In a previous article, we discussed a few emails from Donna Brazile that had been released in the WikiLeaks Podesta email releases. In one email, she leaked Bernie Sanders campaign strategy to the Hillary Clinton campaign and in the other email she sent the Clinton campaign a question on the death penalty that would be asked at the Democratic town hall debate the next day.
There was a lot of buzz generated by the town hall question. Donna Brazile denied having access to the questions at all, saying she wouldn’t have shared them even if she had. CNN also denied ever sharing questions with Donna Brazile.
However, Politico found an email from Roland Martin, who co-hosted the town hall with Jake Tapper from CNN and was the one to eventually introduce the death penalty question. In Martin’s email to CNN producers, the question in Brazile’s email is listed as the third question and the wording is the same.
In an interview with Mornings on the Mall that aired October 13, Jake Tapper indirectly criticized Brazile for sharing the question. He asserted that it would have been very unlikely that she got the question from CNN, pointing the blame at Martin instead. After stating that he likes Brazile, he went on to say that, however, the campaign was tipped off, it was unethical, upsetting, and horrifying.
The New Emails
Moving away from the previous emails, a few new Donna Brazile emails have surfaced. One email, with the subject line “Re: Happy New Year,” features an email from Brazile to John Podesta in which she writes: “As soon as the nomination is wrapped up, I will be your biggest surrogate.” This email is dated January 3, 2016.
Another email, subject line: “Re: OutFront Tonight” and dated February 8, 2016, shows Brazile forwarding an email to Podesta to let him know what would be covered on CNN’s show, Erin Burnett OutFront, later that night. The topic of the story was a report from Politico of a Clinton campaign shake-up. Brazile adds, “I pushed back hard on this, and Axe. So weird to attack the kids the night before the first primary.”
Finally, a third email showed the Clinton campaign organizing a “Bernie Pushback” on October 28, 2015. The email discusses various tweets that will be sent out as well as “friends” they can count on to talk about Bernie on TV. In particular, the email states, “All of our friends going out tonight post-debate, including Granholm, Donna Brazile and Bill Burton, are ready to call Bernie’s team out if it comes up tonight.” (The debate in question was a republican debate, not a democratic one.) Later in the email, Brazile’s name is mentioned again: “Donna Brazile – is super pissed about the VP comment and will raise it if possible tonight. Due to her contract, she is on constantly and can push this tomorrow.” The VP comment referred to is the comment made by Jeff Weaver that Clinton would “make a great vice president.”
After the third presidential debate on October 19, Brazile faced questions on the WikiLeaks emails from Megyn Kelly on Fox News and Jordan Chariton on The Young Turks. Kelly specifically asked her about the town hall question and Brazile again denied everything, saying she didn’t receive any questions from CNN before saying, “As a Christian woman, I understand persecution. But I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is totally false.” She continued to say that “Podesta’s e-mails were stolen,” adding, “You’re so interested in talking about stolen material, you’re like a thief that wants to bring into the night the things that you found that were in the cellar.”
Jordan Chariton also confronted Brazile after the debate, asking her if she owed voters an apology for sharing the death penalty question. First, she responded that she wished he had read her emails and then she pivoted, saying that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was a victim of a cyber crime. Chariton wouldn’t let up so easily, however, he kept pressing to ask her to talk about the email in which she shared the town hall question. Brazile kept reiterating that the DNC was a victim of a cyber crime and repeated that CNN never shared any questions with her. Chariton then pressed her for evidence that Russia is behind the email leaks. Brazile’s answer was to say they had “ample evidence” and point to the U.S. intelligence claims. You can see their full exchange below:
Despite the string of events that have already happened to Donna Brazile over the past two weeks, it doesn’t look like things will get better any time soon. On October 20, WikiLeaks tweeted an ominous message:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 20, 2016
On October 21, in the latest Podesta email batch, three new emails concerning Donna Brazile surfaced. Two of the emails were simply encouragement from her: one one dated January 17, 2016, the other dated February 2, 2016. In the third email, written January 30, 2016, Brazile shares an idea about Ted Cruz’s birth question:
Donald Trump says that, if the Republicans nominate Cruz, “the Democrats” will file a lawsuit challenging Cruz’ eligibility.
DSW — or, more ambitiously, DSW, Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley — should issue a statement saying that, If Cruz is nominated, the Democratic Party will not challenge his eligibility and that the voters should reject him because of his views and record, not his birthplace.
While these emails provide more evidence of Donna Brazile’s cozy relationship with the Clinton campaign, they do not seem to be the “surprise” that WikiLeaks is talking about.