Former ABC News political director Mark Halperin has signed a deal to publish a book on how to beat President Trump in 2020 as a part of his attempt to make a comeback in public life following sexual harassment accusations in 2017.
Politico reported Sunday that the former journalist was planning on publishing the book How to Beat Trump: America’s Top Political Strategists on What It Will Take after inking a deal with Regan Arts. Halperin, 54, interviewed 75 Democratic strategists for the book, among whom were David Axelrod and Donna Brazile.
When news broke of his involvement, Axelrod tried to distance himself from Halperin, saying he regretted helping him in the first place.
“To those who have asked, I have known Mark Halperin as a reporter for 25 years. He emailed me three questions about the 2020 race for a book he was writing and I replied in a few sentences, without giving enough thought to how my participation would be used or interpreted,” the former Obama strategist said on Twitter. “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.”
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.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod)
August 18, 2019
Brazile admitted to CNN she had participated in an interview with Halperin for his book but said she was not the author.
I also asked @donnabrazile about her participation in Halperin’s book. She replied to my email saying, “I’m not the author. Ask Mark why he chose us.” I followed up, noting that obviously he’s the author, but that she willingly participated in the project. She didn’t reply.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy)
August 18, 2019
In 2017, Halperin was fired after at least a dozen women came forward and accused him of degrading and sexually harassing them.
“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women that I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin said in a statement at the time. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain. For that, I am deeply sorry and I apologize. Under the circumstances, I’m going to take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly deal with this situation.”
Since then, Halperin has reappeared in media on Twitter, along with appearances on radio and a failed attempt by MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski to get him an online political show.
Judith Regan, who is publishing Halperin’s book, drafted a statement saying, “I do not in any way, shape, or form condone any harm done by one human being to another. I have also lived long enough to believe in the power of forgiveness, second chances, and offering a human being a path to redemption. HOW TO BEAT TRUMP is an important, thoughtful book, and I hope everyone has a chance to read it.”
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