Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

Oxfam on Tuesday condemned the U.S. government’s “slow and inadequate response” to hurricane devastation on Puerto Rico, ahead of President Donald Trump’s trip to the island and amid his attacks on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

“The US has more than enough resources to mobilize an emergency response but has failed to do so in a swift and robust manner,” Abby Maxman, the president of Oxfam America, said in a statement. “We are outraged at the slow and inadequate response the US Government has mounted in Puerto Rico.”

Maxman said the international aid nonprofit will intervene in the Hurricane Maria recovery effort on Puerto Rico, despite “rarely” responding to “humanitarian emergencies in the US and other wealthy countries.”

“We’re hearing excuses and criticism from the administration instead of a cohesive and compassionate response,” she said. “As the situation in Puerto Rico worsens and the federal government’s response continues to falter, Oxfam has decided to step in to lend our expertise in dealing with some of the world’s most catastrophic disasters.”

According to the statement, Oxfam will “join forces with Puerto Rican leaders to appeal to Congress and other federal agencies in Washington to dedicate resources to the response and remove barriers that are keeping aid out.”

The nonprofit said it has also sent its own team to Puerto Rico to assess its response.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Tuesday said Congress is focusing on “mental illness reform” to prevent mass shootings in the future, but defended Congress’ passage in February of a bill revoking a regulation preventing certain people with mental illnesses from buying guns.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot in June during a Republican congressional baseball practice, said at Ryan’s weekly press conference that he and his wife were praying “for the people that were involved in the Nevada shooting.”

“I continue to just let everybody know who prayed for me during those tough times how much it meant,” Scalise said of his own recovery. “It was tremendously uplifting and gave me and my family a lot of strength during those tough times.”

“We’re all just reeling from this horror that we witnessed in Las Vegas,” Ryan added.

He called the shooting, which left 59 people dead and hundreds more injured, “just awful.”

Asked what Congress is doing to try and prevent such tragedies in the future, Ryan cited “mental illness reform.”

“So then was it a mistake to make it easier for mentally ill people to get a gun?” a reporter asked.

Congress in February passed a bill rolling back an Obama-era regulation that would have added Social Security beneficiaries with mental illnesses assigned a financial manager to the national background check database as ineligible for gun ownership.

Ryan dismissed the question and moved on to another reporter, who pressed him on the same subject.

“There were people whose rights were being infringed,” Ryan replied. “It’s a little more complicated than you’re describing.”

He added, “Protecting people’s rights was very important, and that’s what that issue was all about.”

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Facebook on Monday said an “estimated 10 million people” saw advertisements a Kremlin-linked Russian troll firm bought on the website over the course of the 2016 campaign.

“An estimated 10 million people saw the ads. We were able to approximate the number of unique people (“reach”) who saw at least one of these ads, with our best modeling,” Elliot Schrage, vice president of policy and communications, said in a blog post.

Schrage said that 44 percent of the ads “were seen before the US election” in November, while 56 percent were seen afterward.

“Roughly 25% of the ads were never shown to anyone,” Schrage said. “That’s because advertising auctions are designed so that ads reach people based on relevance, and certain ads may not reach anyone as a result.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, on Monday confirmed that Facebook had given the panel 3,000 ads it traced back to the Russian troll farm and said he hoped to make “a representative sampling” of the ads public by the end of the month.

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Police on Monday said they retrieved 18 more weapons, along with explosives and other “devices,” from the home of the alleged gunman who killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told reporters that police retrieved “18 additional firearms” from the suspect’s home in Mesquite, Nevada, along with “some explosives, several thousand rounds of ammo” and a number of “electronic devices” the police are evaluating.

At the latest count, Lombardo said, 59 people were dead and 527 people were injured.

According to multiple reports, the alleged shooter, Stephen Craig Paddock, a 64-year-old white man from Mesquite, Nevada, had at least 18 weapons in his hotel room in Las Vegas.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday dodged questions about President Donald Trump’s attacks on the mayor of San Juan and other Puerto Rican leaders he claimed “want everything to be done for them.”

