Fox News host Megyn Kelly grilled the Democratic National Committee’s interim chairwoman late Wednesday over allegations she leaked the text of a proposed question before a CNN/TV One town hall event with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders earlier this year.
An email surfaced last week that contained the exact wording of a question that one of the town hall moderators, TV One’s Roland Martin, sent to CNN producers before the event. It matched the language in an email Brazile sent to the Clinton campaign one day earlier.
Brazile is thought to have leaked the question to the Clinton campaign, presumably to give her an edge over Sanders, who challenged her during the Democratic primary.
The email in question was part of the recent WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s leaked emails. In the email, sent to Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, Brazile said that she “gets questions in advance.”
Kelly asked how Brazile got that question.
“I did not receive any questions from CNN,” Brazile said. “Let’s just be very clear.”
Kelly again asked where Brazile got the question.
“You know, as a Christian woman, I understand persecution, but I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is totally false,” Brazile said.
Kelly responded that she was getting her information from Podesta’s emails.
“Well, Podesta’s emails were stolen,” Brazile said. “You’re so interested in talking about stolen material, you’re like a thief that want to bring into the night the things that you found that was in the gutter.”
Kelly then pointed to CNN host Jake Tapper saying it was unethical for someone to apparently provide Brazile with a town hall question in advance. Brazile had at one point been a CNN contributor.
“This is Jake Tapper: ‘My understanding is that the email to Donna Brazile came from either [TV One’s] Roland Martin or someone around Roland Martin.’ He said, ‘This is very upsetting and very troubling,'” Kelly said. “That’s your own colleague at CNN. It’s not Megyn Kelly. Who gave you that question?”
Brazile responded: “Once again, I’ve said it on the record, and I’ll say it on the record, and I’ll keep saying it on the record. I am not going to try to validate falsified information. I have my documents. I have my files. Thank god I have not had my personal emails ripped off from me and stolen and given to some criminals to come back altered.”
She again said she never received anything from CNN.
There has been speculation about Russian hackers potentially altering the contents of hacked materials, but it’s unclear if that’s the case here.
Kelly then pointed out that Brazile’s email, sent to Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, said Brazile sometimes “gets questions in advance.”
“CNN is saying Roland Martin gave them to you or someone at TV One,” Kelly said. “And they were provided to Hillary before that town hall.”
Brazile again dodged the question, addressing CNN without addressing TV One.
“Well, anybody who knows me, and there are a number of your colleagues as well, they know me very well, I know how I play it, I know what I do before every debate, I know what I do before every show, even this show, I do my homework, I communicate, I talk, but I can just once again let you know that as far as I know, CNN has never provided any questions absolutely ever, nada,” she said.
Kelly pressed her again.
“But when you said ‘from time to time I get the questions in advance,’ what were you referring to?” she asked.
Brazile responded: “My reference back to you, ma’am with all respect, and I respect you greatly — the validity of those emails, if I can only tell you one thing, cause as you know, this whole episode is under criminal investigation, but I can just tell you one thing, a lot of those emails, I would not give them the time of the day. I’ve seen so many doctored emails, I’ve seen things that come from me at 2 in the morning that I don’t even send.”
She continued: “There are several email addresses that I once used. … This has not been verified, this is under investigation. And let me just tell you something, if there is anything I have, I will share.”
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