Transcript for One-on-one with former DNC chair Donna Brazile
That may explain why president trump worked hard this week to focus tire back on the Democrats. He got ammunition with the explosive revelations in former DNC chair Donna Brazile's new book, "Hacks." Brazile claims the DNC gave Hillary Clinton an unfair edge over Bernie Sanders. And reveals she considered replacing Clinton as a nominee after Clinton fainted at the 9/11 ceremony. The ticket I liked most, she writes, was Joe Biden and Cory booker. I felt certain that that combination would win the election. And Donna br zil who has been a long time ABC contributor, joins us now. Welcome back. Thank you. Row didn't have the power on your own to replace Hillary Clinton? No. The charter and the convention rules say that the charp, shall, in consultation with the leadership and others. I had to put in on the the table. I was under tremendous pressure after secretary Clinton fainted to have a quote unquote plan "B." I didn't want a plan "B." Plan "A" was great for me. I supported Hillary. I wanted her to win. We were under pressure. How serious was snit you got a call from vice president at the time. Did you mention it to the vice president? No. I did not. Everyone called to see, do you know anything? How is she doing? My job was to reassure people, not just the vice president, but also the democratic parrot, the members of party that Hillary was doing find she would resume her campaign the following week. To you still think Biden and booker would have won? Had a lot of other combinations. This was something you play out in your mind. At the time, I was sitting next to Charlie baker, her chief -- Clinton's campaign. Charlie and I picked out. I had the former chair call me. What are you doing? Look, the bottom line is she -- she resumed campaigning. I went on TV. To say that the campaign was back on track. As you can imagine, there's been quite a reaction to this, including this open letter from the Hillary for America 2016 team signed by about 100 people. They say they are shocked to learn this. It is particularly troubling and puzzling that she would seemingly buy into Russian fueled propaganda red by the Russians and our can't. I spoke to Charlie bake per. Did you mention this to him? I kept my own counsel. I'm the chair of the party. I wanted to be up front with someone inside the campaign. Charlie was there sitting across from me. I wasn't a staff person. I did not work for the Hillary Clinton campaign. I was not only a daily strategy calls. I had nothing to do with their data analystics. I was the chair of democratic national committee. I was concerned about the entire party. Not just the presidential. It sounds like you had a dysfunctional relationship with the high command in Hillary's campaign. You talk about saying I'm not Patsy the slave? I could not control the -- the purse string of the democratic party. I had to figure out what was going on within the party that the chair of the party, remember, I wasn't just the chair. I'm also a vice chair. I was an officer for eight years. Eight years under president Obama. I knew what was going on within the party. I become chair. I'm trying to write a check for something. I raised the the money. They're like, you have to get signed off from Brooklyn. I said Brooklyn? This wasn't a standard agreement. They had a memorandum of understanding. I had to break it. In order to break it, I would cause a great commotion. Yeah, I'm not Patsy the slave because I got sick and tired of people trying to tell me how the spend the money. I wasn't getting a salary. I was volunteering my time. I was trying to increase th level of enthusiasm and passion for Hillary Clinton and the rest of the ticket across the country. They take exception to your description as the campaign as an ant septic, sterile inside the head quarter nairps saying that's not the campaign they knew. They should take page from Hillary's book. I enjoyed per book. Part memoir. A history book. I loved reading her book. If they don't like my book. Don't buy it. Let me say this. I have every right as a former chair of the party, next year, I'll celebrate almost 50 years in American politics. The democratic party is 170 year old. I get that. There's traffic on Twitter. I have gotten e-mails from M ds. Passionate Democrats who say they feel betrayed by all this. Any regrets? Do I regret taking on a job the second time in my life as chair of the party? Cleaning up everyone's mess? Taking all of the encoming? Being unable to spend funds that I raised? Do I regret being on the road 100% of the time? Being hacked by the Russians? Being -- being harassed, getting death threats? Do I regret any of that? George, this was worse than hurricane Katrina in terms of the emotional toll? Do I regret stranding up for what is right? Helping Hillary Clinton? Helping the democratic party? As somebody who went through the hacking experience. Telling the truth about what happened with the Russians, do I regret that? I wish I could have done more. Do you think this helps for the book to come out? Well, George, this is a lesson of 2016. If I released it next year, they would say, Donna, you're impacting our 2018. Donna, you're impacting -- for those who are ling the me to shut up, they told Hillary that a couple of months ago. You know what I tell them, go to hell. I'm going to tell my story. I'm going the tell my story, George. This is a story of a young girl who started in American politics at the age of 9. Who continues to fight each and every week of her life. I went down to -- Virginia last week, to kick off the canvassing campaign. Nobody paid me to do that. Nobody -- I'm not on the payroll, George. I care about my country. I care about our democracy. I say go the hell because, why am I supposed to be the only person that is unable to tell my story? Now, if -- I have heard a lot of people tell me various things as well. Here's what they don't know. What it was like to be over at the DNC during the hacking. What it's like to bury a child. I did, Seth rich. They don't know what it's like to protect a staff from further harassment. They don't know what it's like because they're -- the high command of Brooklyn. The people making the decisions, even for the DNC, they didn't come and work with us. They told us to shut up. And basically let them win the election. When we tried to intervene, we had to spend money we raised to try to help them win. That was my job as chair of the party. Clear you have no regrets. You mentioned Seth Richards. Killed during the campaign. Did you feel under threat? Every day. Especially when Donald Trump -- Donald Trump would go out there and tweet. I have worked on campaigns all my adult