On Wednesday, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) admitted that he made "inappropriate" comments to his top political adviser, Rebekah Mason, but denied having a sexual relationship with her.
— seattlepi (@seattlepi) March 23, 2016
AL.com reports that in 2014, members of Bentley's family recorded him while trying to determine if he was having a relationship with Mason. On the tape, Bentley can be heard telling a woman he calls Rebekah that he loves her and enjoys touching her intimately. Bentley, who apologized to the people of Alabama during his press conference, said he has made amends with his family, Mason, and Mason's family, and will not step down from his position. He also said he loves all of his staff members, but "absolutely" loves "some more than others."
Bentley was accused of having an affair with Mason by former Alabama Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier, who said the governor told him he was "madly in love" with Mason and would lease a state plane so Mason's name was not on the flight manifests (a claim Bentley denies). Collier was fired on Tuesday by Bentley, following an internal investigation that found possible wrongdoing under his watch, AL.com reports. Collier says once he came across evidence of the affair, he warned Bentley that if it was found he misused state resources during the relationship, criminal charges could be filed.
Last August, Bentley's wife filed for divorce, but did not say if the tapes were a factor in her decision. Mason is not a state employee, and works for the Alabama Council for Excellent Government, a 501(c)(4) established to promote Bentley's political agenda, AL.com reports. Mason said in a statement she is a victim of "gender bias," and "there are still some people who are set on hindering the ability of women to work in the political arena." Catherine Garcia
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced on Sunday that she will step down after leaked emails seem to show the committee's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders. In one email, the DNC's chief financial officer, Brad Marshall, suggested attacking Sanders for his religious beliefs and painting him as an atheist. Marshall apologized on Saturday, but on Sunday, Sanders said the emails were "outrageous" and called for Wasserman Schultz to resign. "I mean there's no question to my mind and I think no question to any objective observer's mind that the DNC was supporting Hillary Clinton, and was at opposition to our campaign," Sanders said.
The leaked emails, and the resignation, come one day before the start of the Democratic National Convention and at a time when the Democratic Party is showing signs of division after a tense primary season between Sanders and Clinton. Wasserman Schultz will step down at the end of the convention, and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) will take her place. In a statement following the announcement, Clinton called Wasserman Schultz a "fighter" and thanked her for her service. Jessica Hullinger
In a surprising move, Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire media executive and the former mayor of New York City, will endorse Hillary Clinton for president, The New York Times reports. Bloomberg left the Democratic Party in 2000 to become a registered Republican. Earlier this year, he was considering his own presidential run as an independent. While Bloomberg disagrees with Clinton on a variety of subjects, including gun control and immigration, the Times reports he is dismayed at the thought of a Donald Trump presidency, and believes Clinton to be a "far better choice," said Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg adviser.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg will make his case for Clinton on stage at the Democratic National Convention, alongside other convention headliners like President Barack Obama, and Clinton's VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). The hope, it seems, is that Bloomberg's endorsement will speak to undecided moderates. "As the nation's leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle," Wolfson told the Times. Jessica Hullinger
Chris Froome won the Tour de France on Sunday, becoming the first Briton to win the race three times. After 89 hours, six minutes, and one second in the saddle over the race's 21 stages, Froome, 31, crossed the finish line in Paris almost three minutes before his closest rival. He won in 2015 and in 2013, and is only the eighth man with three Tours under his belt. Jessica Hullinger
The International Olympic Committee said Sunday that it will not completely ban Russia from competing at the Rio Olympics, Reuters reports. Instead, the IOC is putting the responsibility of deciding who can compete in the Games on the bodies that govern the individual sports.
The announcement comes after an independent report found evidence of widespread state-sponsored doping among Russian Olympic athletes. Competitors will need to meet a set of criteria to demonstrate they are clean, and anyone who has previously been caught doping will not be allowed to compete. Jessica Hullinger
German authorities say the gunman who opened fire at a Munich shopping center on Friday, killing 9 people and injuring 35 more, planned the attack for a year. On Sunday, Robert Heimberger, president of the Bavarian state criminal police office, said 18-year-old David Sonboly left a manifesto on his computer. "He appears to have planned this act since last summer," Heimberger said. "He completely occupied himself with this act of rampage."
In planning his attack, Sonboly, who authorities say was "obsessed" with mass shootings, visited the site of a previous school shooting and took pictures, The Associated Press reports. In 2015, Sonboly spent two months as an inpatient at a mental care facility, where he was treated for depression and a fear of contact with other people. He killed himself after the attack. Jessica Hullinger
On Sunday morning, Donald Trump, or whoever was running his Twitter feed, went on a rampage against Hillary Clinton's decision to pick Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) as her vice presidential nominee. Embedded amongst a flurry of exclamation points and all-caps accusations of "BAD JUDGMENT" was an error that's sure to needle grammar snobs: Where Trump should have used "their," he used "there" instead. And in the same breath — er, keystroke — instead of "waste," he used "waist."
Then again, what more do we expect from a presidential candidate who researchers say has the grammatical sophistication of an 11-year-old?
I know, I know. You miss Game of Thrones. And the recent news that season seven won't air until summer 2017 is probably only adding to your despair. But if you need a quick fix, this is it: HBO released a blooper reel from season six, and it is delightful. Let it be known: Dothraki is hard, but the word 'benevolent' is even harder. Watch below. Jessica Hullinger