- The Washington Times - Monday, August 19, 2019

Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile is defending herself from the backlash against dozens of Democratic strategists who contributed to a new book by disgraced journalist Mark Halperin, who was fired in 2017 over multiple allegations of sexual assault.

Mr. Halperin’s book, “How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take,” is scheduled for release in November by Regan Arts. News of its release, first reported by Politico, outraged Mr. Halerpin’s accusers and supporters of the #MeToo movement, but publisher Judith Regan defended the decision by touting the “power of forgiveness” and “second chances.”

In 2017, Mr. Halperin was accused by more than a dozen women of workplace sexual assault or misconduct during his time at ABC News, leading to his being fired from both NBC News and Showtime. Critics of his new book slammed Democrats for apparently trying to help him revamp his career.

But Ms. Brazile, a veteran Democratic strategist and Fox News contributor, defended her decision to help Mr. Halperin and said she spoke to him while knowing full well that it would upset people.

“Much has been said or written about Mark Halperin’s failures. We have condemned him, disgraced him and shoved him away. We are still angry at him and will never cease to admonish him,” she said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “After a lot of emails, tough times for sure, I wanted to go on the record with my answers about how to defeat Trump. Many of my friends today are disappointed that I answered Mark’s call, but I did so after he understood where I was coming from.”

The statement comes after CNN’s Oliver Darcy tried reaching out to the Democrats reportedly quoted in Mr. Halperin’s book. Ms. Brazile initially responded curtly to Mr. Darcy, telling him to “ask Mark” why she was interviewed. She later told him that “respect is a two-way street,” without further explanation.

Meanwhile, former Obama adviser Daxid Axelrod, who also participated in the book, said in a series of tweets Sunday that he regretted his involvement.

“By answering Halperin’s questions, I did not in any way mean to excuse his past, egregious behavior and, in retrospect, I regret responding at all,” he wrote.

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm also tweeted her “sincere apologies” for not doing “more research” on Mr. Halperin before speaking to him.

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