Donna Brazile blasts ‘cancer’ of Clinton campaign’s stranglehold on DNC
In an excerpt from her upcoming book published by Politico Thursday, Brazile presents an apparent 180 from her previously staunch support for the DNC and Hillary Clinton, and reveals she found proof of a deal in which Hillary would “control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised,” in exchange for raising money to be invested in the DNC.
“I’ve completed my review of the DNC and I did find the cancer,” Brazile said she told Bernie Sanders in September 2016, referring to Clinton’s takeover of the DNC. “I will not kill the patient,” she added.
“I explained that the cancer was that [Clinton] had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee,” Brazile wrote.
HILLARY VICTORY FUND
Brazile says Gary Gensler, the Clinton campaign financial manager, told her in August 2016 that Clinton camp officials had saved the party from debt through Hillary for America and the Hillary Victory Fund (a joint fundraising apparatus with the DNC), and that the party was “fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign.”
Gensler told Brazile the deal was struck between Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook and then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Brazile explained that meant Clinton “expected to wield control of its operations.”
Brazile said she later found the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement from August 2015, which said the campaign would make final decisions on staff hired by the DNC.
“That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?” Brazile says she asked Gesler.
However, in April, Politico reported a large proportion of money raised had gone straight to the Clinton campaign, months before Brazile says she discovered this fact.
The article quoted a state party official saying those who entered the arrangement were “doing it because they were asked to, not because there are immediately clear benefits.” It also said state party fundraisers felt they were “essentially acting as money laundering conduits.”
The Washington Post also reported on the deal in February 2016, and detailed how the fund was run by Clinton staff and that its treasurer was her campaign’s chief operating officer, Beth Jones.The article even featured comments by Sanders’ advisor Mark Longabaugh, who said: “It looks like the Clinton campaign is using the joint fundraising committee to the benefit of their presidential committee, using major donors and now lobbyist money in ways they should not.”
RT also reported on the fund in April, and the Sanders campaign wrote to Wasserman Schultz expressing concern for the Victory Fund.
The April letter cited the Fund’s FEC disclosure report indicating “all of the joint fundraising committee’s $2.6 million in spending... so far has been in the form of reimbursement the HFA,” and suggested joint “committee funds are being used to impermissibly subsidize HFA through an over-reimbursement for campaign staffers and resources.”
Brazile had nothing but criticism for Wasserman-Schultz, whom she said “was not a good manager” and let Clinton’s campaign “do as it desired.”
Brazile claims Wasserman Schultz informed people about the DNC hack only “minutes before the Washington Post broke the news,” on June 14, which was two months after Crowdstrike was hired by the DNC.
Brazile also said Wasserman Schultz had “stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.”
BRAZILE’S GUILTY PAST
Brazile’s revelations are at odds with her past support for the DNC, and her denials that the party favored Clinton over Sanders.
DNC emails released by WikiLeaks before the Democratic National Convention in July 2016 revealed the organization worked against Sanders during the primaries in an effort to ensure Clinton was named the Democratic candidate for president.
The revelations forced then-DNC chair Wasserman Schultz to resign, and Brazile was named interim chair.
“Who knew if some of the [emails] might have been forged?” Brazile wrote about the leaked DNC emails. However, the DNC leak featured emails sent from Brazile’s own address, suggesting she would have known the emails were authentic when they were released.
Brazile was a commentator on CNN before taking over as DNC chief. In October 2016, WikiLeaks’ release of Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta’s emails revealed Brazile had passed debate questions on to Clinton before taking the DNC head position.
The Podesta emails also revealed Brazile had disclosed Sanders’ campaign strategy aimed at black Americans to the Clinton camp in January 2016, when she was DNC’s vice-chair.
Brazile writes that when she told Sanders what she had discovered, she urged him to get behind Clinton for the good of the country, which he did. Brazile ends her piece by saying she cried after getting off the phone, but “not out of guilt, but out of anger.”
Despite Brazile’s apparent shock at the corruption, she went on to deny the authenticity of her emails published by WIkiLeaks, telling Fox News in October that the emails were altered.
“As a Christian woman, I understand persecution. Your information is false,” she siad, adding she would not “validate falsified information.”
In March 2017, she finally admitted she sent Clinton the debate questions, saying it was a mistake she will “forever regret.”
“DNC staff worked to be scrupulously fair and beyond reproach,” Brazile wrote in the article in which she described the organization as a party “dedicated in part to defending free and fair elections.” This was six months after she discovered the “heartbreaking” truth of the Clintons’ control over the DNC.