Speed Reads

DNC Drama

Donna Brazile reveals the Clinton campaign's stunningly 'unethical' relationship with the DNC

The Democratic National Committee coordinated with Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign to funnel party funds toward her nomination, former DNC interim chair Donna Brazile revealed in a book excerpt published Thursday at Politico. In the book blurb, Brazile recalls how she came to realize that the Clinton campaign was controlling party funds months before Clinton won the party's nomination over Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Soon after the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, Brazile writes, she received a phone call from Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of the Clinton campaign. Gensler told Brazile that the DNC was $2 million in debt, and that the Clinton campaign had been bankrolling the party, per a Joint Fundraising Agreement signed by the Clinton campaign and the former CEO of the DNC.

The agreement, Brazile explains, worked like this: "In exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party's finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff." The document had been signed in August 2015 — nearly a year before Clinton became the party's presumptive nominee the following June.

On Sept. 7, 2016, Brazile says she called Sanders to inform him about the Joint Fundraising Agreement, which she says was "unethical" and "compromised the party's integrity." Read more about that phone call — in which she said Sanders reacted "stoically" — and about the intersection between the DNC and Clinton campaign at Politico.