Another One
February 6, 2019

The third person in line for the Virginia governorship has admitted he wore blackface as a college student.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring (D) on Wednesday released a statement admitting that in 1980, when he was an undergraduate in college, he and his friends dressed as rappers and "because we did not have an appreciation for the experiences and perspectives of others," they "dressed up and put on wigs and brown makeup."

Herring says that he is "sure we have all done things at one time or another in our lives that show poor judgment," and this is a "glaring example" that has "haunted me for decades." But he insists it "was a onetime occurrence" and says he takes "full responsibility" for it.

This revelation means that Virginia's governor and the two people next in line to succeed him are all embroiled in controversies. Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) admitted to wearing blackface in a yearbook photo printed on a page dedicated to him; the photo also showed a person wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe. He later backtracked and said he's not in that photo but did wear blackface on a separate occasion when he dressed as Michael Jackson.

Should Northam resign, as many Democrats including Herring have called on him to do, his successor would be Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax (D), who recently denied an allegation of sexual assault. NBC News reported Wednesday that Fairfax said of his accuser at a private meeting Monday, "f— that b—." Herring is next in line, and fourth in line is Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox. Read Herring's statement below. Brendan Morrow

January 18, 2019

Another election, another DNC hack?

The Democratic National Committee is piling onto its ongoing lawsuit against President Trump's 2016 campaign, Russia, and others, saying it was the intended victim of yet another cyberattack. Hackers — likely Russian ones — unsuccessfully tried to infiltrate DNC email addresses just days after the 2018 midterms, ABC News reports via court documents filed late Thursday night.

The DNC first faced a major hack in the summer of 2016 when thousands of its emails were posted on WikiLeaks by an alleged Russian agent. As the 2018 midterms approached, the threat of Russian interference and any hacking at all actually appeared pretty minimal, but this new court filing suggests those previous assumptions may not quite be true.

In Thursday's filing, the DNC alleged that "on Nov. 14, 2018, dozens of DNC email addresses were targeted in a spear-phishing campaign." The campaign didn't appear successful, the filing said. But the timing of the attack and the methods used resemble the work of a Russian hacking group alleged to have conducted the 2016 hack, the DNC claims, leading it to say "it is probable that Russian intelligence again attempted to unlawfully infiltrate DNC computers in November 2018."

These allegations add to the heap the DNC has already levied against the Trump campaign, its former chair Paul Manafort, Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange, and the entire Russian federation, among many others. Read more about the new accusations at ABC News. Kathryn Krawczyk

December 4, 2018

House Republicans have suffered an email debacle of their own.

After a tumultuous 2016 election rocked by email scandals and database hacking, 2018's midterms seemed to breeze by without incident. But now, Republicans are apparently being told about a "major hack" of "sensitive" National Republican Congressional Committee emails that happened earlier this year, senior party officials tell Politico.

Back in April, an NRCC vendor discovered an "outside intruder" had access to email accounts belonging to four "senior aides," Politico reports. The House's campaign committee quickly started an internal investigation and told the FBI about the apparent hack. It then hired a law firm and a public affairs agency "to help respond to the intrusion," Politico writes. The public affairs agency confirmed the NRCC "was the victim of a cyber intrusion" and that the FBI is investigating what happened.

Yet all the while, top congressional Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (Wisc.), reportedly knew nothing about it. Tuesday's revelation is likely to be an added blow to a House GOP that lost a crushing 40 seats during the midterms, especially considering President Trump has claimed without proof that Republicans have "better defenses" than Democrats against hacking.

The NRCC wouldn't reveal further details of the hack, but anonymous officials tell Politico they believe it was a "foreign agent." Donor information was not compromised and any exposed information still hasn't become public, those officials also say. Read more at Politico. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 24, 2018

Yet another suspicious package addressed to a Democratic lawmaker has reportedly turned up.

Capitol Hill police intercepted a suspicious package at the congressional mailing facility in Maryland addressed to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), ABC News and CNN reported.

This is the fifth possible explosive device uncovered Wednesday — others were sent to CNN (addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan), former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former Attorney General Eric Holder. The package addressed to Holder was delivered to Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) because her name was on the return address and Holder's address was listed incorrectly. Earlier this week, an explosive device was also sent to liberal billionaire George Soros in New York.

