In­terim DNC head, CNN part ways amid Wik­iLeaks

Baltimore Sun - - NATION - By David Bauder

NEW YORK — CNN said Mon­day it is “com­pletely un­com­fort­able” to learn through Wik­iLeaks that f ormer com­men­ta­tor Donna Brazile had con­tacted the Clin­ton cam­paign ahead of time about a ques­tion that would be posed dur­ing a March pres­i­den­tial pri­mary town hall in Flint, Mich.

The net­work said that it had ac­cepted Brazile’s res­ig­na­tion as a con­trib­u­tor two weeks ago; it wasn’t clear why this wasn’t an­nounced ear­lier.

Brazile’s deal had been sus­pended in July when she be­came in­terim head of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee.

The ma­te­rial re­leased Mon­day from the hacked file of Clin­ton cam­paign chair­man John Podesta re­vealed at least the sec­ond time that Brazile had com­mu­ni­cated to Clin­ton aides about ques­tions she might be asked on the air.

“One of the ques­tions di­rected to HRC to­mor­row is from a woman with a rash,” Brazile wrote to Podesta and Clin­ton com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Palmieri. Brazile added in the note from her iPad: “Her fam­ily has lead poi­son and she will ask what, if any­thing, will Hil­lary do to help the (peo­ple) of Flint.”

At the fo­rum the next night, a Flint res­i­dent de­scribed her fam­ily’s prob­lems with the city’s wa­ter sys­tem and asked Clin­ton, “If elected, what course will you take to re­gain my trust in gov­ern­ment?”

CNN said Mon­day that Brazile was never given ac­cess to any ques­tions, prepa­ra­tion ma­te­rial or list of peo­ple at­tend­ing any pres­i­den­tial fo­rum in ad­vance.

Brazile on Mon­day tweeted her thanks to CNN, say­ing she’d been hon­ored to be a com­men­ta­tor there. “God­speed to all my for­mer col­leagues,” she wrote.

She re­ferred re­porters to a state­ment last month deny­ing any early ac­cess to de­bate ques­tions, adding she “would never have shared them with the can­di­dates if I did.”

An­other Wik­iLeak­so­rig­i­nated Podesta email re­leased last month showed Brazile re­lay­ing a ques­tion sub­mit­ted by de­bate co­host Roland Mar­tin be­fore Clin­ton’s pres­i­den­tial de­bate with Bernie San­ders. Mar­tin, a host on the TV One cable net­work, headed the de­bate event with CNN an­chor Jake Tap­per.

A sim­i­lar ques­tion on the death penalty was asked at the event.

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