Was Donna Brazile Fired From Dukakis Presidential Campaign For Fraud In 1998?

Rumors are circulating that Donna Brazile, the current head of the DNC who replaced the Wiki-shamed Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was once fired from her position as deputy national field director of Dukakis’ presidential campaign. Real Climate Science reported that Donna Brazile was fired almost 30 years ago for fraud. The strong accusation is being circulated Tuesday on social media and seems to trace back to an old Standard-Speaker article.

The truth about the end of Donna Brazile’s relationship with the Dukakis campaign is a bit less severe, according to archived news articles.

In 1988, the New York Times reported that Donna Brazile resigned from the presidential campaign after telling reporters that they should pursue rumors pertaining to Vice President Bush’s personal life.

“In resigning, she said: ‘Today I made certain comments which I deeply regret. I believe too strongly in the importance of electing Mike Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen to allow myself to become an issue in the campaign. Because the time is short, and the issues are so important, I have decided to leave the campaign. I wish Mike Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen the best in the final weeks of the campaign.'”

Chairman of the ill-fated Dukakis campaign Paul Broutas told reporters at the time that Donna Brazile had voluntarily resigned and also that she regrets the remarks she made to reporters. Brountas said that Brazile did not speak for the campaign when she made the disparaging remarks about Bush, Dukakis’ opponent. Dukakis apologized to Bush for the remarks that Brazile made against him.

Dayton Duncan, Dukakis’ press secretary, also stated, “Donna was not speaking on behalf of the campaign in any way whatsoever.”

The comment Brazile reportedly made was that “George Bush owes it to the American people to fess up” about a rumor concerning an extramarital affair. In the context of Brazile’s support of the Clintons during the 2016 campaign, another statement she made in 1988 stands out.

“The American people have every right to know if Barbara Bush will share that bed with him in the White House,” Brazile reportedly said, according to an archived article from the New York Times in 1988.

As the 1988 rumor was ill-received, Brazile said she regretted her statements. She made the statements as Dukakis was campaigning in Connecticut and New York. Brazile made her initial remarks to a small group of reporters but then elaborated to reporters during a bus trip to New York City.

“I’m talking about George Bush and somebody with the initials J. F. or whatever the names are,” Brazile said in 1988, according to the New York Times.

According to an archived article in the Orlando Sentinel, Brazile was alluding to a story published by LA Weekly that quoted unnamed sources claiming Bush had a longstanding affair with a staff member and another affair with another woman in the 1970s.

When Brazile made the comments, she had specified that she was speaking only for herself and that the comments were not from the campaign, saying, “I’m not pushing this on behalf of the campaign.”

When Brazile was later asked about why she made the comment about Bush, she described her remarks as “an outburst.”

Donna Brazile, who is now in hot water over emails found in WikiLeaks’ files over allegedly helping to supply the Clinton campaign with a Townhall question in advance, was not fired from the Dukakis campaign but resigned amid scandal and on behalf of the campaign.

[Featured Image by Joe Brusky/Flickr/Cropped and Resized/CC BY-SA 2.0]