CNN has severed ties with interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman and political commentator Donna Brazile following WikiLeaks revelations that suggest she shared debate questions with Hillary Clinton's campaign in advance. On Monday (30 October), CNN confirmed it had accepted her formal resignation as a contributor on 14 October.
"We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor," network spokeswoman Lauren Pratapas said 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."
Brazile's CNN contract was suspended in July when she was appointed interim head of the DNC after Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned from the post following the much-publicised hack of DNC emails.
On Monday, WikiLeaks released yet another batch of emails from Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta's personal account including a message sent in March with the subject line: "One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash," referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The email was apparently sent by Brazile to Podesta and Clinton's communications director Jennifer Palmieri the day before the Democratic primary debate in Flint, Michigan on 6 March.
"Her family has lead poison and she was will ask what, if anything, will Hillary do as president to help the people of Flint." On the bottom of the email, a line reads, "Sent from Donna's I Pad" and includes a link to follow her on Twitter.
The following night, a woman named Lee-Anne Walters did ask both Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders about the Flint water crisis.
Earlier in October, another hacked email purportedly showed Brazile may have shared details with the Clinton campaign about a different potential question on the death penalty prior to a CNN town hall with Clinton and Sanders on 13 March. The email showed her telling Palmieri that "From time to time, I get the questions in advance".
"I'll send a few more," Brazile wrote in an email dated 12 March that WikiLeaks released on Monday. "Though some questions Roland submitted," referring to CNN's Roland Martin, one of the hosts of the 13 March event.
Brazile had rejected the allegations earlier in October and said, "I never had access to questions and would never had shared them with the candidates if I did."
On Monday, Brazile took to Twitter to thank the network and her former colleagues. In a separate tweet, she referred to her previous statement issued on 11 October.
She had said in the earlier statement: "As a longtime political activist with deep ties to our party, I supported all of our candidates for president. I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue."
In an email to Reuters, a Clinton spokesman said the campaign will not comment "on the authenticity of any individual emails that have been hacked by the Russian government".
The latest revelations come as part of WikiLeaks' series of Podesta emails revealing the inner workings of the Clinton camp in the run-up to Election Day on 8 November.
On 21 October, the infamous publication warned in a post on Twitter, "We have a surprise in store" – for Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and Brazile.
The whistle-blowing outfit previously said it plans to release over 50,000 emails before the presidential election. The Clinton campaign, however, has refused to confirm or verify the authenticity of the emails released so far.
Republican rival Donald Trump commented on the most recent revelations at a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Monday, slamming the media as "one of the most dishonest groups of people ever".
"Speaking of draining the swamp, Donna Brazile did it again," he said. "She gave the questions to a debate to Hillary Clinton and that was from a couple of weeks ago. Happened again, but this time far worse... I think she just got fired from the network. She should be fired from the DNC."