Former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile revealed Thursday that the DNC and Clinton struck a deal before the primaries even began, roiling the already fierce divisions in the party.
She began investigating whether Clinton "rigged the nomination process" as emails hacked from the DNC and published by WikiLeaks past year had suggested, she said in an except of her new book coming out next week that appeared Thursday in Politico.
On CNN, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Brazile's story highlighted a "real problem", saying she believed the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged in favor of Clinton.
"I told Bernie I had found Hillary's Joint Fundraising Agreement", she wrote. Brazile says she discovered the agreement, which she could not reveal in her book, but the document allowed for Hillary to control the DNC strategy and money as well as all significant hiring decisions.
Todd pressed her about how Sanders' supporters have reason not to trust the DNC, especially with current DNC chairman Tom Perez being from the Clinton-Barack Obama wing of the party.
"The 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". It wasn't illegal, 'but it sure looked unethical, ' she writes.
Ethically speaking, Brazile noted, one campaign should not have control of the party before the voters decided on a nominee. "This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party's integrity".
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Brazile took over as the interim chairwoman in July 2016 when Florida Rep. She also said Wasserman-Schultz had little interest in heading the party, so she let Clinton's campaign in Brooklyn do it. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. An excerpt from the book describes the shocking extent to which Hillary Clinton [VIDEO] and her team had "taken over" the DNC before she won the presidential nomination.
This news made it clear why Brazile had to have press releases approved by the Clinton Campaign in Brooklyn before they were sent out.
This is also somewhat self-serving for Brazile, given the DNC continued to struggle during and after her tenure, especially financially.
She says Wasserman Schultz ignored her board of directors, including on the bombshell development that Russian Federation hacked the DNC's emails.
Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Clinton's campaign, told her the DNC was (these are Brazile's words) "fully under the control of Hillary's campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp".
Sanders himself has somewhat toned down his criticism of the DNC during that span, but what he says - especially given he seems to want to run again in 2020 - will go a long way in determining how the party moves forward.