In our continuing coverage of the Donna Brazile saga, there have been new developments this week. On Sunday night, Brazile tweeted, “Please God, let this end soon.” Perhaps she got what she prayed for.
Please God, let this end soon
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 30, 2016
On Monday, October 31, Donna Brazile faced a host of tricks and no treats. WikiLeaks had already promised another surprise for her and perhaps the emails released on Halloween were the surprise they meant.
The New Emails
One of the new emails was a continuation in the chain of emails with the subject line “From time to time I get the questions in advance.” This is the chain of emails in which Brazile infamously leaked a question on the death penalty from an upcoming town hall to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, allowing the Clinton campaign to prepare an answer in advance. In the new email, Brazile adds, “I’ll send a few more.”
While no emails have been released with additional questions for this town hall (yet), it is important to note that Brazile has not yet (to my knowledge) admitted that she sent questions to the Clinton campaign. She has said that she was even-handed with both campaigns, has blamed the Russians for tampering with the election by hacking emails, but she has yet to admit to any wrongdoing or to apologize.
Yet, another new email surfaced on Monday, showing that Brazile had provided another question to the Clinton campaign in advance of a CNN debate. This email had the subject line: “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash” and was sent to John Podesta and Jennifer Palmieri. In the email, Brazile writes, “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
Again the email was sent the day before and again the next day a very similar question was asked in the CNN debate. You can watch the woman ask the question below (the video should start at timestamp 18:19). Note the way that Clinton keeps glancing down at her podium (presumably to look at notes).
CNN Parts Ways With Donna Brazile
Soon after the release of the new emails, CNN revealed that Brazile had resigned from CNN on October 14. CNN released an additional statement on the leaked questions:
“CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”
Shortly thereafter, Brazile tweeted the following:
Thank you @CNN. Honored to be a Democratic Strategist and commentator on the network. Godspeed to all my former colleagues.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 31, 2016
She then referred the media to her October 11 statement, which is the one in which she denied sharing questions, said she supported all candidates, and then shifted to blaming Russia, saying they had hacked the emails. Later in the evening she made another comment via twitter:
I did not expect to come out of this unscathed. But I am surprised at the amount of scathing based on stolen hacked emails.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) November 1, 2016
Shifting the Blame
But the story doesn’t end there. While Donna Brazile constantly points her finger at Russia and hacked emails, CNN also refuses to admit any wrongdoing. Yet, somehow Brazile knew the questions beforehand and shared them with a campaign. How, then, did she get the questions?
CNN denies that a producer who was involved with the questioners knew what they were going to ask in advance and has implied that the woman who asked the question is the one who told Brazile about it. However, the Daily Caller says they have reached out to the women who asked questions about the Flint lead crisis and both denied talking to Brazile. They confirmed that they had submitted their questions to the producer. CNN denies the producer ever knew the questions.
It is unclear at this point how Brazile was informed about the questions, but one thing is for certain: CNN should take this matter seriously and owes it to its viewers to investigate what happened and ensure that it does not happen again.