WASHINGTON (AP) — Poring through thousands of private, stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s confidants has become a daily ritual in Washington.
The hacked emails — some mundane, others laced with intrigue about election strategy, snarky barbs, whining about salaries or perceived slights — provide an inside, real-time view of the insecurities, sniping and self-promotion that churn beneath the surface of a heated presidential campaign.
Yet it’s also uncharted territory fraught with ethical dilemmas: Should a private individual’s stolen correspondence be read? How does someone respond publicly when they’re the subject of a private email? Have the emails been altered?
Nearly every morning since Oct. 7, WikiLeaks has tweeted out an alert that it was publishing on its website another couple thousand messages stolen from the email accounts of John Podesta, chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign. As of Tuesday, it had published more than 31,000 of Podesta’s emails dating to 2008. WikiLeaks appears on track to continue releasing batches of Podesta’s emails right up until Election Day.
The Podesta emails follow a string of notable illicit caches released during the 2016 election campaign, including thousands of messages stolen from the Democratic National Committee and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the DNC thefts, but U.S. intelligence agencies are firmly pointing to the Russian government.
Donald Trump says he doubts the Russians are behind the cyberattacks. For weeks the Republican nominee has highlighted the contents of the hacked emails on Twitter and in his speeches, as his campaign issues multiple news releases a day.
Despite Trump’s bombast, no bombshell revelation has emerged to significantly alter the presidential race or prompt calls for the Democratic nominee to drop out — as happened with Trump following the leak of a decade-old video of him vulgarly bragging about groping women.
In a few instances, the messages have actually undercut Trump’s talking points. Rather than the well-oiled, octopus-tentacled cartel of international conspiracy painted by Trump, the Clinton Foundation in Podesta’s emails is riven by rumors, funding woes and internal feuds — among them a bitter rift between the candidate’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton, and a former aide of her father, former President Bill Clinton.
While the leaks do underscore the coziness between the Clintons and well-heeled donors, Trump’s reliance on the hacked emails has given even some in his own party pause, especially as he has continued to express admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process, and I will not indulge it,” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who backs Trump, said recently in an interview with ABC News. “Further, I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us.”
The releases from WikiLeaks put journalists in the uncomfortable position of receiving and reviewing stolen property for its potential news value. There has undisputedly been some real news to emerge, such as Clinton’s secret Wall Street speech transcripts.
Emails obtained through public records requests or other official means often contain redactions, but not the WikiLeaks emails. They contain personal financial details, medical information, phone numbers and even an account of purported suicide threats made by a key staffer at the Clinton family foundation.
Still, media ethicists say, news organizations have little choice but to wade through the daily email dumps looking for news.
“Journalists must ask themselves, ‘To whom do you owe your primary loyalty?’ The answer is your audience, the American public,” said Kelly McBride, a media ethicist at the Poynter Institute, a journalism education foundation in St. Petersburg, Florida. “Ignore the emails and you fail to serve the American public, and play into the hands of the manipulative, destructive narrative that the media is on Hillary’s side.”
The stolen emails do provide an unvarnished and sometimes profane glimpse of the inner workings of a campaign that has a reputation for being guarded.
In a 2015 exchange with Podesta, liberal operative Neera Tanden wrote of Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, “I f(asterisk)(asterisk)king hate that guy,” calling him a “smug,” ”pompous,” loathsome man whom a reasonable person might wish “to kick the s(asterisk)(asterisk)t out of on Twitter.”
Lessig, an advocate of campaign finance reform who launched a modest protest campaign for president, wrote on his blog that he got off an airliner after a flight to visit his father to find his email inbox flooded with messages about the hacked exchange.
“I can’t for the life of me see the public good in a leak like this — at least one that reveals no crime or violation of any important public policy,” Lessig wrote. “We all deserve privacy. The burdens of public service are insane enough without the perpetual threat that every thought shared with a friend becomes Twitter fodder.”
Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this story.
Follow AP writer Michael Biesecker at Twitter.com/mbieseck
NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning a cappella group Pentatonix will sing the opening theme song for NBC’s “Thursday Night Football.”
NBC said Tuesday that Pentatonix will sing the track “Weekend Go.” It was inspired from the group’s original song “Sing” off their 2015 self-titled album.
