CNN announced it has “accepted the resignation” of contributor Donna Brazile. Leaked Clinton campaign emails released by WikiLeaks earlier this month and Monday show that Brazile shared questions with the Clinton camp before a March primary debate and a town hall. CNN said in a statement that Brazile resigned October 14.
Brazile is now the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, a post she took over after Debbie Wasserman Schultz stepped down in the wake of leaked emails suggesting she and her staff backed Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.
In an uncomfortable bit of irony, Brazile was apparently also a Clinton partisan: the WikiLeaks emails released earlier this month show that she told the Clinton campaign that one of the questions during a March town hall would be about the death penalty. The question, she added, “worries me about HRC.” Now, the emails released today show she shared another question with the Clinton campaign before the CNN debate with Sanders. From Politico:
“One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile wrote in a March 5 email to Clinton’s senior campaign aides. “Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint.”
The next night, a woman named Lee-Anne Walters asked both candidates that question.
“After my family, the city of Flint and the children in D.C. were poisoned by lead, will you make a personal promise to me right now that, as president, in your first 100 days in office, you will make it a requirement that all public water systems must remove all lead service lines throughout the entire United States, and notification made to the — the citizens that have said service lines,” the town hall attendee asked.
Brazile later promised, “I’ll send a few more.”
In a statement released today, CNN said it was “completely uncomfortable” learning about Brazile’s communications with the Clinton campaign. The statement says she resigned on October 14, after being suspended in July when she assumed her new post at the DNC:
Brazile responded briefly and obliquely on Twitter.
But that October 11 statement, published by the Washington Post and elsewhere, flatly denied that she’d shared questions with the Clinton campaign. It reads, in part:
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. 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.
That’s clearly not true, though. It’s unclear if the DNC will also ask Brazile to resign.