Donna Brazile -- interim chair of the Democratic National Committee – gave a lecture on Monday at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, where she sharply criticized the Cable News Network for not letting her defend herself against incriminating emails released online and instead firing her after 14 years as a political commentator.
In addition, she told the audience at the small women's school that she never got on Hillary Clinton's campaign airplane or prepped the candidate for any of the debates. She also derided WikiLeaks, which leaked the “damning emails,” by repeatedly calling the organization “WikiLies.”
According to an article written by Justin Baragona of the Mediaite.com website, “Brazile did not directly deny the allegations at Hollins, but she fired back” at the cable television channel.
“CNN never gave me a question,” she said while referring to the debate queries. “I wish CNN had given me some other things, like the ability to defend myself rather than ripping me a new one.”
According to the hacked emails, Brazile forwarded at least two questions to Clinton. One dealt with the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, from a woman suffering from lead poisoning who wanted to ask what the candidates would do to relieve her situation.
The second query was a word-for-word question about the death penalty that was then asked during a CNN event.
Then in October, the cable network and ABC News formally severed ties with Brazile when she was chosen to serve as acting head of the DNC following the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“In theory, that arrangement was only temporary,” Alex Griswold reported on Mediaite.com, “but CNN made it permanent” when the channel “accepted Donna Brazile’s resignation as a CNN contributor,” said spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas in a statement.
“CNN never gave Brazile access to any questions, prep material, attendee list, background information or meetings in advance of a town hall or debate,” she added. “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”
Brazile herself seemingly publicized the split on Twitter: “Thank you, CNN. Honored to be a Democratic strategist and commentator on the network. Godspeed to all my former colleagues.”
Also on Monday, Carmen Forman of the Roanoke Times stated: “'The stages of political grief include anger, recrimination and blame, then more anger, recrimination and blame,' said Donna Brazile.”
“It’s not as therapeutic as actual grief,” she noted. “Actual grief, there’s a stage in which you can move on, but in political grief, it’s circling because everybody feels as though their indignation, their righteous indignation, can be aimed at and turned to someone else.”
“Brazile addressed her grief following Hillary Clinton’s surprising presidential election loss to Republican Donald Trump,” Forman indicated, “but finished with a positive message -- that a female president can’t be too far off.”
The reporter also stated:
Brazile has worked on every Democratic presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she became the first black woman to manage a presidential campaign.
She worked on eight presidential campaigns, 56 Congressional campaigns and 19 state and local campaigns over the summer.
“At the time, the idea of speaking at a women’s college the week after a presidential election -- one the first woman presidential nominee seemed likely to win -- seemed fortuitous,” Forman continued.
“Instead of being able to celebrate Clinton becoming the first female president of the United States, now is the time for women to dedicate their lives to making future accomplishments,” Brazile said.
“Never stop fighting for change,” she added. While Hillary Clinton “did not reach that highest ceiling, did not break it all the way through, all of us have shattered glass in our hair.”
“Hollins, which is celebrating its 175th birthday this year, was founded six years before the 1848 convention at Seneca Falls that is usually credited with galvanizing the women’s suffrage movement,” Brazile stated. “To have a women’s college survive and thrive for that long is truly remarkable.”
“The first female president could come from Hollins,” she asserted.
During a question-and-answer session, one woman asked Brazile to give her take on Donald Trump, the Republican candidate who is now the president-elect.
“I hope he finds in his heart what we all know in our hearts, that we’re all decent human beings,” she stated.
“Amid the Democratic finger-pointing and blame game that started after Clinton lost the election,” Forman indicated, “numerous people have encouraged Brazile to resign.”
Brazile is scheduled to head the organization until March, when party officials will elect a new chair. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean and Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison, who worked on Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, are already campaigning to succeed her – assuming “WikiLies” has no “damning emails” from them.