by Alice Salles, October 31st 2016
Interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Donna Brazile might still have a job with the formal governing body for the United States Democratic Party, but she no longer holds a position as a CNNcontributor. Though CNN suspended the deal with the Democrat in July, the story has become relevant once again following the disclosure of an email dated March 5, 2016, in which Brazile, the then-CNN contributor, sent Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and communications director Jennifer Palmieri “[o]ne of the questions directed to [Clinton] tomorrow.”
The email was sent one day before a CNN debate in Flint, Michigan between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
In the email, Brazile explained the question would be asked by “a woman with a rash” whose “family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the [people] of Flint.”
Several questions during that particular debate addressed the contaminated drinking water crisis. One of the people who stood up to ask the candidates questions, Lee-Anne Walters, allegedly had two children with health problems. She asked the candidates whether they would “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?”
While neither Clinton nor then-candidate Bernie Sanders gave Walters a straight answer, Clinton said she “[would] commit to a priority to change the water systems and we will commit within five years to remove lead from everywhere.”
At the time, Brazile was the vice chairwoman of the DNC. She took over as the interim chairwoman after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned following a WikiLeaks release of 20,000 DNC emails that proved the DNC failed to remain neutral during the party’s primary contest, growing “increasingly agitated with Bernie Sanders and his campaign, at some points even floating ideas about ways to undermine his candidacy.”
Prior to this Brazile email scandal, the interim DNC chairwoman faced scrutiny over another email released by WikiLeaks that provided Clinton with debate questions in advance of a March 13 town hall event hosted by Jake Tapper and Roland Martin.
On March 12, Brazile sent an email with the subject line: “From time to time I get the questions in advance.”
After the March 12 email was made public, Brazile issued a statement saying she had supported all candidates for president. Adding that she “often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign,” she also wrote that “any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue.”
At the time, she also claimed she “never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if [she] did,” despite the email’s comments arguing she did, indeed, receive the questions in advance “from time to time.”
CNN is reported to have severed all ties to its former contributor.
Brazile continues to blame Russia and Wikileaks for the DNC leaks controversy, though it’s unclear how Russia or WikiLeaks caused her to favor Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
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