advocates who were upset by a North Carolina Republican's memo to election boards officials pushing new voting restrictions. N.C. GOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse's own brother called him out on it, blasting the memo as "blatantly racist and completely disgusting" on Twitter.

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Donald Trump's top lawyer had trouble stomaching a hard truth presented to him on CNN Wednesday.

When host Brianna Keilar brought up that new additions to Trump's staff were being perceived as a shake-up, given how poorly the GOP nominee was doing in the polls, Trump Organization special counsel Michael Cohen did not want to believe such polls existed.

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