Donna Brazile Walks Back Her Book’s Central Thesis: DNC Rigged 2016 Primary

Donna Brazile
Mark J. Terrill/AP

Donna Brazile continues to walk back the claim in her new book that the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) nomination process was rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.

Instead, Brazile, former chairwoman of the committee, said in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR) on Sunday, the quid pro quo between Clinton and the DNC ahead of the nomination was “unethical.”

In the same interview, Brazile also said that – despite the dysfunction in the nomination process – Clinton would be president if the DNC had not been hacked.

In the NPR interview, Brazile said:

No, the primary was not rigged. What I said in the book was that in exchange for bailing out the party, which was broke, the Clinton campaign would get control over certain decisions and aspects of the DNC that made it difficult, if not impossible for me to do my job. I call it unethical, but the primary itself was not rigged.

You know, I have never once thought of that … Hillary won more than 3 million votes over Donald Trump. She won 4 million more than Bernie Sanders. I think had the hacking not taken place, I think she could have won this election.

In the book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, however, Brazile uses the word “rigged” to describe her suspicions about the nomination process:

I had promised Bernie [Sanders] when I took the position of interim chair of the DNC that I would get to the bottom of whether or not Hillary’s team had rigged the party process in her favor so that only she could win the nomination.

From the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month earlier I had my suspicions, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some emails might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof and so did Bernie.

Brazile said the Democratic Party going forward should “learn from the mistakes of the past” and that she is “angry” that Americans weren’t more upset over the DNC hacking.

She also said the party needs to be more than anti-Trump.

“We have to have a message for [voters],” Brazile said.