Final reads for Friday
"Chuck Hagel: Not a fan of Obama's Syria policy," tweets Foreign Policy's David Kenner, sharing his publication's exclusive with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in which Hagel accused the White House of trying to "destroy’" him (at 3300+ shares right now). "Hagel speaks out and is blistering on how Obama 'lacked a clear strategy' on Syria + 'may not have one anytime soon'," BuzzFeed's Mike Giglio explains. "Hagel tells FP White House dithered over Syria, pressured him over Gitmo and trashed him in anonymous leaks," FP's Dan De Luce further elaborates. "There's a good FP essay to be written on Gates, Hagel, and how Obama's co-option of GOP realism went sour," realizes Ross Douthat. "Remember that time Ted Cruz said Chuck Hagel might've accepted $200,000 from North Korea?" Politico's Michael Crowley asks. And then there's this, as pointed out by Washington Post's Craig Whitlock: "Hagel rips White House for anonymous sniping. White House official responds - anonymously." Bit o' irony there.
Seeing as we're talking politics, the DNC is barring Bernie Sanders' team from accessing data after a software error allowed at least one member of Sanders' staff to look at Hillary Clinton's private campaign information, while the Donald managed to say of Russian president Vladimir Putin "At least he's a leader." "MSNBC: So you know Putin kills journalists and opponents? Trump: At least he's a leader, unlike what we have," summarizes The Guardian's Hadley Freeman. Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush offered optimism and encouragement to his brother's donors during a private conference call today. "Candid moment on Jeb! call: 'Unfortunately that’s not the best venue for us, the debate stage,'" details NYT's Ashley Parker. Simultaneously, Joe Biden's cancer moonshot is off to a good start with a big funding increase. "While you were watching Obama, we posted the inside story on Biden lobbying for cancer research," announces Stat's Dylan Scott. And if you weren't watching today's Obama presser, just click here to catch up. And last but not least, Hayes Brown is making the case that way too many people are in favor of bombing the city from "Aladdin."
Gaining traction as we type: the NY Times' admission that systemic change is needed after some faulty San Bernardino coverage. "Why did the NYT get it wrong? 'Our sources misunderstood how social media works and we didn’t push hard enough'," shares Stateline's Sophie Quinton.