Former interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile shot back at critics of her new book that alleges proof of a rigged Democratic 2016 primary and deep dysfunction in the Hillary Clinton campaign on Sunday, saying they can "go to hell."
"This is a lesson of 2016," Brazile said on ABC's This Week." "If I released it next year, they would say,' Donna, you're impacting our 2018 [races] ... For those who are telling me to shut up, they told Hillary that a couple of months ago. You know what I tell them? Go to hell. I'm going to tell my story."
In a tense interview with George Stephanopoulos, a former top staffer in the Bill Clinton White House, Brazile at times angrily defended her description of events in the book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House. In the book, she describes a dysfunctional, debt-ridden DNC she took over after the ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Brazile has sharp words for her and President Barack Obama for their financial mismanagement of the DNC, and she also rips the Clinton campaign for treating her poorly and having "stupid" and "stiff" messages.
More than 100 Clinton staffers, including campaign manager Robby Mook and top aide Huma Abedin, signed a scathing letter about Brazile's book, accusing her of buying into Russian propaganda about Clinton's health and painting a picture of the campaign that wasn't true.
"If they don't like my book, don't buy it," Brazile said of the letter.
"I've gotten emails from Democrats, passionate Democrats, who say they feel betrayed by all of this. Any regrets?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"Do I regret taking on the job ... cleaning up everybody's mess?" Brazile asked. "Taking all of the incoming? Being unable to spend funds that I raised? Do I regret being on the road 100 percent of the time? Being hacked by the Russians? Being harassed? Getting death threats? Do I regret any of that?"
Brazile said this was "worse than Hurricane Katrina" in terms of the emotional toll for her.
In one excerpt released this week, she described telling Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) she had found proof of a rigged primary in the form of Clinton's joint fundraising agreement with the DNC that gave her control over strategy and staffing before the primary even started.
Perhaps the most stunning passage reported to date was that Brazile considered engineering a movement to replace Clinton with Vice President Joe Biden as the nominee after Clinton's fainting spell at last year's 9/11 memorial.
Asked if she mentioned the idea to top Clinton staffer Charlie Baker, Brazile snapped, "I kept my own counsel. I [was] the chair of the party, George!"
When Stephanopoulos brought up that Brazile had written at one point she told Clinton staffers she was being treated like a slave, Brazile said she was hamstrung on the fundraising agreement with the Clinton team and was tired of being told how to spend money she had raised.
"I was basically volunteering my time, and what I was trying to do, George, was to increase the level of enthusiasm and passion for Hillary Clinton and the rest of the ticket all across the country," Brazile said.
Published under: 2016 Election , Bernie Sanders , Donna Brazile , George Stephanopoulos , Hillary Clinton , Huma Abedin , Robby Mook