Anti-Hillary Clinton sentiment inside the FBI is prompting leaks meant to damage her campaign before the election, several current and former bureau employees told The Guardian. Reuters narrows the scope to the FBI's New York field office, reporting that according to "two law enforcement sources" familiar with the New York office, "a faction of investigators based in the office is known to be hostile to Hillary Clinton."
"The FBI is Trumpland," one agent told The Guardian's Spencer Ackerman. Another said the agency is "Trumplandia," and Clinton is the "antichrist personified to a large swatch of FBI personnel. The reason why they're leaking is they're pro-Trump." In July, FBI Director James Comey announced his decision not to recommend indictment over Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, and this caused outrage among many in the bureau, several officials said. One former agent told Ackerman that while there are "lots of people who don't think Trump is qualified," they "also believe Clinton is corrupt. What you hear a lot is that it's a bad choice, between an incompetent and a corrupt politician."
Last week, Comey wrote a letter to Congress, stating that the FBI was reviewing newly discovered emails related to the personal server, but they were not sure if they were relevant to the case. He came under fire from many legal experts and lawmakers, including Republicans, who say he inserted himself into the election with his comments, and his move got the ball rolling on more leaks — on Wednesday, Fox News reported the FBI was ramping up an investigation into the Clinton Foundation (Justice Department officials told The Wall Street Journal the claims were "flimsy"), and earlier this week, it was revealed that there is a preliminary inquiry into the Russian business dealings of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's former campaign manager (he denies any wrongdoing). "The continued leadership failures at the FBI are another reminder we can't let intelligence agencies say 'trust us' and then give them a blank check to probe into Americans' lives," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) told Ackerman. Read the full report at The Guardian. Catherine Garcia
Following the controversy surrounding President Trump's consolation call to the widow of a U.S. serviceman killed in Niger, Chief of Staff John Kelly criticized Rep. Frederica Wilson's (D-Fla.) public interpretation of the conversation, which she overheard in the car. "A member of Congress listened in on a phone call from the president of the United States to a young wife," Kelly said. "And in his own way, [Trump] tried to express that option, that [the late soldier, Army Sgt. La David Johnson, was] a brave man and a fallen hero."
Video: Gut-wrenching stuff as Gen. Kelly describes his emotions upon seeing Democratic Rep. Wilson parading around blasting Trump pic.twitter.com/1quiR8ta0R
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 19, 2017
Kelly's emotional speech was informed by personal experience: His son, 2nd Lt. Robert M. Kelly, 29, was killed by a land mine in Afghanistan in 2010. "There's no perfect way to make that phone call," Kelly said. "My first recommendation was he not do it."
Kelly nevertheless commended Trump's bravery for speaking to the widow and said he was "stunned" and "broken-hearted" by Wilson's comments to the press. "That selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on that battlefield, I just thought that might be sacred," he said. Watch below. Jeva Lange
WH Chief of Staff John Kelly addresses the Trump troop controversy and explains the procedure that follows the death of a US service member: pic.twitter.com/eYIyrxUK42
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) October 19, 2017
President Trump, set your DVR: The Hallmark Channel's around-the-clock Christmas programming begins … next week.
Despite the fact that Halloween hasn't even happened yet, Hallmark airs the first of its 34 (thirty-four!) new Christmas movies beginning on Oct. 28 with Marry Me at Christmas, KUSA reports. Other feel-good titles coming this season include The Sweetest Christmas, A Joyous Christmas, Christmas in Evergreen, Christmas at Holly Lodge, A Bramble House Christmas — you get the picture. There is going to be a lot of Christmas.
If you can't wait until Oct. 28, the Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas Preview Show airs Oct. 22 — 64 days before Dec. 25. Jeva Lange
Get your TV, laptop, cell phone, and tablet ready, because it will take all four to watch all the different sports happening Thursday. For only the 17th time in history, there are NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB games on the same day, FiveThirtyEight reports.
On Thursday night, fans can pick between Game 5 of the National League Championship Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs, the Kansas City Chiefs facing off against the Oakland Raiders, or one of the three NBA games or nine NHL games. (There are two college football games today, too!)