NBC will produce nine Thursday night games that will use Pentatonix’s song and air on NBC or the NFL Network. The first game is on Nov. 3 when the Atlanta Falcons visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the NFL Network. NBC will air five of the Thursday night games starting with the Carolina Panthers taking on the New Orleans Saints on Nov. 17.
Pentatonix is made up of Kevin Olusola, Kirstin Maldonado, Avi Kaplan, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. The group won the third season of NBC’s “The Sing-Off” and picked up Grammys for best arrangement, instrumental or a cappella in 2015 and 2016.
The group said in a statement they “feel so honored” to be working with the NFL. They released a new album, “A Pentatonix Christmas,” last week.
Carrie Underwood sings the opening theme song for “Sunday Night Football.”
Amy Schumer is brushing off critics who say her parody of Beyonce’s “Formation” video is racially insensitive.
The video features a sweaty Schumer dancing to the song alongside Goldie Hawn, Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack. Some Twitter users are slamming the video on charges of cultural appropriation.
Beyonce’s version of the clip showed the singer sitting atop a New Orleans police car sinking in floodwaters. It also includes images of a hooded black child facing police and graffiti scrawled on a wall that reads “Stop Shooting Us.”
The YouTube clip has three times as many negative votes as positive recommendations.
Schumer responded on Instagram, thanking streaming music service Tidal for releasing what she calls a “tribute.”
Tidal is partially owned by Beyonce and her husband, Jay Z.
NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T is following in the footsteps of its rival Comcast in snapping up its own entertainment conglomerate — in this case, Time Warner. But what’s happened in the aftermath of Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal may cast a shadow over AT&T’s deal.
Like that earlier transaction, the $85.4 billion combination of AT&T and Time Warner would create a giant new company that not only produces movies, TV shows and sports and news programming but also delivers them to viewers.
Time Warner owns popular channels like HBO, CNN, TNT and TBS, plus Warner Bros. movies such as the Harry Potter and DC Comics superhero franchises, while AT&T has its mobile network and its DirecTV service.
AT&T says it is looking for ways to provide innovative new services, which means leveraging Time Warner’s offerings to attract customers, analysts say. But doing so might easily limit consumer choice should AT&T decide, for instance, to withhold certain shows from its rivals or to grant better access to AT&T customers.
Because AT&T is effectively buying one of its suppliers, not a rival, the deal doesn’t directly limit competition, and the company argues that regulators should approve it, possibly with conditions to protect consumers. That’s what happened in the case of Comcast and NBC.
But such conditions leave lots of room for interpretation and can be difficult to enforce. They’re also usually stamped with an expiration date.
So for a glimpse of what the future might hold for AT&T and Time Warner, a look back at the Comcast-NBC merger can be instructive.
IN COMCAST’S SHADOW
Many of the government’s restrictions were designed to prevent Comcast, a giant cable company and internet-service provider, from favoring its own video offerings over those from online TV rivals like Netflix or, on the other hand, keeping its programming from other cable or satellite TV companies.
Comcast says that since 2011, there has been only one violation of the more than 150 federal conditions placed on its deal for NBC. The conditions expire in 2018.
But those conditions have been problematic, public interest groups and some competitors said last year during Comcast’s aborted attempt to acquire Time Warner Cable.
“These sorts of behavioral conditions are very hard to write, very hard to enforce and don’t necessarily always give you the precise outcome you were looking for,” said John Bergmayer, senior staff attorney at public interest group Public Knowledge, which generally opposes media consolidation as harmful to consumers.
LOOKING AT DISPUTES
— Under the conditions set by the government, if Comcast puts news channels near each other on the TV lineup, it must include competitors’ channels in the same “neighborhood.” But Bloomberg said Comcast unfairly placed Bloomberg TV far away from other popular news and business networks, like Comcast’s own CNBC. The Federal Communications Commission agreed with Bloomberg.
— Comcast was required to provide broadband-only subscriptions that weren’t bundled with phone or cable service, so that people could sign up for internet and get any TV they wanted from online alternatives like Amazon or Hulu. In 2012, Comcast was fined $800,000 for not doing enough to let customers know they could do this.
