Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign responded to former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Donna Brazile’s criticisms of the Clinton campaign, including the charge the campaign essentially rigged the 2016 primaries.
“It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into false Russian-fueled propaganda, spread by both the Russians and our opponent, about our candidate’s health,” reads a letter published online Saturday that was signed by former Clinton campaign officials, including Huma Abedin, Robby Mook, Jennifer Palmieri and John Podesta.
Brazile wrote an op-ed Thursday for Politico, claiming the DNC entered into an agreement that gave the Clinton campaign de facto control of the Democratic Party during the presidential primaries. Brazile also criticized former President Barack Obama for leaving the DNC buried in debt.
“Donna came in to take over the DNC at a very difficult time,” the signatories write.
“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,” the signatories, including Democratic strategist Jesse Ferguson, wrote in the open letter on Medium.
Brazile revealed in a 288-page memoir that she considered replacing Clinton with then-Vice President Joe Biden or New Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey after cameras caught Clinton fainting. Clinton was forced to reveal she had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
“We were shocked to learn the news that Donna Brazile actively considered overturning the will of the Democratic voters by attempting to replace Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine as the Democratic Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees,” wrote Ferguson, a former Clinton campaign spokesperson.
Brazile’s writings sparked a media firestorm. The bombshell memoirs have only confirmed the worst fears of Democrats who reluctantly supported Clinton.
Clinton’s campaign had the “odor of failure,” Brazile wrote in her memoir to be released on Tuesday, referring to the former Secretary of State’s struggle to appeal to white working-class voters.
Campaign officials fired back at Brazile, saying they were proud of the work they did in the 2016 campaign and were “tired of people who were not part of our campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it,” according to the Saturday letter.
“The general election loss was devastating for us all and something we live with every day. And while frustrating that the general election vote total did not change the outcome of the election, we remain proud that Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine received nearly 3 million more votes in the general election than their opponents,” the letter said.
Adrienne Elrod, a former Clinton campaign spokesperson, accused Brazile of lying on MSNBC on Friday.
“I think if she’s implying that that took place during the primary, absolutely,” Elrod said. “Did we have control of the party during the general? Absolutely, and that’s what happens when you take control of your party.”
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