Catherine Thompson

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at

Articles by Catherine

President Barack Obama said Monday that all the "appropriate legal channels" are being followed to bring the source of the National Security Agency leaks, Edward Snowden, back to the United States.

Prior to a meeting with business leaders on immigration reform, a reporter asked whether Obama had spoken with Russian President Vladimir Putin about securing Snowden. The president responded that the White House is "working with various countries to make sure that all the rules are followed," according to a pool report.

Obama referred further questions to the Department of Justice.

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Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) reversed course on the immigration issue over the weekend, declaring the Senate's border surge deal a "victory for Arizona."

Brewer appeared Monday afternoon on Fox News, echoing a position she first debuted on that channel a day earlier. 

"I really, really am claiming victory for Arizona in regards to the border surge," Brewer told Fox News. "I was writing to the federal government and to Sen. Schumer way back in June of 2010 in regards to the border surge that we needed to see completed before we moved forward. So today hopefully that will get out of the Senate and we can see that they are going to move forward."

Arizona Sens. John McCain (R) and Jeff Flake (R) are co-authors of the comprehensive immigration reform bill. The new border provision in particular appeals to Brewer, who signed Arizona's tough SB 1070 immigration law, which was largely struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012.

Watch Brewer's Fox appearance below: 

This post has been updated.

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A 9-year-old girl was wounded in the hand Friday after an Evansville, Ind. man allowed her and two other children to hold a firearm, the Evansville Courier & Press reported Sunday.

According to the Evansville Police Department, Gilbert Ricketts, 48, allowed three children, ages 10, 9, and 8, to hold his .22-caliber rifle. Ricketts told police that since he had the permission of at least one of the children's parents, he removed the rifle's magazine and allowed them to hold it. He told police he was unaware that a round had been left in its chamber.

The 9-year-old was taken to the hospital with multiple wounds to her left hand after the rifle discharged while she held it.  The girl's fingers may need to be amputated, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Ricketts faces a charge of dangerous control of a firearm. Police say tests showed he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.053 at the time of the incident.

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South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said that although she already has the framework for another gubernatorial bid, she may not seek reelection in 2014, the Florence Morning News reported Sunday.

“If we look and it’s too much on the family, I could absolutely see (not running again),” she told the Morning News in a June 17 interview.

Haley's husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan. The couple has two small children.

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Rep. Peter King (R-NY) said Monday that Hong Kong's refusal to extradite Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor accused of espionage, was a "political decision" with ties to Beijing, according to the Associated Press.

"This was strictly a political decision," King told CNN in an interview, as quoted by the AP, "and I cannot believe that Hong Kong would have made it without China encouraging it or acquiescing in it."

King added that Washington should take a hard line on countries like Hong Kong that don't cooperate with the U.S. government in such cases, warning that "business cannot go on as usual" when U.S. demands are not met.

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The Texas House of Representatives voted early Monday to pass the state Senate's strict omnibus abortion bill, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The House voted 97-33 in favor of the bill, which includes a provision banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, following more than 13 hours of debate on the floor. The bill would also force clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers, effectively shutting down all but five clinics across the state, according to Planned Parenthood estimates.

Hundreds of Texas residents flooded the state House last week to testify against the bill in a so-called "people's filibuster." Republicans in the House responded by scheduling further hearings at the last minute and in a small room where the audience was limited to 30 people.

“If this issue was so important, then it deserves the right — when people come from across this state when they sign up — for every one of them to be heard, to have their say, to stay all night and listen to everyone of our constituents from across the state,” said state Rep. Sylvester Turner (D), as quoted by the Morning News. "All of a sudden to make somebody else’s agenda, we’re doing everything we can to rush through this process.” 

The bill now returns to the state Senate for final approval.

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Real estate mogul and reality TV host Donald Trump will make his first ever trip to Iowa in August to meet with religious conservative activists, The Des Moines Register reported Saturday. 

Trump will attend the Family Leader's second annual leadership summit, where invited politicians will speak about threats facing American families. He's fueled speculation for two phantom presidential bids in the past, ultimately deciding not to run in both 2000 and 2011 -- but in neither race did Trump make a trip to the state that holds the nation's first major electoral event for the presidential race.

[h/t Political Wire]

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A Colorado civil rights board on Sunday ruled in favor of a 6-year-old transgender girl who was told she couldn't use the girl's bathroom at her elementary school, the Denver Post reported.

Coy Mathis' family filed a civil rights complaint in February after the Fountain-Fort Carson School District told Mathis' parents that she couldn't continue to use the girls' restroom after the holiday break. 

"Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her," mother Kathryn Mathis said in a statement, as quoted by the Denver Post. "All we ever wanted was for Coy's school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally."

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund will hold a news conference at the Colorado State Capitol Monday to explain the case's decision.

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A Kremlin spokesperson said Monday that the Russian government had no advance knowledge that Edward Snowden, the source of the National Security Agency leaks, was traveling to Moscow, according to the Wall Street Journal.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told the Journal that Russia wouldn't intervene in the Snowden matter by holding him or returning him to the U.S. to face charges.

"It is not a question for us," Peskov told The Wall Street Journal. "We don't know what his plans are and we were unaware he was coming here."

Snowden arrived in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport late Sunday, and is expected to leave Monday afternoon on a flight bound for Cuba.

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A New Orleans woman was charged with second-degree murder Sunday after her daughter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

Laderika Smith, 28, had locked her 5-year-old in a bedroom alone while she ran errands. Police spokesperson Hilal Williams said the child found a .38 revolver inside the home and accidentally shot herself in the head.

Smith confessed to having a gun in the home, according to Williams. A police statement said the death of her daughter was a direct result of Smith's negligence.

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