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

Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said he “didn’t realize” photographs of himself and his wife, actress Louise Linton, holding a sheet of the first $1 bills to bear Mnuchin’s signature, would be posted online.

“I didn’t realize that the pictures were public and going on the internet and viral,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said that “people have the right to do that.”

“People can express what they want. That’s the great thing about social media today,” Mnuchin said. “People can say and communicate what they want.”

And communicate they did.

Jacquelyn Martin, the photographer, told the Associated Press that she “had a feeling that this would take off.”

“I knew for sure this image would get some interest,” she said.

“Some folks, and I’m looking at the picture here, which you can’t see, say that you two look like two villains from a James Bond movie,” Chris Wallace told Mnuchin. “What were you thinking?”

“I guess I should take that as a compliment that I look like a villain in a great, successful James Bond movie,” Mnuchin replied.

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Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said the White House is all right with taking a provision to repeal Obamacare’s individual mandate out of Senate Republicans’ tax bill if the provision is “an impediment” to its passage.

“If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill, and have a tax bill that is still a good tax bill that can pass, that’s great,” Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mulvaney said that if the provision “becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we’re okay with taking it out.”

“So I think it’s up to the Senate and the House to sort of hammer out those details,” he said.

“As of now, do you think it’s an impediment?” Jake Tapper asked.

“I don’t, actually,” Mulvaney said.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of three senators who voted against the Senate’s previous unsuccessful effort to repeal Obamacare, on Sunday said she has not yet decided whether to vote against the tax bill that includes the repeal provision.

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who voted against the Senate’s previous effort to repeal Obamacare, on Sunday said she has not yet decided whether she will vote against a tax bill that includes a provision repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate.

“I haven’t reached that conclusion yet, because I think there are going to be future changes,” Collins said on ABC News’ “This Week.”

She said “the biggest mistake was putting a provision from the Affordable Care Act into the Senate bill.”

“That’s not in the House bill,” Collins said. “And I hope that will be dropped.”

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Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday said he finds allegations of sexual misconduct that multiple women have made against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore “credible,” but is not sure “who to believe.”

“Would you believe that the women who’ve come out against Roy Moore are credible?” Andrea Mitchell asked Mulvaney on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“I believe they’re credible. I don’t know who to believe,” Mulvaney replied.

Pressed on that apparent contradiction, he claimed Mitchell has “arrived at a certain conclusion because of a certain political persuasion.”

“I run the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, D.C. You work for NBC News in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “My guess is we’ve not spent that much time looking at the specifics of these allegations.”

“I have no political ax to grind here other than to ask you whether you believe they are credible,” Mitchell replied.

“I believe that the folks who vote in the Alabama election are going to ultimately decide that,” Mulvaney said, returning to the White House line. “And that’s the right folks to make those decisions.”

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Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) on Sunday said she hopes Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who several woman have accused of sexual misconduct, “does not end up being” in the Senate.

“I’ve never supported Roy Moore and I hope that he does not end up being in the United States Senate,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Collins said it was “too early to say” whether the chamber would vote to expel Moore if he wins his race in November, but said she did not find his denials of the allegations against him “to be convincing at all.”

“I read his explanation, I listened to his radio interview,” she said. “So from my perspective, these are credible allegations against him.”

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Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, issued a subpoena in October to more than a dozen members of President Donald Trump’s campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed source familiar with the matter, that Mueller requested documents and emails from a number of top officials on Trump’s campaign, but did not ask any of them to testify before his grand jury.

According to the report, the subpoena was a surprise to Trump’s campaign, which is providing documents on an “ongoing basis” in response.

A spokesperson for Mueller did not respond to the Wall Street Journal’s request for comment.

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Another woman on Thursday accused former President George H.W. Bush of groping her in 1992, when he was in office, during a photo op, according to a CNN report.

CNN reported that the woman, who requested that her name be withheld, was at a Michigan fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign and took a “family photo.”

The woman told CNN that everybody in the photo, including her father and herself, “got closer together” for the photo.

“It was like ‘Holy crap!'” she said, according to CNN, referring to the moment when Bush grabbed her rear. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”

The woman said that she smiled for the photo, according to the report, and told herself “it was probably an accident.” She told CNN that she reconsidered that evaluation after other women came forward with accusations against Bush.

“All the focus has been on ‘He’s old,'” she said. “OK, but he wasn’t old when it happened to me.”

Her ex-husband and best friend both told CNN that the woman told them about the incident shortly after it took place.

Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath declined to comment to CNN on the woman’s allegation.

Six other women have accused the former President of grabbing them during a photo op. One woman, Roslyn Corrigan, said she was 16 years old when Bush inappropriately grabbed her.

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The White House on Thursday said President Donald Trump thinks the allegations eight women have made about sexual misconduct by Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore are “very troubling.”

“The President believes that these allegations are very troubling and should be taken seriously,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said during a press briefing.

She stopped short of calling for Moore to drop out, saying that Trump “thinks that the people of Alabama should make the decision on who their next senator should be.”

Gena Richardson on Wednesday night said that Moore asked her out several times in 1977, the year she turned 18. Richardson told the Washington Post that when she acquiesced and went on a date with him, Moore gave her an unwanted, “forceful” kiss.

Richardson was the eighth woman to come forward accusing Moore of making improper sexual advances. One, Beverly Young Nelson, said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager, and another, Leigh Corfman, said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old.

Trump in 2016 was considerably more dismissive of allegations of sexual misconduct—forcible kissing, groping and ogling—that multiple women made against him.

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is scheduled to give an on-camera press briefing at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, for the first time since President Donald Trump returned from a 12-day trip to Asia. Watch live below:

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) on Thursday asked for an ethics investigation into himself over a news anchor’s allegations that in 2006 he forcibly kissed her and groped her while she was asleep. He said he will “gladly cooperate” with such a probe.

“The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women,” Franken said in a statement. “There’s more I want to say, but the first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry.”

Leeann Tweeden, a morning anchor on Los Angeles station KABC, on Thursday accused Franken of “aggressively” kissing her backstage on a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006 and of later groping her while she was asleep, an act documented in a photograph. The alleged incidents occurred before Franken held public office.

“I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate,” Franken said. “The fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Franken said the photograph was “completely inappropriate.”

“It’s obvious how Leeann would feel violated by that picture. And, what’s more, I can see how millions of other women would feel violated by it—women who have had similar experiences in their own lives, women who fear having those experiences, women who look up to me, women who have counted on me,” he said. “While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences.”

In an earlier statement, Franken offered Tweeden his “sincerest apologies” and said he “shouldn’t have done” what he did in the photograph.

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