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David Taintor

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by David

Boston TV station WCVB reported Wednesday that an arrest in the investigation of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings "is imminent or may have already taken place."

WCVB's report comes moments after the Boston Globe and CNN reported that authorities believe they have an image of a suspect in the bombings. 

Late update: The Associated Press reported that an arrest is imminent.

 

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Jon Stewart on Tuesday opened his show on a somber note, reflecting on the Boston Marathon blasts that have killed three people and wounded more than 170 others.

"I'm just going to say this to Boston: Thank you," Stewart said. "Thank you for once again, in the face of gross inhumanity, inspiring and solidifying my believe in humanity and the people of this country. So thank you for everything that you've done. An amazing -- it's quite a little city you've got going."

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A suspicious letter has been found at Sen. Jeff Flake's Phoenix, Ariz. office, KTAR reported Wednesday, adding that Phoenix police are investigating the matter. 

A suspicious letter addressed to President Obama was intercepted on Tuesday at an offsite mail facility. Another suspicious letter addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) was also intercepted on Tuesday. Both letters have tested positive for ricin.  

Asked whether the President is making phone calls to convince senators to vote in favor of expanding background checks for gun sales, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday, "Everybody in the White House is working on this issue, from the President on down."

The bill's prospects in the Senate appeared dim Wednesday afternoon after Sen. Kelly Ayotte announced she will oppose the measure. But Carney said there is still "an opportunity for 60 senators to do the right thing." The Senate is expected to vote at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday. 

First lady Michelle Obama will travel with President Obama on Thursday to Boston to attend an interfaith service after the marathon bombings there, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday. 

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Wednesday said President Obama has been briefed on the suspicious letters recently addressed to lawmakers. One letter was addressed to President Obama. Another letter was addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). Both letters were intercepted at offsite mail centers. 

Carney said Obama was briefed Tuesday evening as well as Wednesday morning. The FBI has taken the lead on the investigation, Carney said. 

The U.S. Secret Service on Wednesday said that a letter containing "a suspicious substance" was intercepted on Tuesday at the White House's offsite mail screening facility. 

"This facility routinely identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery," the Secret Service said in a written statement. 

A day earlier, a letter addressed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) was intercepted at an offsite mail facility for the U.S. Capitol and tested positive for ricin. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on Tuesday said police have a suspect in mind in the case. That letter originated in Tennessee, according to the Associated Press, and it remains under examination as initial field tests can be unreliable.

Below is the Secret Service's full statement on the letter address to Obama:

 

-          On 4-16-13, a letter addressed to the President containing a suspicious substance was received at the remote White House mail screening facility. This facility routinely identifies letters or parcels that require secondary screening or scientific testing before delivery.

 

-          The Secret Service White House mail screening facility is a remote facility, not located near the White House complex,  that all White House mail goes through.

 

-          The Secret Service is working closely with the U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI in this investigation.

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MSNBC on Wednesday showed images of a man dressed in black clothes, tattered from the bombing at the Boston Marathon, running from the blast site.

"The Daily Rundown" host Chuck Todd asked NBC News' Michael Isikoff whether this person is being considered a new suspect in the investigation or if he is potentially the Saudi man police questioned about the attack. 

"Not clear if that's the case, but there's no indication that this individual is a suspect," Isikoff said. "He, like a lot of other people, were fleeing the scene where there were two very horrific explosions." Isikoff added that the Saudi man who had been questioned about the bombing has been cleared as a suspect. "So I wouldn't read too much into that picture," he said.

Watch:

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Wednesday called the criticism he faced following an awkward speech at Howard University unfair.

Earlier this month, Paul asked the crowd at the historically black college if they knew that Republicans founded the NAACP. Audience members responded with a booming "Yes!"

But Paul said Wednesday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that he thought the exchange was misreported. From the Huffington Post:

"That was misreported," Paul said. "I asked them, 'Do you know?' and I didn't know the answer. This is my first time to go to a historically black college."

 

"People say, 'Well, you should know the answer.' Well, that was part of the reason for going there, was I didn't know the answer," he said. "I said, 'Did they all know that the NAACP was founded by Republicans?' And in retrospect it sounds like it is a dumb question, but it's like, Republicans haven't been going to Howard for 20 years, so maybe by me going there I did learn something. And I did learn that everybody there knows, and I left there knowing that: Everybody there knows."

"It's unfair what the media tries to do to me on this," Paul added, according to the report. "I'm a little sensitive to some of it."

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