life. I have been called some of the the worst things in America. When Donald Trump would attack me, I got the threats were just unbearable. My house right now is -- I got every different kind of security device. I had to get my home swept. The DNC swept twice. It was horrible. As you know, he's tweeting again, based on your book. He put out, the real story on collusion is in Donna B.S' new book. Crooked Hillary bought the DNC and stole the primary from crazy Bernie. Well, Donald Trump likes to distract. What he should be focusing on is protecting our country from being hacked again. He should be working with congress to ensure that the American people will feel confident that we are going to have a good election season in 2017, 2018. Donald Trump loves to distract us and divide us. I'm not playing his game. He wants an investigation. I think he needs to look at his own house before he tries to clean up someone else ps? Do you think the joint fund raise age agreement was illegal? I didn't like the fact that there was an additional memorandum that spelled out what the Clinton campaign could do in exchange for bailing the democratic party out. I give secretary Clinton credit for bailing the democratic party out. We were in debt. I have seen the e-mail traffic. It appears from at least one e-mail that the Sanders campaign was taufrd exact same term. They could offer an agreement of their own if they raised more money. They chose not to. The Sanders campaign set up a joint fund-raising campaign. They chose not to put money in it. This was a separate. What this was was an additional memorandum. They were AUFD that same thing. Here's the e-mail. If you're raising significantly more than the amount to cover the vote apart from the DNC. The DNC would be happy to chat with the Sanders team. They were offered a similar chance. George, when I went, when I found out, the reason the chair of the party, the chair of the democratic national committee could not spend the funds, I found the agreement myself. This is the agreement they put out. This is the agreement I found. What I tried to do, George, was to work within the program parameters of the agreement to hire staff, spend money that we raised, so I could help Hillary and Tim kaine and all the other Democrats win. As for any agreements or side agreements with senator Sanders. I have never seen that before, George. Do you agree with Elizabeth Warren that the primaries were rigged? I don't think she meant the word rigged. What I said, George, as you well know, after I left the show on July 24th, I said I would get to the bottom of everything. That's what I did. I'm on the rule and bylaws committee. I found no evidence. The only thing I found, which I said, I found the cancer. I'm not killing the patient. Was this memorandum that prevented the DNC from running its own operation. You write about the e-mail where you appear to share questions with the Clinton campaign. Yes, I did. We're showing it on the screen. In the past, you said sending those e-mails was a mistake you forever regret. In the book, you're not sure you sent the e-mail. When you're hacked. I have seven e-mail accounts, maybe more. When you're hacked. And you don't know. I'm the only person in America that had to go and look and say, where is it, where sit. I knew I sent e-mails. You're not denying you sent it? I, first of all, I said, straight up, I said, look, if this was sent, I know why I sent it. I apologize. I spent the entire month of August apologizing for the leaked hacked e-mails. Which is a crime. And so far, no one has been charged with a crime. I've apologized. Said I'm sorry. Here's what I also say in the book that I thought was helpful to the reader. To tell people that during this time when we were under pressure to add more debates to the schedule. I went out to get more debates. CNN was the beneficiary. But I wanted more diversity. More diverse voices. I wanted issues people cared about. People were, as you recall, black lives matter were marching in the streets nape wanted us to address krill justice reform. Yes, when CNN agreed to go to Flint, Michigan, we wanted to discuss discuss the water crisis. Did you share questions with the Sanders campaign? I spoke to Republicans. When the debates were on ABC. I is didn't want the candidates shocked by the nature of the questions. For the first time, we were going the go beyond talking about the usual issues that animate democratic primaries. We were going to the you can that about issues that concern black lives matter. You have tough words for the leaders of your party in there as well. You say, we have had three democratic parties. The party of Barack Obama. The party of Hillary Clinton. And the party led by Debbie that was doing a very poor job of getting people who were not represented elected. These three titanic egos have stripped the party to a shell for their own purposes. I take responsibility, too, George. I'm a Democrat. We lost thousands of state legislative seats. Gubernatorial seats. We have an opportunity on Tuesday in New Jersey and Virginia to fight back. To regain some of the lost ground over the last ten years. That's what I'm hoping will happen. Every voter should know their vote counts. Their voice must be heard. I encourage them to vote in Virginia, New Jersey, and Alabama by the nd of the month. It's important that everybody votes. Yes, I take a hard, hard hit at pop within the party because I love my party. I of my country. I'm going to continue the fight for it. Continue the fight for it. And are you confident now that the democratic party can be fixed? I'm confident that Tom Perez is leading in the right direction. We have a unity commission that is going to examine the things I raised about the primary contest and the caucus system. We have Keith Ellison and others energizing the grass roots. One of the things that bothered me in the Patsy the slave chapter. I got some controversial chapters. Anyone from Louisiana knows I'm going to put hot sauce on every page. It's if not dripping with hot and spicy, it's not me. What I'm most confident of is we now have a party that is invest no all 50 states. Imagine you're the chair of the party. I'm from Louisiana. I'm from the south. I cannot get one poster outside of Florida, Virginia, north Carolina, to go home to Louisiana or Mississippi or Louisiana. I can't send resources to those states. I was the chair of the party. I didn't ask to be chair. When I left your show on July 24th, I thought I was going to have a nice brunch. I was called. They said, we need you to step up again. And I did. Always a pleasure. It's been some year. Ken Starr, preet bah rar ra,
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