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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Days after FBI director James Comey said he did not think the Charleston attack that left nine dead qualified as terrorism, FBI officials now say they have not ruled out investigating the shooting as a terrorist act. FBI Spokesman Paul Bresson told MSNBC that depending on the evidence uncovered by federal investigators, the agency would be open to pursuing domestic terrorism charges, as opposed to just the hate crime charges as originally suggested.

“Both hate crime and domestic terrorism investigations afford investigators the same set of tools and techniques,” Bresson said Wednesday. “Any eventual federal charges will be determined by the facts at the conclusion of the investigation, and are not influenced by how the investigation is initially opened.”

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The racially-motivated massacre that left nine African Americans dead in a historic South Carolina black church has prompted the removal of a symbol of the Confederacy in another place of worship. The governing board of the Citadel -- a military college located in Charleston, South Carolina -- has voted to relocate the Confederate Naval Jack from its place in the institution's Summerall Chapel.

By a 9-3 vote, the Citadel's Board of Visitors put in motion the removal of the flag Tuesday. Doing so will requiring the authorization of the South Carolina legislature, as the flag's placement was part of the state's Heritage Act, the 2000 legislation that also put the Confederate battle flag on the state Capitol grounds.

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The Sons of Confederate Veterans will not just stand by passively and watch one of their cherished symbols removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds. "Our heritage is under serious attack," read a post on the group's Facebook page. The national group held a conference call last night to organize its lobbying efforts in light of what it called "the rapidly changing situation in Columbia, South Carolina," according to another post on its Facebook page.

“I am concerned because this is a mass hysteria on anything Confederate, whether it is South Carolina or Georgia, or I got calls from what’s happening in Washington state and Alabama. It’s all over and it just seems like a feeding frenzy,” Charles Kelly Barrow, the commander in chief of the national Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, told TPM. “It’s wrong and it’s tragic that they’re taking something that happened in South Carolina -- a tragedy -- and people are trying to make political statements.”

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With major cases ahead, the Supreme Court has added decision announcements to its calendar for this Thursday and Friday, in addition to the opinions already scheduled for next Monday, June 29. It is still unclear, however, which of the expected opinions will be handed down on each day. The Supreme Court could also add more days to the calendar if it so chose, though it typically completes its term by the end of June.

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Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a GOP 2016 candidate, suggested he would support temporarily extending at least some aspects of Obamacare if the Supreme Court strikes down a key provision in a pending case.

"I think you have to have a transition period. I can’t think of any other way to do this that’s thoughtful," Perry told RealClearPolitics. "We moved a long way when this thing became law. You don’t turn around a huge ship just overnight. It takes a transition period. I think most Americans, whether they’re strict conservatives economically, would find that to be out of the realm of appropriate."

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As many critics call on South Carolina to take down the Confederate flag flying near its statehouse, the White House reiterated President Obama's stance on the symbol.

Obama believes "the Confederate flag belongs in a museum," White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters aboard Air Force One Friday.

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After being told to evacuate a ballroom due to apparent threats, attendees at conference for conservatives in Washington, D.C. were given the all-clear by police, according to several reporters present at the Faith and Freedom Coalition summit.

Event organizers had previously interrupted Friday's events to ask participants to evacuate the ballroom where the main speeches were being held, as they had received word from police that threats had been called into the event.

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As more becomes clear about the motives of the man believed to be behind the Charleston church shooting, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was hesitant to connect Dylann Storm Roof’s alleged actions to any racial prejudice.

When asked about whether he thought the attack was racially motivated, Bush told a Huffington Post reporter, "It was a horrific act and I don't know what the background of it is, but it was an act of hatred."

When pressed again about whether race motivated the attacks, Bush said, "I don't know. Looks like to me it was, but we'll find out all the information. It's clear it was an act of raw hatred, for sure. Nine people lost their lives, and they were African-American. You can judge what it is."

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An African-American lawmaker in Kansas could be expelled from the statehouse for accusing supporters of legislation that eliminated tuition breaks for undocumented immigrants of being racist. State Rep. Valdenia Winn (D) of Kansas City will face a special investigative committee in a hearing June 26 that will weigh possible sanctions against the lawmaker for the remarks.

“What’s most disturbing is the purposeful chilling effect that this type of conduct has on legislators. It’s not right,” Winn’s lawyer, Pedro Irigonegaray, told TPM.

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