Tennessee trooper taken off governor candidates’ security team after leaking Dem info to GOP campaign: report

Tennessee trooper taken off governor candidates’ security team after leaking Dem info to GOP campaign: report
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A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was taken off the security team for both of the state's governor candidates after he reportedly leaked information about Democratic candidate Karl Dean to Republican Bill Lee's campaign, according to memos obtained by The Tennessean.

Trooper Anthony Bull previously signed a nondisclosure agreement when he was assigned to provide security for gubernatorial candidates Dean and Lee on Sept. 7. According to the agreement, he was not allowed to disclose information or photographs from either campaign.

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Bull admitted that he unintentionally violated the agreement when he told Lee’s driver that Dean would be attending a "Muslim event" later that day, according to memos obtained by the newspaper.

Another Highway Patrol lieutenant later overheard Lee's driver telling the Republican candidate about Dean's schedule. 

Lee allegedly "jokingly asked" the driver if a trooper could take a picture of Dean at the event. A spokeswoman for Lee said he has "no recollection" of that conversation. 

Bull has been removed from his post for disclosing details about one candidate to the other's campaign, the Tennessean reported.

Bull, in a phone conversation with his lieutenant and supervisor, admitted he "was being too chatty” with Lee’s driver, according to documents reviewed by the newspaper.

Dean in a statement on Tuesday said it was "disturbing" to hear about the incident.

“It’s just wrong for a political candidate to ask state law enforcement to take photos at our event,” Dean said. “If the Lee campaign wanted a photo, all they had to do was ask me or look at my campaign’s social media, not ask a state trooper to violate their rules and obligations.”

Highway Patrol officials did not immediately respond to the Tennessean's requests for comment.

The event Dean was attending was a meet-and-greet at a Knoxville falafel shop. The shop is owned by a member of the local Muslim community, according to the report.

Dean trails Lee across multiple polls, with a RealClearPolitics average giving Lee a 13-point advantage.