Donna Brazile Loses CNN Gig Over Leaked Emails
Donna Brazile has long been a staple contributor to CNN’s news coverage, particularly during the election cycle, but today that position came to an end as a result of hacked emails posted by Wikileaks. The leaks show the interim DNC chair fed at least one debate question to Clinton’s campaign during the primaries.
According to the Washington Examiner:
In an email dated March 5, 2016, Brazile sent a note to Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, and the Democratic nominee’s director of communications, Jennifer Palmieri, titled “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.”
The body of Brazile’s email read, “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the [people] of Flint.”
“Folks, I did a service project today. It’s so tragic. And what’s worse, some homes have not been tested and it’s important to encourage seniors to also get tested,” she wrote.
The very next day, Lee-Anne Walters, one of the first Flint residents to report having issues with water contamination, asked Clinton to promise to “make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States” during her first 100 days in office at a democratic primary debate in the city.
One week later, Brazile appeared to feed the campaign yet another question, The Examiner pointed out:
On March 12, Brazile reached out a second time to Palmieri to give advance notice of a certain question that would be asked the next day at a town hall hosted by CNN.
“From time to time I get the questions in advance,” Brazile, then a CNN as a political analyst, wrote. “Here’s one that worries me about [Hillary Rodham Clinton].”
Brazile included in her email the following question:
19 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty. 31 states, including Ohio, still have the death penalty. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since 1973, 156 people have been on death row and later set free. Since 1976, 1,414 people have been executed in the U.S. That’s 11% of Americans who were sentenced to die, but later exonerated and freed. Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?
As a result of the leak, CNN spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas said in a statement that on October 14 the network accepted Brazile’s resignation, the Politico reported.
“On October 14th, CNN accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor. (Her deal had previously been suspended in July when she became the interim head of the DNC.) CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate,” Pratapas stated. “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”
Brazile tweeted a message of thanks to CNN for the time she spent as a contributor, but as for a statement regarding today’s news, she referred media to the comments she made March 11.
At that time, she stated:
“As it pertains to the CNN Debates, I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did. As a longtime political activist with deep ties to our party, I supported all of our candidates for president. I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue.”
The Politico also pointed out that “a follow up email from Brazile posted by WikiLeaks on Monday and other emails obtained by POLITICO seem to point to Roland Martin, a TV One host who was co-moderating the Town Hall, as the source of the questions.” However Brazile denied that claim as well on October 12, tweeting that the accusation was “nonsense.”