Former Clinton campaign adviser Zerlina Maxwell and former Republican Nat’l Convention chair Michael Steele butted heads over the weekend amid buzz over the release of former FBI director James Comey’s new tell-all book.
Comey’s upcoming memoir has sparked renewed discussion into the contentious 2016 election and how it played out on the national stage.
During a Sunday appearance on MSNBC, Maxwell and Steele disagreed on what would’ve happened had Comey not violated Department of Justice protocol and issued a statement reopening the probe into Hillary Clinton’s emails 10 days before millions of voters headed to the polls.
“Whether or not you change what Comey did, the outcome of that election would’ve been the same, because America did not like Hillary Clinton,” Steele argued. “They didn’t want her in that job.”
Maxwell disagreed, however, saying Comey was directly at fault for putting Trump in the White House.
“[He] is the reason why we now have to live with a President Trump,” she said. “And so he changed the course of history for the worse, and he has to live with those consequences … the president’s legal troubles currently leads me to believe [James Comey] made the wrong decision because he knew all of that context at the time he decided to come out to damage Hillary Clinton in the late stages of the campaign.”
Steele agreed that Comey’s going against DOJ protocol is ultimately what landed him in hot water. Still, the former RNC chair pulled out the “but her emails” argument when it came to the reason for Clinton’s loss in the election.
” …We’re talking about an election that was decided by 80,000 votes across three states, and all the independent analyses said she was on an upward trajectory, ready to win the election, until the Comey letter stopped her momentum,” Maxwell shot back, after which Steele argued that Clinton should’ve campaigned in Wisconsin.
Maxwell pointed out that internal polls showed Clinton up 11 points in Wisconsin, negating her need to campaign there. Steele disagreed.
“I was there Michael,” she said.
Watch more of their tense exchange above.