Was the 2016 Democratic Party primary process between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders a “fair” fight?
“I believe it was,” said former Democratic National Committee interim chair Donna Brazile, who was suddenly singing a very different tune Tuesday in an interview with CBS.
In her new book released Tuesday, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” Brazile had said exactly the opposite – indicating she doesn’t believe “the fight had been fair.”
Brazile explains that, when she took the helm of the DNC, she promised Sanders she “would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.”
Clinton vs. Sanders not a ‘fair’ fight
The following is an excerpt from Brazile’s new book describing the moment she discovered a eye-opening deal between Clinton and the DNC that, she says, “looked unethical” and “compromised the party’s integrity”:
I had tried to search out any other evidence of internal corruption that would show that the DNC was rigging the system to throw the primary to Hillary, but I could not find any in party affairs or among the staff. I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none. Then I found this agreement.
The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.
I had to keep my promise to Bernie. I was in agony as I dialed him. Keeping this secret was against everything that I stood for, all that I valued as a woman and as a public servant.
“Hello, senator. I’ve completed my review of the DNC and I did find the cancer,” I said. “But I will not kill the patient.”
Essentially, Clinton had cut a deal to bankroll the DNC during the 2016 election in exchange for control over its operations – before the party’s nominee had been officially selected. And Brazile indicated she didn’t believe “the fight had been fair” because the agreement compromised the DNC’s integrity.
The revelations prompted President Trump to tweet: “Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H …”
Fair fight? ‘I believe it was’
However, on Tuesday morning, CBS’ Norah O’Donnell asked Brazile if the primary between Clinton and Sanders had been a fair fight.
“I believe it was,” Brazil replied.
She said: “I found no instances that the party rigged the process, and I wanted to make sure Bernie and his supporters understood that.”
In a similar statement during a Nov. 5 interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Brazile said she found “no evidence” that the Democratic primary was rigged.
“I found no evidence, none whatsoever,” she said. “The only thing I found, which I said, ‘I found the cancer, and I’m not killing the patient,’ was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operations.”
Clinton loyalists attack Brazile
So why does Brazile appear to be changing her tune about the process being “fair”?
Could it be the massive push-back against her by Clinton loyalists and some in the media?
On Monday evening, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson claimed “highly informed sources” said “top management at CNN directed its employees to undermine Brazile’s credibility.”
Watch Carlson’s report:
And in a Nov. 4 “Open Letter from Hillary for America 2016 Team,” more than 200 Clinton staffers – including campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook and communications director Jennifer Palmieri – blasted the accusations in Brazile’s book.
“Donna came in to take over the DNC at a very difficult time,” the letter said. “We were grateful to her for doing so. She is a longtime friend and colleague of many of us and has been an important leader in our party. But we do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book.”
On Tuesday, Brazile was attacked by Joy Behar of “The View” for “giving red meat to Trump’s side” by releasing the book on an election day.
“You threw a lot of people under the bus. The DNC is made at you. Robby Mook [former campaign manager for Hillary Clinton] is mad, maybe even Hillary might be mad,” Behar told Brazile.
“I’m not sure about Hillary. I saw Mook, he’s upset,” Behar said. “But here’s the question I have for you. Why the timing of this book? Today is Election Day. Why are you giving red meat to Trump’s side? Why not have a week, next week?”
In that appearance, Brazile falsely claimed she never used the word “rigged” in her book. But nobody on “The View” challenged her untrue assertion.
Haunted by mysterious murder of Seth Rich
As WND reported Monday, Brazile also said she feared for her life after the mysterious murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich. She even believed snipers would try to shoot and kill her.
In her book, she says she closed her office window blinds so snipers couldn’t spot her. Brazile installed surveillance cameras at her home. And she worried that her office was bugged with a listening device.
As WND has reported, Rich, 27, was the DNC’s voter expansion data director. He had accepted a position with Clinton’s campaign just before his death. Some believe he played a role in the release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange, in an August 2016 interview, appeared to suggest that Rich was one of his sources.
In the summer of 2016 – in the heat of a highly contentious presidential campaign – Rich was fatally shot in the back in Washington, D.C., near his apartment in an affluent neighborhood. Rich had been working for the DNC at a time when emails from the organization were provided to WikiLeaks for publication. The latest DNC email released by WikiLeaks was dated May 18, 2016 – just weeks before Rich was murdered. The emails exposed the party’s bias against Sanders.
The Metropolitan Police Department and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowers insist Rich was randomly killed during a “botched robbery.” But others are doubtful because he was found with his wallet, credit cards and other valuables.
“Brazile writes that she was haunted by the still-unsolved murder of DNC data staffer Seth Rich and feared for her own life, shutting the blinds to her office window so snipers could not see her and installing surveillance cameras at her home,” the Washington Post reported. “She wonders whether Russians had placed a listening device in plants in the DNC executive suite.”
Cash to find Rich’s killer? Hillary ends call
Brazile also reveals that she has her own theories about Rich’s unsolved murder, including that he might have been killed for being white or that he was terminated by Russians.
I felt some responsibility for Seth Rich’s death. I didn’t bring him into the DNC, but I helped keep him there working on voting rights. With all I knew now about the Russians’ hacking, I could not help but wonder if they had played some part in his unsolved murder. Besides that, racial tensions were high that summer and I worried that he was murdered for being white on the wrong side of town. [My friend] Elaine expressed her doubts about that, and I heard her. The FBI said that they did not see any Russian fingerprints there.
In fact, Brazile says she was so haunted by Rich’s death that she asked Clinton to spare some campaign funds to help find the staffer’s killer.
But that’s when Clinton allegedly ended the call, saying she “really had to go.”
The book excerpt:
I knew the campaign had over $3 million set aside in a legal fund. Could she help me get this lawsuit started? And don’t forget the murder of Seth Rich, I told her. Did she want to contribute to Seth’s reward fund? We still hadn’t found the person responsible for the tragic murder of this bright young DNC staffer.
You’re right, she said. We’re going to get to that. But she really had to go. She had made the call and checked it off her list, and I accepted after we said our good-byes that I might never hear from her again.
As WND has reported, WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Rich’s killer. Jack Burkman, head of the Profiling Project, is offering $105,000. One America News Network offered up $100,000, the Metropolitan Police Department $25,000 and businessman and investor Martin Shkreli $100,000.
The DNC, however, has offered no reward to help find the killer of its staffer. Instead, the DNC honored its murdered employee by dedicating a bike rack outside its headquarters in Rich’s memory.