Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile leaked a question to Hillary Clinton’s campaign that the candidate was going to be asked at a CNN town hall prior to the event when she was a network contributor, the Daily Caller reported Tuesday.
Brazile, who was the DNC’s vice chair under Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) at the time, was also a contributor to CNN, which hosted the town hall in March 2016 during the Democratic primary while Clinton was still competing against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
Brazile emailed the question to Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, on March 12. The message was released as part of a trove of hacked documents from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email account published by WikiLeaks. The new release came days after the U.S. formally accused the Russian government of hacking into political computers to influence the 2016 election.
"From time to time I get the questions in advance," Brazile wrote Palmieri. "Here’s one that worries me about HRC."
"Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it," Palmieri replied. "Betsaida–can you send her answer on death penalty?"
The question about the death penalty was posed by a former death row inmate, Ricky Jackson, who was wrongly convicted.
As the Daily Caller notes, this email plays into the narrative that DNC officials were weighing the scales against Sanders throughout the primary and that Brazile only replaced Schultz after other leaked emails came out.
The revelation of Brazile’s help for Clinton is ironic given the circumstances by which she came to be interim head of the DNC. She took the position in July after DNC emails released by WikiLeaks that month showed that then-chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was highly critical of Clinton’s primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.
The email also undercuts Brazile’s claim throughout the primaries that she was a neutral commentator regarding Clinton and Sanders.
In response to the Daily Caller, Brazile called the allegation a "stretch."