On Monday, CNN announced that it had officially severed all ties with acting chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile.
According to CNN Money, Brazile resigned from her role as a CNN commentator earlier this month amid allegations that she leaked questions to the Clinton campaign ahead of a CNN-TV One town hall discussion. Now it looks like she’s gone for good.
The accusations came pouring in after hacker organization WikiLeaks published several e-mails from the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta on Oct. 12.
The DNC chairwoman initially denied the claims, but more e-mails released by WikiLeaks Monday showed that she did indeed send questions to the Clinton campaign ahead of time, writing “I’ll send a few more.”
“We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” Lauren Pratapas, a spokeswoman for the news network, said in a statement.
CNN also denied ever giving Brazile “access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate.”
In a hacked e-mail addressed to Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri March 12, Brazile admitted that she sometimes received questions ahead of time. She went on to tell Palmieri, “Here’s the one that worries me about HRC.”
The question read:
“19 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty. 31 states, including Ohio, still have the death penalty. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since 1973, 156 people have been on death row and later set free. Since 1976, 1,414 people have been executed in the U.S. That’s 11% of Americans who were sentenced to die, but later exonerated and freed. Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?”
A different question regarding Hillary Clinton’s stance on the death penalty was asked by an exonerated former death row inmate at the CNN-TV One town hall meeting the following day, Atlanta Black Star reports.
A new batch of WikiLeaks e-mails published Monday revealed a similar message from Brazile with the subject, “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.” The e-mail was dated March 5th — one day before a CNN-sponsored debate in Flint, Michigan, according to the New York Times.
“Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint,” the DNC chairwoman wrote to Podesta.
The newspaper reports that two women posed similar questions to Clinton and her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, at the debate the following night.
Despite the e-mails, Brazile has continuously denied any wrongdoing.
“I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are completely untrue,” she said in a statement. “I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.”
The Clinton campaign has yet to confirm the authenticity of the hacked e-mails, the New York Times reports. WikiLeaks has been known to doctor a few of the documents they’ve leaked in the past.
With Election Day drawing near, the notorious hacker organization is threatening to launch the so-called “third phase” of its presidential election coverage. The organization posted the mysterious message to its Twitter account Sunday evening.
We commence phase 3 of our US election coverage next week. You can contribute: https://t.co/MsNZhrTzTL @WLTaskForce pic.twitter.com/XferJnMGux
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 30, 2016
WikiLeaks didn’t offer any additional details about what the “third phase” entails or if any more hacked e-mails would be released.
With Brazile and the Clinton campaign still reeling from the organization’s latest stunt, it’s hoped that WikiLeaks’ phase three will move on to terrorizing a non-Clinton-related campaign.
Brazile tweeted a farewell message to her CNN colleagues late Monday morning.
Thank you @CNN. Honored to be a Democratic Strategist and commentator on the network. Godspeed to all my former colleagues.
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 31, 2016