As soon as she heard of a change in topics for an upcoming panel on CNN in February, Donna Brazile forwarded the email to Hilary Clinton’s campaign chairman — the day before the New Hampshire primary.
The heads-up from Brazile, a former Democratic National Committee chairwoman who at the time was working as a political commentator for the network, is the latest revelation from the ongoing WikiLeaks releases of emails hacked from Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account. Previous emails showed that Brazile tipped off the Clinton camp to a potentially difficult question that the Democratic presidential candidate would get at a town hall program to be televised on CNN.
“So weird to attack the kids the night before the first primary.”
Publicly, Brazile did not take sides in the primary contest between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“Look, I’m neutral. I’m neutral,” she said during the roundtable discussion on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on Feb. 7.
But the WikiLeaks emails clearly show that Brazile was in the tank for Clinton. On Feb. 8, the day before the New Hampshire primary, a producer for “Erin Burnett OutFront” emailed Brazile to inform her that there would be a discussion on the show about a Politico report of a possible shake-up in the Clinton campaign.
Brazile forwarded it to Podesta, who responded, "We are pushing back on this, saying it's not true, not that it will do any good since they love this story. Likely to add but not subtract folks."
Brazile, who took the reins of the DNC in July amid scandal that then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Shultz had colluded with the Clinton camp to defeat Sanders, assured Podesta that she, too, had "pushed back hard" against the story.
"So weird to attack the kids the night before the first primary," she wrote.
It was a preview of her on-air comments that night. Her reference to the "kids" related to campaign staffers who were the subject of shake-up rumors.
"You know, there's nothing more discouraging than the night before a big primary to see a bunch of pundits, to press people, to see the newspapers telling you you're not doing your damn job," she said. "These kids have been working their butts off. They have a strategy to win. They may not be able to come in first place."
Clinton went on to lose the state by 12 percentage points.
Brazile's conduct, revealed by WikiLeaks, has provoked a backlash among some of her CNN colleagues. Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper told a local Washington radio station Thursday that she was wrong to leak the forum question to Clinton.
"It's horrifying. Journalistically, it's horrifying," he said. "And I'm sure it will have an impact on partnering with this organization in the future … Donna Brazile is no longer with CNN because she's with the DNC right now, but I'm sure it will have some impact on Donna Brazile."
Last Modified: October 14, 2016, 12:05 pm