After a leaked excerpt from her new book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House” revealed that Donna Brazile feared for her life after the murder of former DNC employee Seth Rich, Axios has reported that Brazile provides more grist for what her former political allies have dismissed as “right wing conspiracy theories” in the book’s introduction.
Nestled among the usual platitudes about thanking friends and family, Brazile dedicates her book to Rich’s memory, describing him as a close colleague and “patriot”.
Rich was murdered in July 2016, two weeks before Wikileaks released a trove of emails stolen from the DNC’s servers that, among other embarrassing details, suggested that the DNC was engaged in widespread rigging of the 2016 Democratic primary to favor “front-runner” Hillary Clinton.
“In loving memory of my father, Lionel Brazile Sr.; my beloved sister, Sheila Brazioutlanle; my fearless uncles Nat, Floyd, and Douglas; Harlem’s finest, my aunt Lucille; my friend and mentor, David Kaufmann; my DNC colleague and patriot, Seth Rich; and my beloved Pomeranian, Chip Joshua Marvin Brazile (Booty Wipes). I miss y’all.”
Rich, 27, a former data analyst at the DNC, was fatally shot while walking home late at night in Washington, D.C. The police believe the shooting was a robbery gone wrong. But Brazile says in her book that she was “haunted” by Rich’s death because she feared shadowy elements associated with the Clinton campaign may have played a role in his death as retribution for leaking the emails.
As Newsweek points out, media reports had characterized Rich as a low-level staffer, and his parents wrote in an opinion piece for The Washington Post in May claiming the idea that their son leaked the emails to Wikileaks was ridiculous because his position didn’t grant him access to sensitive data.
Brazile mentioned Rich during a Sunday appearance on ABC News’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday. She told the host about her critics: “They don’t know what it was like to be over the DNC during this hacking. They don’t know what it’s like to bury a child. I did: Seth Rich.”
During the interview, Brazile softened her claims that the DNC rigged the primary (though, tellingly, party leaders have said they will reexamine the role of “joint-fundraising agreements” which Brazile alleged helped the Clinton campaign assert financial dominance over the DNC). She also said that her critics in the party can “go to hell.”
“I’m not on the payroll, George. I care about my country. I care about our democracy,” Brazile said. “And I say go to hell, because why am I supposed to be the only person that is unable to tell my story?”
Through spokesman Brad Bauman, the Rich family said in a statement, “Since Seth was murdered, Donna Brazile has been a great friend to the Rich family and has been extremely supportive of the family’s efforts to find Seth’s killers.”
Of course, Democrats have lined up to rebut Brazile’s claims. More than 100 former Clinton campaign aids signed an open letter accusing Brazile of falling for “Russia-fueled propaganda” in what appears to be a feeble attempt to discredit her.
Already, a trove of bombshell allegations included in the book have been widely reported thanks to leaked excerpts, and a teaser chapter that Brazile published as an essay in Politico. For example, Brazile revealed that she considered replacing Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine with Joe Biden and Corey Booker after Clinton fainted at the 9/11 memorial. She also levied accusations of sexism and racism at former Clinton staffers, and – most shockingly of all – revealed that the Clinton campaign took advantage of Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s absentee leadership of the party to make the DNC financially dependent on Clinton.
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