All the Democrats targeted are frequent critics of President Trump. Waters especially has personally clashed with the president: After she said earlier this year that Trump administration officials should "absolutely" be confronted and harassed in public, Trump tweeted, "Be careful what you wish for Max!" The White House has condemned the attempted attacks, calling them "despicable." Brendan Morrow

September 18, 2018

Just like the president lamented to reporter Bob Woodward ahead of the publication of his book Fear, Trump has "another bad book coming out."

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is writing a tell-all book, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. It will provide a "candid account of his career and an impassioned defense of the FBI's agents," his publisher said. Trump has frequently criticized McCabe, and he retroactively revoked his security clearance last month. McCabe was fired from the FBI in March just 26 hours before he could retire and receive a pension, reports the Post. The bureau's inspector general accused him of disclosing information to the media and lying about it.

"I wrote this book because the president's attacks on me symbolize his destructive effect on the country as a whole," McCabe said in a statement of his book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump. The book will be published by St. Martin's Press and will come out on Dec. 4.

McCabe further said Trump is "undermining America's safety and security," adding that his book would illuminate the "clear and present danger" Trump poses to the country through a firsthand account of his time working directly with the president and other top administration officials. Read more at The Washington Post. Summer Meza

September 7, 2018

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos helped kick off the Russia investigation after a night at a bar. Now, he'll spend a bit of time behind bars.

Papadopoulos was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI, reports BuzzFeed News. Papadopoulos lied about his 2016 communications with a British professor who said Russians could offer the Trump campaign "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

Though he pleaded guilty, he asked for no jail time, explaining that he was merely "misguided" in his effort to remain loyal to his "master." The judge reportedly found him "remorseful," opting to give him a short sentence, a $9,500 fine, and 200 hours of community service, reports CNN. While prosecutors said he had hindered the investigation into whether the Trump campaign was involved with Russian election interference in 2016, Papadopoulos' defense attorneys argued that "the president of the United States hindered this investigation more than George Papadopoulos ever did."

Papadopoulos was arrested more than a year ago and has since maintained that while he was told that Russians could offer "dirt," he never passed that information along to anyone else on the campaign team. Read more at BuzzFeed News. Summer Meza

September 4, 2018

NBC has just announced what sounds like the most depressing Law & Order series yet: Law & Order: Hate Crimes.

Deadline reports that the network has ordered 13 episodes of this new show, which will be based on New York's actual Hate Crimes Task Force. The characters from Hate Crimes will first be introduced during an upcoming episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, making this a spinoff of a spinoff.

Hate Crimes is co-created by Warren Leight, the former showrunner of SVU. He'll work alongside Dick Wolf, the creator of the entire Law & Order franchise. Per Deadline, Wolf said that he wants to "depict what’s really going on in our cities and shine a light on the wide-ranging victims and show that justice can prevail."

This will be the seventh show to take place in the Law & Order universe, which has seen varied levels of success over the years. Although Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent were all huge hits, Law & Order: Trial by Jury and Law & Order: LA were both canceled after one season. The most recent incarnation was Law & Order True Crime, which NBC hasn't yet given a second season.

No premiere date for Hate Crimes has yet been announced, but one thing that might help boost the series' ratings is the possibility of SVU cast members making sporadic appearances. As Deadline notes, in real life the Hate Crimes Task Force operates under New York's Special Victims Unit, making the potential for a Lieutenant Benson appearance deliciously alluring. Read more about the show at Deadline. Brendan Morrow

June 6, 2018

Another Trump just got pulled into the Russia controversy.

Beginning in the fall of 2015 (before Donald Trump was president, but well into his campaign), Ivanka Trump connected Michael Cohen, her father's personal lawyer, with a Russian athlete who promised a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, BuzzFeed News reports. Emails and testimony from sources show that the meeting was aimed at helping the Trump Organization build Europe's tallest tower in Moscow.

The president's daughter and senior adviser communicated with Olympic weightlifter Dmitry Klokov, and directed him to Cohen. Klokov and Cohen had at least one phone call, and Cohen eventually did refuse a meeting between Trump and Putin, per BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed found no evidence that Klokov could actually arrange that meeting, nor that it would've had to do with the election. But with Cohen already under criminal investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is probing the possibility of Trump campaign collusion with Russian election meddling, is still interested.

Read more at BuzzFeed News. Kathryn Krawczyk

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