Interim DNC head, CNN part ways amid WikiLeaks
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.