“What was she doing that prompted such criticism from the President?” Fox News’ John Roberts asked Sanders during her daily briefing, referring to Trump’s tweets about San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

“Look, right now our focus is to bring the mayor into the coordination efforts,” Sanders replied.

She said Trump’s administration and “other members on the ground” have reached out to Cruz.

“We hope that she will join with us in those efforts and be part of things,” Sanders said. “She’s been invited to participate in the events tomorrow as well, and we hope that those conversations will happen and we can all work together to move forward.”

Trump on Saturday attacked Cruz after she criticized Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke’s remark that hurricane relief efforts on Puerto Rico are a “good news story.”

He accused Cruz of “poor leadership ability” and on Sunday went after “politically motivated ingrates” Trump claimed failed to recognize the United States’ relief efforts.

Asked who Trump was referring to when he accused some Puerto Rican leaders of wanting everything done for them, Sanders said, “I haven’t talked to him specifically about a defined of who ‘they’ might be.”

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The FBI on Monday said it has found “no connection” between a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left more than 50 people dead and hundreds injured, the worst such massacre in U.S. history, and international terrorism.

“We have determined to this point no connection with an international terrorist group,” FBI Las Vegas Division Director Aaron Rouse told reporters. “As this investigation continues, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that this is factually, thoroughly and absolutely investigated.”

The Islamic State on Monday claimed responsibility for the shooting without offering any evidence to support its claim.

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Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), who survived an assassination attempt in 2011, on Monday called on lawmakers to “find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence.”

“I know this feeling of heartbreak and horror too well. The massacre in Las Vegas is a grave tragedy for our nation. This must stop — we must stop this,” Giffords said in a statement.

A gunman killed more than 50 people and injured hundreds more after opening fire Sunday night on a music festival in Las Vegas. Police identified the suspected gunman as Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white man living in Mesquite, Nevada, and said the suspect fatally shot himself before police entered his hotel room.

Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 at a public event in Tucson, Arizona, where six other people, including a federal judge, were killed. Giffords was critically wounded but survived.

She said she was “grateful for the heroism and professionalism of the first responders who acted so courageously to bring this horror to an end” and told those injured in the shooting to “be strong.”

“I am praying for the victims of this shooting, their families and friends,” she said. “But I am praying for my former colleagues, our elected leaders, too. I am praying they find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence. I know they got into politics for the same reason I did — to make a difference, to get things done. Now is the time to take positive action to keep America safer. Do not wait. The nation is counting on you.”

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President Donald Trump on Monday said a mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 50 people dead and hundreds injured was “an act of pure evil.”

“My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Trump said in a statement from the White House.

He called the shooting, the most deadly in U.S. history, “an act of pure evil” and thanked the Las Vegas police department and first responders for the “miraculous” speed “with which they acted.”

Police on Monday identified Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white man from Mesquite, Nevada, as the shooter who opened fire on a music festival on the Las Vegas strip, killing 50 people and injuring hundreds.

“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss,” he said. “To the families of the victims, we are praying for you and we are here for you.”

Trump said he ordered the flag to be flown at half-staff and announced that he will visit Las Vegas on Wednesday “to meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of the victims.”

“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one, and it always has,” he said. “May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on.”

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Monday offered “condolences” to the families of those wounded and killed after a gunman opened fire in Las Vegas on Sunday night, killing at least 50 people and injuring hundreds.

“America woke up this morning to heartbreaking news. This evil tragedy horrifies us all,” Ryan said in a statement. “To the people of Las Vegas and to the families of the victims, we are with you during this time. The whole country stands united in our shock, in our condolences, and in our prayers.”

According to his office, Ryan also ordered the lowering of flags over the U.S. Capitol to half-staff “in memory of the victims of this tragedy.”

Former President Barack Obama gave the same instruction after a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the worst such killing in U.S. history until the Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night.

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