In a new essay penned for Time Magazine, former CNN political analyst Donna Brazile admits that she gave debate questions to the Clinton campaign in advance. The admission comes after months of accusations that Donna Brazile repeatedly denied, despite WikiLeaks emails showing correspondence between Brazile and the Clinton campaign.
In the Time essay published yesterday, Brazile finally admits to sending debate questions to the Clinton campaign.
“Then in October, a subsequent release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign.”
She goes on to explain her feelings regarding the leaked questions.
“Sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.”
Brazile also maintained that the DNC had behaved fairly and it was media spin that made it look like she was playing favorites. She insisted that Russians had hacked and released the emails in a way that made it appear that she was playing favorites, but she was not. However, she did not share any debate questions with the Bernie Sanders campaign.
The controversy is significant due to accusations that the Democratic Party colluded with Hillary Clinton, who was considered more likely to win a presidential run, at the expense of candidate Bernie Sanders, who would not be able to run a national campaign strong enough to defeat Donald Trump. Supplying Clinton with questions ahead of the Democratic primary debate would give Clinton an unfair advantage over Bernie Sanders.
Repeatedly, Donna Brazile denied any wrongdoing, but reporters were tipped off to the ethics breach by WikiLeaks emails that showed Brazile corresponding with Clinton staff in detail about upcoming debate questions. Brazile has argued that since the emails were stolen, she is not the one in wrong.
However, WikiLeaks emails paint a damning picture in which Brazile clearly fields Clinton the questions in advance. In one email, Brazile gave the Clinton communications director information that would help Hillary Clinton prepare for the audience segment of questions.
“One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash. Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
CNN hosted the Democratic primary debates and Donna Brazile, a staffer at CNN, had access to both insider information at CNN and a close link to the Democratic Party. Many believe that someone supplied Brazile with the questions, who then forwarded them to Hillary Clinton’s staff.
Still, Donna Brazile maintained innocence and argued with Fox News host Megyn Kelly when confronted with the evidence. When Kelly pointed out more published emails where Brazile leaked debate questions to the Clinton campaign, Brazile told Kelly that she would not be persecuted and that the emails were stolen. She ended the segment telling Megyn Kelly, “Go to Russia.”
This Times essay marks the first time Donna Brazile has admitted to leaking the questions. Still, most of the essay is focused on fortifying claims that Russia hacked the election. She says that Russia attacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 and that Donald Trump’s team has ties to Russia. She says that the point of the WikiLeaks emails was “sowing division in our ranks” and that left “Sanders supporters understandably angry.”
So while Donna Brazile has finally admitted that she did send Clinton campaign questions in advance, she maintains that she treated Bernie Sanders fairly and that any claims contrary are due to Russian interference.
[Featured Image by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]