Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said “yes,” she believes the 2016 Democratic nomination for president was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton, and that the party faces “a real problem” in dealing with the fallout from the revelation that Clinton’s campaign secretly took over control of the Democratic National Committee in 2015.
Responding to the disclosure by Donna Brazile, who became interim chairwoman of the DNC as last year’s election approached, Warren told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday that Democratic leaders must restore faith in the party’s operations.
“What we’ve got to do as Democrats now is hold this party accountable,” Warren said, adding that the current DNC chairman, former Labor Department Secretary Tom Perez is “being tested.”
She said that when Perez won the party post early this year, “the very first conversation I had with him [was] to say, you have got to put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats, rather than Democrats are working for the party.”
Brazile wrote in her new book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, that shortly after she took the DNC job in late July 2016, she discovered the Clinton campaign had signed an agreement to help keep the DNC financially alfoat, a deal in “which [Clinton] expected to wield control of its operations.”
The agreement between the DNC and the Clinton camp was signed in August 2015, several months before the primary season began and almost a full year before she officially secured the nomination over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I).
The Clinton campaign “had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house,” Brazile said in her book, to be released on Tuesday.
“The funding arrangement … was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical,” Brazile wrote.
The excerpt, first published in Politico, includes details about Brazile’s call to Sanders after she discovered the arrangement, set up under her predecessor, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.).
“When I hung up the call to Bernie, I started to cry, not out of guilt, but out of anger,” Brazile wrote. “We would go forward. We had to.”