Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren says she agrees with Donna Brazile’s claim that last year’s Democratic primary was “rigged” in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Brazile is an author and political analyst who served briefly as interim chairwoman for the DNC in 2011.
In her upcoming book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that put Donald Trump in the White House,” Brazile references an “unethical” fundraising agreement between the DNC and then-candidate Clinton, in which her campaign committee traded funding for increased control of the platform.
“The funding arrangement with [Hillary for America] and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical,” writes Brazile, adding that Hillary’s campaign had control of the party before voters had decided which candidate they wanted. “This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.”
The agreement, which began in August 2015, gave Clinton direct influence over important DNC activities including staff decisions, finances, general strategy, and consultation rights.
“The idea that the DNC was willing to take a position that helped a candidate in the midst of a primary is outrageous and there is no justification for it,” argues Mark Longabaugh, a Sanders campaign adviser. “It gets back to the fundamental way that Bernie Sanders was running his campaign, which was to break the stranglehold of big money on politics.”
Key Sanders ally Elizabeth Warren, who is widely considered to be a potential candidate for the 2020 election, calls Brazile’s assertion a “real problem.”
“What we’ve got to do as Democrats now is, we’ve got to hold this party accountable,” she told CNN’s Jake Tapper, adding that this moment will be a serious test in leadership for DNC Chair Tom Perez. “And either he’s going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders representatives into this process…or he’s going to fail. And I very much hope he succeeds.”
President Trump jumped on the controversy with a series of tweets insulting Hillary and calling for the Justice Department to investigate.
“Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H,” he tweeted on Thursday. “This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering – where is our Justice Department?”