Donald Trump on Tuesday castigated Hillary Clinton in the wake of additional WikiLeaks revelations showing the Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign got even more questions in advance of CNN primary town halls — and was tipped off to the network’s polling.
Emails hacked from the Gmail account of Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta and posted to WikiLeaks previously showed future Democratic National Committee Interim Chairwoman and then-CNN contributor Donna Brazile slipping a pair of debate questions to top Clinton aides.
Brazile denied the allegations, however, an email released Monday showed Brazile forwarded at least two other questions to Clinton’s team.
“She got a lot of questions at the debate,” said Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, on “Fox & Friends.” “I mean, if you were at West Point and you got questions like that, they would throw you out of the school if you didn’t report yourself. She didn’t report it. … She took the questions. She got the answers.
“I mean she would’ve been thrown out of West Point or the Air Force Academy – and here we have her running for president.”
In an email titled, “From time to time I get the questions in advance,” Brazile on March 12 sent Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri a question about the death penalty prior to a CNN town hall, as previously reported.
Brazile wrote that she would “send a few more.” Newly released emails show a few hours later, Brazile gave Palmieri and other Clinton aides questions on unions and income inequality. The questions appear to have been nearly finalized versions, with each one beginning by addressing either Clinton or her primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (though the income inequality question was not ultimately asked).
Another WikiLeaks email showed Brazile describing a question that would be posed by an audience member before a March 6 CNN debate in Flint, Mich.
Brazile’s role as a CNN contributor was suspended when she took over as interim DNC head in July, but on Oct. 14, after the initial tipping emails were released, CNN accepted her full resignation. Brazile has denied helping Clinton, saying in an Oct. 11 statement: “As it pertains to the CNN Debates, I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.”
Clinton’s campaign also was apparently given advance notice about at least one poll coming from CNN. That heads up was sent by Tom Nides, a former deputy secretary of state and current Morgan Stanley executive who is married to CNN Vice President Virginia Moseley.
“Good cnn poll coming,” Nides wrote to Podesta on Sept. 20, 2015.
Podesta replied: “I’ll look forward to how that is spun.”
A separate batch of emails from DNC staffers that was posted to WikiLeaks also revealed several message chains in which DNC aides brainstormed and wrote questions for upcoming CNN interviews of Republican presidential candidates.
“Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow,” DNC research director Lauren Dillon wrote on April 24.
CNN appeared to have been in direct contact with Dillon, who later wrote an update to the team.
“CNN said the interview was cancelled as of now but will keep the questions for the next one :(,” she wrote.
On April 28, Dillon again tasked her team with writing questions for CNN, this time in advance of an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz.
“CNN is looking for questions. Please sent some topical/interesting ones. Maybe a couple on Fiorina,” she wrote.