— Comcast was also forced to treat all internet traffic on its network equally, a version of the government’s “net neutrality ” rules designed, for instance, to make sure network owners like Comcast and AT&T don’t put their own video programming in the internet fast lane while relegating rivals to the slow lane.
In March, Public Knowledge complained that Comcast was violating that condition by allowing users to stream a Comcast service called Stream TV without it counting against their data caps. Comcast said this is allowable, part because Stream TV is a box-free cable service that isn’t subject to internet traffic rules. The FCC is looking into such issues.
AT&T is trying to spin its deal as consumer-friendly.
While the company says that adding Time Warner will help it “differentiate” its service — which suggests some kind of exclusive or special stuff — it also says it plans to keep Time Warner’s model of “distributing its content as widely as possible.”
Regulators would probably not want AT&T to keep Time Warner’s movies, shows and sports from competitors (which would also leave consumers with fewer options). As with Comcast, the concern is that AT&T will favor its own video.
There are subtle ways to accomplish this, however. For example, AT&T could make its own video more attractive to customers by letting them watch it on their cellphones without using up the data they pay AT&T for.
In hopes of persuading regulators to approve the deal, the company also says that the new combined business will be an attractive option for advertisers, giving more competition to Facebook and Google, and that buying Time Warner could help accelerate the push toward 5G wireless service.
Rolling out 5G, a faster mobile technology that could introduce more competition for cable companies, is important to the FCC.
PHOENIX (AP) — A key witness in the federal government’s effort to disband the police department in a polygamous community on the Arizona-Utah border told a judge Monday that officers routinely turn a blind eye to property crimes.
Jeff Barlow, executive director of the trust that owns most of the real estate in the twin polygamous towns, said officers work against his group in carrying out evictions on homes and commercial properties in Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah.
Barlow said the police department, known as the Colorado City Marshal’s Office, won’t investigate cases where soon-to-be-evicted residents rip out water heaters, air conditioning units and other fixtures from the trust-owned homes. He also said officers routinely let residents ignore eviction notices on houses that are not supposed to be occupied.
“There is absolutely nothing done about it by the Marshal’s Office,” Barlow said of property crimes committed at the homes. “It continues to be prevalent.”
The trust wants a federal judge to appoint a receiver to overhaul the police department and government in the towns, which vigorously oppose those requests.
A four-day hearing in Phoenix will examine remedies that U.S. District Judge H. Russel Holland could order in response to a jury’s finding in a civil rights case seven months ago that nonbelievers were denied police protection, building permits and water hookups in the towns.
Lawyers for the towns say police departments in other municipalities that have been targeted in federal civil rights investigations have not faced remedies as drastic as disbandment. They acknowledged the department has had problems in the past, but they said no officers have been decertified since 2007.
Barlow testified that the trust’s property manager has repeatedly been threatened with trespassing charges by officers as he tries to carry out evictions. The property manager brings a videographer along as a form of protection.
Officers stopped evictions on 10 commercial properties — including a gas station and warehouse — by claiming the locations were residences. Barlow said the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office investigated and later discovered seven of the 10 were commercial properties.
The civil rights case against the towns marks one of the battles the federal government is waging to rein in the sect’s activities, which prosecutors say are dictated by their jailed leader and prophet, Warren Jeffs. He is serving a life sentence in a Texas for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered wives.
Also this year, federal prosecutors charged 11 group members, including several high-ranking leaders, with carrying out a multimillion-dollar food stamp fraud scheme over several years. The suspects have pleaded not guilty, and they are awaiting trial.
In the Arizona civil rights case, the jury found the Colorado City Marshal’s Office violated the rights of nonbelievers by breaking the First Amendment’s promise that the government won’t show preference to a particular faith and force religion upon people.
Jurors concluded that officers treated nonbelievers inequitably when providing police protection, arrested them without having probable cause and made unreasonable searches of their property.
At trial this spring, the towns denied the discrimination allegations and said the government was persecuting town officials because it disapproved of their faith.
The U.S. Justice Department said the police force is afflicted by an entrenched culture of following the edicts of Jeffs, at the expense of the rights of nonbelievers. The federal agency also has asked the judge to appoint an official to monitor town operations and get county sheriffs to take over policing duties.
