Partisan commentators may make for lively TV, but CNN is discovering that they can also work as spies inside a news organization.
CNN announced on Monday that it severed ties on Oct. 14 with Democratic strategist Donna Brazile after hacked emails from WikiLeaks indicated she obtained questions prepared for candidate events and shared them in advance with the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
“We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” CNN said in a statement.
Brazile was already on leave from the network after taking over as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, a post that became vacant when Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down when hacked emails indicated the DNC was biased in favor of Clinton during the Democratic primary.
Hacked emails from WikiLeaks in early October indicated Brazile told Clinton’s communications director that “from time to time I get the [debate] questions in advance.” New emails released on Monday indicated she told the Clinton campaign the day before a Democratic town hall debate in March to expect a question from a woman about lead in the water in Flint, Michigan. At the debate, two women asked questions about Flint.
CNN has denied sharing questions with Brazile in advance of the campaign events and Brazile said she was not given questions by the network. But Brazile has had difficulty explaining the emails. She said she tendered her resignation to CNN after the initial emails surfaced because she did not want the network to become embroiled in the WikiLeaks controversy. Asked where she got the debate questions, she said she was “not going to verify, deny, confirm, or even try to make sense out of stolen emails that were hacked.”
In a combative interview Oct. 19 with Megyn Kelly of Fox News, Brazile was repeatedly asked about a death penalty question she allegedly shared with the Clinton camp before a primary town hall forum with Bernie Sanders. Brazile suggested the email had been altered and insisted she wasn’t going to be “persecuted” by Kelly.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the Brazile emails demonstrate how the media is biased against him. “Who cares about Donna Brazile? Who cares?” Trump said. “What I care about is: Hillary Clinton gets the questions to a debate — that’s a big deal — and then what happens is the media, they never say: Why didn’t you turn it in? Why did you use those questions?”
A state commission reviewing online gaming and fantasy sports begins its deliberations. (State House News)
Frustrated residents and animal rights activists were disappointed when Westport selectmen failed to heed their call to place an injunction on a tenant farm that was the subject of animal abuse investigation in which 1,400 animals were removed. Meanwhile, a bull and a calf that are among the animals resettled at the controversial farm escaped and led police on a three-hour search before they were captured and returned. (Herald News)
Weymouth becomes the latest police department to equip officers with Taser guns, purchasing 65 of the generally non-lethal electric shock weapons through a grant by the state. (Patriot Ledger)
The Mayflower II, the replica of the original ship, is leaving its berth in Plymouth Harbor and heading to Connecticut for a 30-month restoration project in order to have it ship-shape for the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims’ landing in Plymouth. The ship is expected to pass through the Cape Cod Canal between 2:30 and 3:30 Tuesday afternoon for those who want a glimpse. (Cape Cod Times)
Politicians, including Hillary Clinton and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, are returning donations from a Boston law firm under scrutiny for its fundraising practices. Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she will wait for an investigation to be concluded before deciding whether to return the funds she received. (Boston Globe/Center for Responsive Politics)
Hillary Clinton’s campaign is hitting back at FBI director James Comey, accusing him of a double standard because he has not publicly disclosed any investigation of possible Russian attempts to influence the election outcome. (Boston Globe) Joan Vennochi echoes the concerns — and then some, suggesting Comey was more concerned with protecting the presumption-of-innocence rights of the perpetrator of the Orlando, Florida, nightclub killings than those of a would-be president. (Boston Globe)
An ABC News-Washington Post tracking poll has Donald Trump leading Clinton by 1 point. (ABC News)
While political observers wonder why Trump and his running mate Mike Pence have spent the last couple of days in states that appear to be favoring Clinton, his aides insist internal polling shows he’s closing the gap and within reach. (U.S. News & World Report)
The Clinton campaign is reprising the famous “Daisy” commercial from 1964 aimed at Barry Goldwater to tie Trump in with the same concerns, featuring the now-adult woman who played the 3-year-old child counting flower petals as a nuclear mushroom cloud explodes on screen. (U.S. News & World Report)
Gov. John Kasich bypasses Trump and Clinton and writes in Sen. John McCain’s name for president. (Governing)
An Eagle-Tribune editorial backs Anne Manning-Martin to replace Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, saying her experience in corrections is more valuable than the law enforcement background of her rival, Lynn Police Chief Kevin Coppinger.
The Herald offers endorsements in a handful of contested state representative races, siding with Republicans in five of six contests.
The fledgling United Independent Party headed by one-time gubernatorial candidate Evan Falchuk lost its official party status by failing to enroll at least 1 percent of the state’s registered voters by October 19. (Politico)
John Fresolo, who resigned his Worcester House seat under an ethics cloud, is portraying himself as more independent of House Speaker Robert DeLeo than his rival, incumbent Democrat Daniel Donahue. Fresolo is running as a candidate of the United Independent Party. (Telegram & Gazette)
A planned 750-foot tower in downtown Boston would violate state law by casting a shadow over Boston Common for more than one hour a day. City officials want to see an exemption; preservationists vow to oppose such a move. (Boston Globe)
The founder of Chobani greek yogurt, himself a Turkish immigrant, has become the target of a hate campaign from right wing zealots for hiring 300 resettled Middle East refugees in his New York and Idaho factories. (New York Times)
A Superior Court jury awarded $2.45 million to a former Bristol Community College police officer who claimed she was the victim of sexual harassment by other officers and administration officials. (Standard-Times)
A Boston city councilor sounds the perennial alarm about suburban families cheating their way into the city’s Boston Latin School. (Boston Globe)
Brockton school officials are under fire after they failed to warn parents about an alleged rape of a student by a 44-year-old man in the high school parking lot. (The Enterprise)
The Massachusetts Connector begins 2017 enrollment with higher prices and fewer options. (Masslive)
Members of a national advocacy group for the disabled, many in wheelchairs, were arrested and charged with trespassing Monday during a protest calling for an end to controversial “aversive therapy” treatments such as electric shock at the Judge Rotenberg Center on Canton. (Patriot Ledger)
Raising levels of “good” HDL cholesterol may not do much good after all, says a new study. (STAT)
An increasing number of women are shunning breast reconstruction following surgery for breast cancer, opting to “go flat” rather than have silicone implants in their bodies. (New York Times)
The MBTA begins studying proposals from Bridj to offer late-night bus service to and from Ameridial to run a call center. (CommonWealth)
A study finds Uber drivers in Boston canceled trips more frequently with customers who had black-sounding names. (Boston Globe)
Philadelphia transit workers go on strike, shutting down all subway and bus service. (NPR)
State officials reopened waters south of Cape Cod to shellfishing after tests confirmed the seafood is safe for consumption following a toxic algae outbreak. (Cape Cod Times)
An 18-year-old from Tewksbury is charged with assault and battery in the horrific beating death of a 15-year-old at a Lowell underage drinking party. The victim’s head was apparently slammed into a concrete floor repeatedly and party-goers failed to take him to the hospital immediately. (Lowell Sun)
Former House speaker Sal DiMasi’s lawyer, who will be in court today arguing for compassionate release of his cancer-stricken client, says the one-time Beacon Hill powerbroker has lost 45 pounds since going to prison in 2011. (Boston Herald) Kevin Cullen says it would be a deserved act of mercy to let DiMasi out. (Boston Globe)
Boston police answered multiple calls over many years to the South End home of a mentally ill man whom officers shot to death on Sunday. (Boston Globe)
A former MBTA employee was awarded $2.67 million in damages in a race discrimination lawsuit against the agency. (Boston Globe)