CNN has parted ways with political analyst Donna Brazile after leaked e-mails showed that she had allegedly communicated Hillary Clinton’s campaign with questions prior to two events televised by the network.
Officials said in a statement that the network is “completely uncomfortable” to learn through WikiLeaks that former Brazile had contacted the Clinton campaign ahead of time about a question that would be posed during a presidential primary town hall last March in Flint, Michigan.
CNN announced Monday that it had accepted Brazile’s resignation as a contributor two weeks ago. Her deal had been suspended in July when she became interim head of the Democratic National Committee.
The material released Monday from the hacked file of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta revealed at least the second time that Brazile had communicated to Clinton aides about questions Hillary Clinton might be asked on the air.
“Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint,” Brazile’s e-mail said. Russian hackers have been blamed for stealing the e-mails from Podesta’s and other e-mails accounts. The next night, a similar question was asked at the Democratic candidates debate between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
In an earlier e-mail leaked by WikiLeaks, Brazile appparently sent the Clinton campaign a question ahead of a town hall: “From time to time I get the questions in advance,” her e-mail said, then outlines a question about the death penalty. The next day CNN co-hosted a Town Hall with TVOne in which co-moderator Roland Martin asked a question similar to the one she allegedly e-mailed.
Martin has said he does not believe he had any consultation with Brazile prior to that event. CNN maintains they never shared any of the event questions with Brazile.
The Clinton campaign has not authenticated the e-mails.
Brazile took the leadership position with the DNC after former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in July over a different set of e-mails that seemingly implicate her in an alleged sabotage of Sanders campaign.
Weeks ago, Brazile responded to criticisms over social media when it first surfaced that she had written to Podesta and Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri.
Go back and watch CNN’s Prime time agenda on debate nights. To ensure fairness, we AGREED that I wasn’t on pre and post. Check the records. https://t.co/OyxknLvl6D
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) October 12, 2016
CNN’s statement said the network “never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate. We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.” Brazile tweeted Monday her well wishes to the CNN staff.
Image: Democratic party chairperson Donna Brazile talks with audience members before the Republican vice-presidential debate. Joe Raedle/Pool via AP
With Reporting by AP