New email suggests DNC chair had exact CNN town hall question in advance

An email published Wednesday suggests that the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee had the text of a proposed question before a town hall event with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders earlier this year.

Donna Brazile, the chair, is then thought to have shared the question with the Clinton campaign.

The email, which was provided to Politico, contains the exact wording of a question that one of the town-hall moderators, TV One’s Roland Martin, sent to CNN producers before the town hall. It matches the language in an email Brazile sent to the Clinton campaign one day earlier.

That email 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, Brazil said that she “gets questions in advance.”

On Tuesday, the DNC pushed back on the idea that Brazile leaked any questions to Clinton ahead of the town hall hosted by CNN and TV One. Brazile had at one point been a CNN contributor.

“I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are completely untrue,” Brazile said in a Tuesday statement. “I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.”

Brazile said the question Brazile forwarded on to Palmieri was not from the town hall, but wa rather a topic for conversation on a panel that Brazile was to set to appear on. A DNC spokesperson declined repeated requests for clarification on which panel she was set to appear on to discuss the issue in question.

In fact, an email Politico obtained suggests otherwise, since Martin’s question that was sent to CNN producers for the town hall was the same question that was in Brazile’s email.

The question was phrased as such:

“19 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty. 31 states, including Ohio, still have the death penalty. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since 1973, 156 people have been on death row and later set free. Since 1976, 1,414 people have been executed in the U.S. That’s 11% of Americans who were sentenced to die, but later exonerated and freed. Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?”

The death penalty did come up at the town hall, but the question, which came from an audience member, was similar but ended up being worded differently.

Martin told Politico that he did not believe he consulted with Brazile on the question ahead of the town hall.

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