Update 12:51 p.m. EDT — CNN said Monday it had severed ties with acting Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile as new email messages emerged via WikiLeaks appearing to show her, for the second time, sending debate questions to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ahead of an event during the primaries. Brazile had been a contributor to the news network, although her contract had been suspended when she took over as acting head of the DNC.
CNN said in a statement that Brazile resigned on Oct. 14 and that the network was "completely uncomfortable" with the purported interactions between Brazile and the Clinton campaign. "CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate," the statement read, in part.
Brazile tweeted a thank you to the network and wished her former colleagues well.
An email released by WikiLeaks Monday appears to show Donna Brazile, the acting head of the Democratic National Committee, sending a debate question to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton ahead of a Democratic town hall event in March.
This followed a previous message surfaced by WikiLeaks that appeared to show Brazile sending Clinton a different question ahead of a different debate. The latest WikiLeaks revelation my fuel further concerns that the former secretary of state was aided by the party committee in locking up the nomination.
The purported evidence came in one of the many WikiLeaks dumps of emails, which were stolen from the email account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. Just before a town hall event in Flint, Michigan, featuring Clinton and her then-competitor Sen. Bernie Sanders, Brazile appears to have e-mailed the Clinton campaign, the subject line reading, "One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash." The message was addressed to Podesta and Clinton director of communications Jennifer Palmieri and appeared to give the candidate a heads up that she would be asked about the ongoing crisis in Flint, where the water has been tainted with lead.
"Her family has lead poison and she will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the ppl of Flint," it read. "Folks, I did a service project today. It's so tragic. And what's worse, some homes have not been tested and it's important to encourage seniors to also get tested."
At the debate, Clinton was asked about Flint's contaminated water, an issue that had received considerable attention from the mainstream media.
"If elected president, what course will you take to regain my trust in the government?" asked Mikki Wade, a public housing program manager. Clinton was the first to offer a response, and moderator Anderson Cooper followed with an additional question for Clinton about Flint water.
There was also a separate question about what the candidates would do in their first 100 days in office to fix the water issue from a woman who said her family had health issues from the water.
Brazile, the former campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign, had previously come under fire for apparently providing a question on the death penalty to Clinton in an email with the subject line "From time to time I get the questions in advance."
Both of the town halls were televised by CNN, for whom Brazile contributed at the time. During the period in which the two email exchanges supposedly happened, Brazile was vice chair of the DNC. For her part, Brazile had previously denied that the emails are authentic and said in an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly that she was being persecuted.
"As a Christian woman, I understand persecution, but I will not stand here and be persecuted because your information is totally false… Podesta’s emails were stolen," she said. "You’re so interested in talking about stolen material, you're like a thief that wants to bring into the night the things that you found in the gutter."