Sports superfans have two more chances to experience a so-called "sports equinox" this year: On Oct. 22nd, if the Cubs manage to come back to force a Game 7 against the Dodgers, and Oct. 29th, if there is a Game 5 of the World Series. Take a look at all of the sports eclipses in history below via FiveThirtyEight — and remember to get to the bar early for a seat. Jeva Lange
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) October 19, 2017
About half of all Americans are in agreement: The U.S. hasn't done enough for gender equality. But there's a big difference between how Democrats and Republicans feel about the issue.
A new survey from Pew Research Center found that 69 percent of Democrats think the country hasn't gone far enough when it comes to giving women equal rights with men. Only 26 percent of Republicans feel the same. What's more, 18 percent of Republicans believe the country has gone too far to address gender inequality.
In the same survey, Pew found that 43 percent of women surveyed said they'd experienced gender discrimination. Less than half as many men — 18 percent — said the same thing.
Speaking in New York City on Thursday, former President George W. Bush made sharply pointed comments about the state of America without referencing President Trump by name, Politico reports. "We've seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty," Bush told attendees of a Bush Institute forum entitled "The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World."
"At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together," Bush said. "Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization."
George W Bush: "Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seem more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication." pic.twitter.com/oz0uxilggT
— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 19, 2017
"Bigotry seems emboldened," Bush went on. "Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication."
Bush "has said very little publicly about the current president, or about American politics at all," Politico observed. "Thursday's speech, in which he detailed what he sees as the causes for democratic collapse, the path forward, and what were obvious references to Trump … was a major departure in a speech that called on a renewal of American spirit and institutions."
A spokesman for Bush told The Hill the speech was "long-planned" and not a critique of Trump. "This was a long-planned speech on liberty and democracy as a part of the Bush Institute's Human Freedom Initiative. The themes President Bush spoke about today are really the same themes he has spoken about for the last two decades," the spokesman said.
Watch more of Bush's remarks below. Jeva Lange
President George W Bush in NYC: "We've seen nationalism distorted into nativism...we need to recall and recover our own identity" pic.twitter.com/dsiSkFzEVp
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) October 19, 2017
On Thursday, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) introduced their bipartisan health-care bill, flanked by 11 more Democratic co-sponsors plus 11 more Republican co-sponsors. "I think I might want to get a bipartisan interim deal," Alexander quoted President Trump as saying last weekend; the president and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had come out against the bill Wednesday.
The legislation seeks to stabilize health insurance markets by extending for two years government subsidy payments that insurance companies use to lower costs for poorer customers. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a co-sponsor of a previous GOP health-care bill, said Thursday that he thinks Trump can be convinced to come around, while Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) — who authored the previous bill with Graham — said he would be a co-sponsor on the bipartisan Alexander-Murray bill.
Alexander-Murray’s Republican sponsors:
— Dylan Scott (@dylanlscott) October 19, 2017
.@SenAlexander adds Sens. Isakson and Grassley to cosponsors list - with all Dems that WOULD BE 60.
— julie rovner (@jrovner) October 19, 2017
Axios writes that "the story of the Alexander-Murray bill likely won't be over until December, when Congress has to take care of several must-pass bills, in negotiations where Democrats have a lot of leverage." An initial tally on Thursday, assuming all Democrats would support the measure, indicated the bill could garner the 60 votes it needs to pass the Senate. Jeva Lange
The old Christian Bale can't come to the phone right now:
— Josh Tarpley (@jOsHtArPlEy7) October 19, 2017
Photos leaked Thursday show Bale's full body commitment to the character of Dick Cheney, whom Bale is portraying in Adam McKay's forthcoming (and yet untitled) biopic about the former vice president. The film will reportedly cover Cheney's "time serving as a Wyoming congressman up through his time in D.C. — with a few stops for hunting trips (and accidents) along the way," Vulture reports.
For reference, only a short time ago, Bale looked like this:
Christian Bale ❤️ pic.twitter.com/0YSMwRTgvr
— Afashat English (@AfashatEnglish) October 10, 2017
The film also stars Amy Adams as Dick Cheney's wife, Lynne Cheney:
— Jackson McHenry (@McHenryJD) October 19, 2017
Not too shabby! Jeva Lange