Palin Story Sparks Catfight in McCain Crew
Senior campaign hands publicly bicker, with assist from Kristol
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 11:21 AM CDT
Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard on NBC's 'Meet the Press' September 3, 2000 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Senior McCain hands are wringing their dirty laundry in the public square thanks to Vanity Fair’s vicious piece on Sarah Palin, Politico reports. When William Kristol publicly accused chief strategist Steve Schmidt of being the story’s source, Schmidt fired back that it was “categorically untrue.” He tells Politico that Kristol has a vendetta against him because he tried to fire longtime McCain adviser—and Kristol buddy—Randy Scheunemann.

Schmidt confirmed the rumor that he’d searched Scheunemann’s email, and found him leaking details of campaign infighting to Kristol. Scheunemann accused Schmidt of acting like the “Iranian secret police” by searching his mail. “Steve Schmidt has a congenital aversion to the truth,” he says. In his telling, Schmidt not only speculated that Palin had post-partum depression, he threatened to leak it to the press. “It was like meeting Tony Soprano.”