Remember when WikiLeaks released a cache of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta? Remember when some of the emails showed CNN contributor and interim DNC chair, Donna Brazile, sharing questions with the Clinton campaign before her town hall with rival, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)? Remember when Brazile resigned in disgrace from her position at the DNC because what she did was unethical?
Oh wait–that last one didn’t happen.
While Brazile was fired from CNN shortly after the controversy broke, she remained in her position as interim chair at the DNC until Tom Perez took over on February 25, 2017.
When the emails first came to light in early October, Brazile denied any collusion with the Clinton campaign, issuing a statement, which read:
“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.”
Shortly thereafter, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and Brazile had a contentious back-and-forth in which the interim DNC chair somehow managed to dodge every single question, and even cried persecution:
“As a Christian woman, I understand persecution, but I will not stand here and be persecuted because you’re information is totally false. What you are telling the American people…”
Cut to five months later, and Brazile has finally admitted what everyone else knew.
Then in October, a subsequent release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign. I had been working behind the scenes to add more town hall events and debates to the primary calendar, and I helped ensure those events included diverse moderators and addressed topics vital to minority communities. My job was to make all our Democratic candidates look good, and I worked closely with both campaigns to make that happen. But sending those emails was a mistake I will forever regret.
By stealing all the DNC’s emails and then selectively releasing those few, the Russians made it look like I was in the tank for Secretary Clinton. Despite the strong, public support I received from top Sanders campaign aides in the wake of those leaks, the media narrative played out just as the Russians had hoped, leaving Sanders supporters understandably angry and sowing division in our ranks.
In reality, not only was I not playing favorites, the more competitive and heated the primary got, the harder D.N.C. staff worked to be scrupulously fair and beyond reproach. In all the months the Russians monitored the D.N.C.’s email, they found just a handful of inappropriate emails, with no sign of anyone taking action to disadvantage the Sanders campaign.
Brazile admitted to collusion, half-apologized, then said she was “not playing favorites,” that the DNC staff were “scrupulously fair,” and that no one took “action to disadvantage the Sanders campaign.”
So…what were the emails? Were they not an attempt to make sure Hillary Clinton looked best by having access to questions in advance? Were questions also sent to the Sanders campaign? It’s unlikely the American people will ever get answers to these questions.
Brazile sunk her apology within a Russian hacking essay, then immediately negated it by claiming that no one took “action to disadvantage the Sanders campaign.” That’s the closest to an admission of guilt we’re going to get.
Any attempts to get more information will likely be met with resistance. After all, Brazile is a Christian woman who understands persecution, and she won’t be persecuted with false information…even if that false information is true.