Federal authorities alleged the towns operated as an arm of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a radical offshoot of mainstream Mormonism, which disavowed polygamy more than 100 years ago.
Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/jacques-billeaud .
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Clemson running back Wayne Gallman said Monday that the hit by North Carolina State defensive back Dravious Wright that knocked him out of the game on Oct. 15 was “dirty” and he wanted a teammate to retaliate.
Gallman said after he watched a replay of the hit that he had hoped his teammates would have hurt Wright. Gallman went through concussion protocol during the team’s bye week and expects to practice Monday and to play Saturday when the third-ranked Tigers take on No. 12 Florida State.
“I wanted somebody to hurt him that was in the game if they could,” Gallman said. “I wasn’t able to be in it.”
Gallman did not remember anything after Wright’s first-quarter hit until he was in the trainer’s room several minutes later. When he saw a replay, Gallman was certain the Wolfpack defensive back’s hit — which looked like a helmet-to-helmet blow although no penalty was assessed — was intentional.
“You saw him lead with his head,” Gallman said of Wright. “He came with his head.”
Running backs coach Tony Elliott said Monday the hit on Gallman was difficult to judge at full speed and only after viewing it slowed down “you see there may be opportunity for a penalty.
“But in live speed, everything happens fast, you see two guys with a tough collision like that, I understand that it’s always going to be questioned,” Eilliott continued.
Gallman said Clemson sent video of the hit to the ACC offices and the school was told the hit was legal. Messages left for the ACC about the play by The Associated Press were not immediately returned.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney did not respond to a request for comment about Gallman’s call for retaliation, saying through a spokesman he would be available for comment at his regularly scheduled availability Tuesday.
The third-ranked Tigers (7-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) visit the Seminoles (5-2, 2-2) in an ACC showdown. Swinney said last Wednesday he expected Gallman to face Florida State.
Gallman’s absence against the Wolfpack was apparent. The Tigers finished with 117 yards rushing, their lowest total this season in a 24-17 overtime victory .
Gallman said he felt like himself this week after missing workouts to recover from the concussion. He had never gone through that before in his football career, but is confident about his status for Saturday.
“As far as Florida State, I’m playing,” he said.
Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher also expects Gallman to play. When Gallman is playing well, combined with quarterback Deshaun Watson’s leadership, Fisher said it makes Clemson’s offense hard to stop.
“It makes a big difference, it really does,” Fisher said Monday.
Gallman said he went through some drills with his helmet and trainers watching to see if the effort caused headaches or led to other ill effects.
“I passed everything,” Gallman said.
The incident remains fuzzy for Gallman, who remembers catching the ball from quarterback Deshaun Watson, then making a move forward.
“After that, I don’t remember anything at all until I went to the training room,” he said. “It’s like I went to sleep and woke up in the training room. I saw video of myself walking off (the field) and I don’t remember that.”
Still, Gallman tried to talk his way back into the North Carolina State game after returning from the locker room.
“Basically, we had to take the helmet away from him at the North Carolina State game” to keep Gallman on the sidelines, running backs coach and co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said.
Gallman is listed as the team’s starting tailback on its depth chart for Florida State.
Elliott expects Gallman, who set the school’s single-season rushing mark with 1,527 yards last season, in the lineup for the Seminoles. However Elliott has a backup plan if Gallman can’t play — C.J. Fuller, a sophomore, would move into the starting spot in Gallman’s absence.
Fuller was Clemson’s leading rusher against the Wolfpack with 56 yards on 16 carries.
Elliott is taking a cautious approach with Gallman’s condition.
“We’re excited about the possibility of having (Gallman) back,” Elliott said. “But we won’t know the determination until we get the full go-ahead later in the week.”
Gallman said it was difficult standing on the sidelines the rest of the game and at last week’s practices.
“It hurt real bad. I hate doing that. I hate not being able to practice,” Gallman said. “I hate not being able to play. It hurt just standing on the sideline at N.C. State because I told coach Swinney I was fine, I could go back in, but they told me no. So, it’s hard, man. I hate having to do that, but I’m glad to be able to practice this week.”
AP Sportswriter Joseph Reedy contributed to this report from Tallahassee, Florida.
AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org