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 (D-VT) dismissed the idea that President Obama has been tipping the scales in favor of his 2016 rival Hillary Clinton.

"I know there was some discussion the other day about a political interview where he was tipping the scale towards Secretary Clinton," Sanders said Wednesday at the White House after his meeting with the President in the Oval Office. "I don't believe that at all. I think he and the vice president have tried to be fair and even-handed in the process, and I suspect they will continue to be that way."

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A number of reporters covering the stand off at the Malheur Wildlife refuge near Burns, Oregon, have tweeted that they had been told by the FBI that authorities will offer them no protection, a sign reporters are taking that they need to leave the area.

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Update: The Washington Post is reporting that David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt -- the two anti-abortion activists indicted by a Houston grand jury Monday -- are planning to turn themselves in to the Harris County Sheriff's Office, where they'll post bail, according their Houston-based attorney Murphy Klasing.

The three years that anti-abortion activists poured into a covert video campaign to reveal Planned Parenthood was conducting illegal operations have finally resulted in a criminal indictment -- an indictment against the activists, that is.

Since a grand jury in Houston, Texas, issued indictments Monday against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, two of the anti-abortion activists behind the "sting" videos being released by a group called Center for Medical Progress, a clearer picture has emerged of how the case came together.

The indictment by a Harris County grand jury came after a five-month investigation into the claims CMP and its allies had made against Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast that the health organization was illegally profiting from the sale of fetal tissue.

Here's what we know about the indictment and what comes next for the CMP activists:

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Another lawsuit has been filed asking for the courts to weigh in on whether Ted Cruz qualifies as a "natural born" citizen and thus is eligible under the Constitution to be president.

Walter L. Wagner of Salt Lake City, Utah, filed a federal challenge last week to Cruz's eligibility and is asking the U.S. District Court of Utah for a "declaratory judgement" that the senator is not eligible to be president, Buzzfeed reported.

Wagner told Buzzfeed he is a trained lawyer but has been out of practice for 30 years. He also was behind a 2008 federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy and European Center for Nuclear Energy Research (CERN) claiming that the government agencies were covering up the threat that the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator could create a black hole that would consume the planet.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ripped the anti-Muslim rhetoric that has emerged in the GOP primary calling it "shameful," "offensive" and "dangerous" at Monday's CNN Democratic town hall.

"One of the most distressing aspects of this campaign has been the language of Republican candidates, particularly their frontrunner that insults, demeans denigrates different people," she said, referring to Donald Trump, who has called for ban on Muslim immigration. "He has cast a wide net. He started with Mexicans, he's currently on Muslims. But I found it particularly harmful the way that he has talked about Muslims -- American Muslims and Muslims around the world."

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) looked eager to make amends with Planned Parenthood when asked at Monday's CNN town hall about remarks he made last week that the organization along with the Human Rights Campaign was "part of the establishment” in endorsing rival Hillary Clinton.

"They are a fantastic organization. Count me as somebody who strongly supports them," Sanders said. "So this was simply a question of endorsement policy -- not whether or not I strongly support these organizations."

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Ted Cruz's wife Heidi defended the Texas senator against claims his Canadian birth may make him ineligible to be president, after being asked on a local radio station in Iowa whether she was "sleeping with a an immigrant."

"I feel silly bringing this up, but I guess it's out there and it's being used as a tool," the host of a radio show on station 1400AM KVFD, said last week, as surfaced by Buzzfeed Monday. "Mrs. Cruz -- Heidi Cruz, Would you please respond to the fact of whether you’re sleeping with a, uh, uh, uh, uh, an immigrant?"

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In a reversal from claims made on the campaign trail, Ted Cruz's presidential campaign is now saying the senator and his family do have health insurance and never lost coverage. The late night Friday revelation came more than 24 hours after Cruz had told a New Hampshire audience that he and his family were without health insurance and were scrambling to obtain new coverage--and used the claim to slam Obamacare for the mess he was in.

In statements to Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal, campaign spokeswoman Catherine Frazier blamed Cruz's false assertion that his family had lost their health insurance on a misunderstanding. She said an insurance broker told Cruz that BlueCross BlueShield of Texas was dropping his PPO plan, but Frazier said that the broker did not tell Cruz his family was automatically being transferred to the carrier's HMO plan.

"Based on this information, Sen. Cruz believed the family was uninsured and asked the broker to pull quotes immediately for a new policy," Frazier said.

Thursday, the senator had said he "got a notice in the mail" that "Blue Cross Blue Shield was leaving the market." When TPM had asked BCBS of Texas when and how had it notified members about changes to their coverage, an official pointed to an announcement in July that explained that the insurer was dropping its PPOs but its HMO plans would be available for consumers.

"We worked with the members and their providers to minimize the impact of this change to their ongoing care, particularly if they needed to transfer their care to other providers," BCBS-Texas spokeswoman Edna Pérez-Vega told TPM via email.

Thursday Cruz had also claimed that his search for new insurance was complicated because his "premiums are going up 50 percent."

This allegation came as premiums on average in Texas went up only 4 percent in 2016, and the single biggest premium jump came from a tiny carrier that is raising premiums by 34 percent.

In explaining this claim by Cruz, Frazier said his family has opted to switch over to a new carrier starting in March with a plan more generous than the HMO that is currently covering him.

"The new premium—for coverage similar to what the Cruz family had last year—is roughly 50 percent higher," Frazier said.

Finally, the statement said that his former BlueCross BlueShield PPO plan had been purchased "with no government funds." Aside from the subsidies offered to users of the Obamacare exchange, the senator is eligible for insurance subsidized by his government employer, but has turned the option down.

That coverage must be purchased through the Washington, D.C. exchange -- due to a Republican amendment in the Affordable Care Act requiring Congress members and their staff to use the Obamacare marketplace. But it comes with an employer subsidy that covers about three-quarters of monthly premiums.

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