Democrat analyst dumped by CNN over debate question leaks
AMERICAN cable and satellite television channel CNN has parted ways with Democratic strategist Donna Brazile after hacked emails released by WikiLeaks showed that she shared questions with Hillary Clinton’s campaign ahead of events sponsored by the network.
Ms Brazile, who has long worked as an analyst for the news channel, had been on leave since agreeing in July to serve as acting chair of the Democratic National Committee. But the network announced she had resigned.
On October 31, WikiLeaks revealed she sent an email to top aides of Ms Clinton, on the eve of a primary debate with Bernie Sanders, hosted by CNN in the Michigan city of Flint, which is facing a crisis over elevated lead levels in its water.
“One of the questions directed to HRC is from a woman with a rash,” Ms Brazile told Ms Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and communications chief Jennifer Palmieri.
During the debate the next day, Ms Clinton was indeed addressed by a woman who said her family had skin problems, although the woman’s question was markedly different.
In a message dated March 12, one day ahead of a CNN town hall, Ms Brazile told Ms Palmieri that “from time to time I get the questions in advance”, promising to send more in the future.
CNN said it was “completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a contributor with the satellite television channel”.
It also said that it “never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate”.
For weeks, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has accused his rival of having had an unfair advantage over Mr Sanders, including advanced knowledge of debate questions.
Until now, those accusations had been largely unsubstantiated. –