CNN’s Jake Tapper on Donna Brazile Leak to Clinton Campaign: ‘Unethical,’ ‘Horrifying’

Donna Brazile AP

A WikiLeaks document suggests former adviser to President Bill Clinton and current Democrat National Chairperson Donna Brazile provided a question to Clinton’s aides during the recent Democrat primaries. Now Brazile’s CNN colleague, Jake Tapper, insists Brazile’s actions were “unethical” and “horrifying.”

In a Thursday interview on Washington D.C.’s WMAL radio, Tapper told host Larry O’Connor that the evidence that Brazile leaked debate questions to Hillary’s campaign was a journalistically unethical act.

Tapper told O’Connor that the WikiLeaks news was “very, very troubling,” before noting that Brazile is “a good person.”

The CNN host of The Lead with Jake Tapper went on to express dismay over the leak purportedly emanating from his cable network.

“It’s horrifying. Journalistically it’s horrifying,” Tapper said, “and I’m sure it will have an impact on partnering with this organization in the future and I’m sure it will have an effect on… Donna Brazile is no longer with CNN because she’s with the DNC right now, but I’m sure it will have some impact on Donna Brazile.”

Tapper also assured WMAL that CNN takes this “very, very seriously.”

In closing, the CNN host reiterated, “it’s horrifying and very, very upsetting and I can’t condemn it any more than… I condemn it in no uncertain terms, it’s awful.”

According to the documents released by WikiLeaks, on March 12 — just one day before a Democratic presidential town hall debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Hillary Clinton — Brazile allegedly sent an email titled “From time to time I get the questions in advance,” to Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s campaign communications director. The email provided a question about the death penalty that she said “worries me about HRC.”

Following the original email were several more missives as Brazile and Hillary’s staffers discussed how to handle the expected debate question.

Despite the evidence in the released documents, Brazile later insisted she never sent the questions to Hillary’s campaign.

“I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did,” Brazile said in a statement supplied to the press after the WikiLeaks release.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.