Donna Brazile Says Hillary Clinton's Campaign "Rigged" The Democratic Primary & Twitter Is Stunned
Over a year after the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Donna Brazile is calling Hillary Clinton's nomination into question. Brazile, the interim chairperson for the Democratic National Committee at the time, claims in an excerpt from her upcoming book published by Politico Thursday that Clinton's campaign "rigged" the 2016 primary against Bernie Sanders, her Democratic opponent. When Clinton campaign emails stolen by Russian hackers suggested exactly that, Brazile says she promised Sanders she'd look into it at the time. Now she's publicly claiming it's true.
Generally, the Democratic presidential nominee takes some control of the party once they're nominated, but Brazile claims Clinton was in control long before she became the first female nominee of a major party. According to Brazile, she discovered in her investigation that the DNC was millions of dollars in debt. The Clinton campaign and the Hillary Victory Fund (a joint fundraising committee with the DNC) dealt with 80 percent of the party's debt in 2016, which Brazile claims Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the previous DNC chair, hid from DNC officers.
A fundraising agreement was signed by the DNC, Hillary for America, and the Hillary Victory Fund that allegedly gave Clinton financial and strategical control of the DNC in exchange for helping fund the party. By Brazile's account, this agreement was signed in August 2015:
Twitter was shocked by the news, as well as its delivery.
Not only did Brazile claim she suspected unethical behavior "the moment [she] walked in the door of the DNC," she also described how upset she was to discover that Clinton allegedly "rigged" the 2016 primary.
"By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart," she wrote.
Brazile told Sanders about the fundraising agreement she believes gave Clinton control of the DNC long before she was the party's nominee, writing that he took it "stoically."
"He did not yell or express outrage," she wrote. "Instead he asked me what I thought Hillary's chances were."
putting aside brazile's obvious posturing—"i always knew the campaign was— libby watson 🥞 (@libbycwatson) November 2, 2017
bad!!"—you gotta read this https://t.co/BQZ9jUzYlr
Brazile wrote that she urged Sanders to "bring his supporters into the fold with Hillary," despite the fact that she'd just told him she believed Clinton maneuvered the DNC against him. She added:
And while some praised Brazile's courage for coming forward about what she uncovered, others thought the timing was suspicious.
I think what Donna Brazile just did not only took so much courage, it was a HUGE step toward healing a deep rift/wound from 2016.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 2, 2017
Hillary improperly took over DNC in 2015 ¬ a single current or former staffer whistleblew--until Brazile, in $$ book deal, in nearly 2018— Luke Rosiak (@lukerosiak) November 2, 2017
Regardless of the timing or motive, Brazile's claims suggest pervasive corruption within the Democratic Party, as well as troubling financial problems caused by Wasserman Schultz's mismanagement and President Obama's 2012 campaign. The debt not only led to the allegedly "rigged" primary, but could also put the party's future in jeopardy. It was only saved in 2016 through money from the Clinton campaign, Brazile claims, so continued mismanagement could only either lead to future unethical behavior or financial ruin. Wrote Brazile:
The most telling aspect of the Brazile piece is the DNC's financial devastation. Blowing huge $ on consultants while deep in debt.— Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) November 2, 2017
Clinton has not responded to Brazile's allegations. However, the Nov. 7 release of the former interim DNC chair's book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, will likely contain even more bombshells.