Former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile appeared on the Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” Thursday and finally admitted that she gave Hillary Clinton presidential debate questions in advance.
When host Trevor Noah asked Brazile why she leaked debate questions in an email to the Clinton campaign, she downplayed the scandal that ended her career at CNN saying, “Well, first of all, I didn’t have my hands in the cookie jar. I’m an operative, I’m a strategist, and part of what my role was, in addition to being a ‘political pundit,’ was to help advance the cause of justice and equality.”
She continued her defense, “So think about, we have six debates. I started to fight for more debates. I started to fight to ensure that Bernie and Hillary had an opportunity to talk about these issues, talk about the Flint water crisis, talk about criminal justice reform, and that was my role.”
Brazile told Noah that what WikiLeaks circulated regarding the questions she forwarded to Hillary is the “Russian version” of the story. She explained, “My own version is that, had you saw my emails to Bernie, you would have known that I was communicating with Bernie just as much as I was communicating with Hillary, with Martin O’Malley.” Brazile argued, “Because that’s what you do!”
She then used blue construction paper that he tore into two pieces in an attempt to illustrate her point that the WikiLeaks version was only half of the story, and claimed her side is the truth.
Brazile defended giving the questions to the Clinton campaign again in an effort to promote “inclusion” and “diversity.” She said, “The truth is politics is a hard-fought game, and when you’re in the battle of fighting to make sure that you have inclusion, to make sure you have diversity, to make sure you have the kind of not just communication but the kind of conversation with voters, you want to make sure that those questions, those topics, [are] out there.”
UPDATE: Brazile went even further with her admission, in an essay she wrote for TIME Magazine, published Friday. She wrote:
“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.”
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) March 16, 2017
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