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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This post had been updated.

The family of an Oregon occupier who was killed in an encounter with law enforcement last month is now accusing the government of engaging in a "cover-up" of the man's "unjustified" death," The Oregonian reported.

LaVoy Finicum's family released a statement Tuesday claiming new information from another standoff leader -- who was at the scene of Finicum's death and has since been released from federal custody -- led them to believe that the FBI and the Oregon State Police are "seeking to manipulate and mislead the media and the American public about what really happened."

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Hillary Clinton supporters spooked by her razor-thin victory in Iowa likely woke up Tuesday morning chanting one thing: “firewall.”

The belief is that once Clinton makes it past the ultra-white contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, where Sen. Bernie Sanders has a substantial lead in the polls ahead of next week's primary, she can bank on a more diverse demographic-- and particularly Latinos and African-Americans -- to bulwark her support in the states that follow.

That back-up plan will get its first true test in Nevada, which hosts a Democratic caucus Feb. 20. It is home to a Latino electorate expected to make up one-fifth of the state’s 2016 voters, along with sizable African-American and Asian-American populations.

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Fox News is just not ready to let go of its recent debate scuffle with Donald Trump.

As results poured in showing Trump underperforming in the Iowa caucuses, Fox News analysts hypothesized that Trump's decision to skip last week's GOP cost him dearly, according to a Media Matters round-up.

In particular, they theorized that participating in the debate contributed to Marco Rubio's late-in-the-game surge to a solid third place finish.

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The Democratic Iowa caucus was locked in a virtual tie for most of Monday evening, with both sides trying to spin a victory in the first voting of the nominating process.

While the final outcome was still too close to call, Hillary Clinton delivered a speech to supporters at about 10:30 CT, congratulating her "esteemed friends and opponents" -- including former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who dropped out earlier in the evening -- while avoiding mentioning the neck-and-neck state of the caucus.

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Monday via Twitter he was dropping out of the 2016 GOP race, following a disappointing showing in the Iowa caucus.

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Caucusing got heated on live television Monday as a young caucusgoer dropped an F-bomb on MSNBC while grilling Bernie Sanders supporters on the his plan to fix the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

"I get V.A. I am V.A. I am a vet. My mom's a vet. How is he going to fix it? Because I can tell you right that the V.A. is more screwed up than it has been in a while," she said. "The fact that I haven't gotten benefits in three months because the V.A. is so fucked up really makes me concerned."

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Ben Carson's campaign clarified that Carson's plan to leave Iowa Monday night for his home in Florida was not a sign that he was ready to throw in the towel nor even take a vacation from the trail.

His spokesman Jason Osborne tweeted that Carson was leaving Iowa a little early to avoid a winter storm heading for the state and stopping in Florida to "get fresh clothes." In an email to TPM, he said Carson will be in Washington, D.C., Wednesday and Thursday for "campaign events," and then on to New Hampshire.

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It’s a cliche at this point to say a primary election will all come down to turnout. But in Monday’s Iowa caucus, turnout is expected to play a big role not just in terms of who wins but in how early in the evening the major news outlets will be able to project the winners. Those staying up to see who won the first electoral contest of the cycle could be in for a long night if 2012 -- when Mitt Romney's tight victory was declared in the early morning hours (only to be reversed days later) -- repeats itself.

A big turnout could have an opposite effect on the two parties. For Democrats, it means a closer race to watch between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. For Republicans, a big turnout signals Donald Trump is primed to pull away from the rest of the field.

“If Sanders' folks don't turn out, it's clear Clinton wins," said Timothy Hagle, a political scientist professor of University of Iowa. “If Trump's folks don't turn out, it's not clear who wins."

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Even as the arrested leader of the Oregon standoff has called for those who remain at the federal wildlife refuge to leave, an outside patriot group has issued a new "call to action" for "any and all Americans" to join the anti-government occupiers still at the facility.

Citing the shooting death of one of the standoff leaders in an encounter with law enforcement earlier this week, the Pacific Patriots Network posted the call to action on its website Friday.

"Come stand together with other Americans, and express our Constitutional right to PEACEFULLY assemble and air our grievances," the call to action said. It called for the arrest of the law enforcement officers involved in the shooting that killed occupier LaVoy Finicum on Tuesday night, as well as for the departure of the federal authorities who have staked out the Malheur National Wildlife Center and for the resignations of some of the local officials in Harney County, Oregon.

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said at Thursday's Fox News debate that he didn't think Hillary Clinton was "responsible" for her husband's sex scandals, but argued that she "can't be a champion of women's rights at the same time she's got this that is always lurking out there -- this type of behavior."

Asked by Megyn Kelly if one should "hold the sins of the husband against the wife" in regards to Bill Clinton's conduct, Paul insisted he never brings the topic up unless he is asked about it, and said he wouldn't "blame Hillary Clinton at all for this."

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