Donna Brazile Says She Didn’t Know Town Hall Question Beforehand, But CNN Thinks It Knows

By Chris Ariens 

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DNC chair Donna Brazile is defending herself from criticism that she shared a question that was going to be asked at a CNN democratic primary town hall back in March.

According to this email obtained by Wikileaks and dated March 12, Brazile, then a CNN contributor, wrote to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri that a question about the death penalty “worries me about HRC.”

The following night at the town hall a man who spent time on death row, but was exonerated, asked Clinton her stand on the death penalty.

“You know, this is such a profoundly difficult question,” Clinton said according to the CNN transcript. “And what I have said and what I continue to believe is that the states have proven themselves incapable of carrying out fair trials that give any defendant all of the rights a defendant should have, all of the support that the defendant’s lawyer should have.”

Brazile denies knowing what was going to be asked. “I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did,” she wrote in a statement. For its part, CNN told BuzzFeed the network has “never, ever given a town hall question to anyone beforehand.”

When Brazile was named interim chair of the DNC a day before the party’s nominating convention in July, CNN and ABC News both temporarily suspended her contributor contract.

More 3:25 p.m.: Politico reports the wording in the Brazile email and the phrasing of the question that was asked at the town hall are strikingly similar. TV One’s Roland Martin posed the question, again according to the CNN transcript. CNN is pointing the finger at TV One which was a partner in the town hall.

CNN released this new statement on the matter this afternoon: “As we have said since news of this broke, CNN did not share a question with Donna Brazile, or anyone else for that matter, prior to the town hall. Given that our broadcast partners for the town hall at TV One sent this question to us the day AFTER it appeared in Donna’s email, we have every reason to believe it came from them.”