Trump: DNC tried to ‘illegally steal’ primary from Sanders
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President Trump on Thursday accused the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of working to "illegally steal" the 2016 Democratic primary from Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersMellman: (Mis)interpreting elections Dems to propose legislation to prevent ICE from shackling pregnant women Rasmussen poll: Nearly three-quarters of Dems want 'fresh face' as nominee in 2020 MORE (I-Vt.), given new information on the party's institutional support for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: GOP women have a more difficult time winning primary races than Dems Mellman: (Mis)interpreting elections MORE.

"Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H," Trump tweeted.

"This is real collusion and dishonesty," Trump added, asserting, "Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering - where is our Justice Department?"


Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardHawaii governor signs first-ever bill banning sunscreens that harm coral reefs Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks Pavlich: The left’s defense of evil MORE (D-Hawaii), who served as vice chairwoman of the DNC for several years before resigning in 2016 to back Sanders's presidential bid, issued a statement Thursday evening ripping the DNC's "complete lack of transparency" and "unethical practices" surrounding its arrangement with the Clinton campaign.

“Today’s news points to how deeply broken our campaign finance laws are, and how they have only served to weaken individual candidates, while empowering political parties and special interests," she said. "These laws essentially allowed the Clinton campaign to bypass individual campaign contribution limits by funneling millions of dollars through the DNC and State parties, taking control of the DNC in the process."

Brazile, the former interim chairwoman of the DNC, said Thursday she discovered a deal from August 2015 between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and Clinton’s joint fundraising committee that said the campaign would “control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.”

The arrangement between Hillary For America, the DNC and the Hillary Victory Fund was made to financially help the party, which was in significant debt following the 2012 reelection campaign of former President Obama, Brazile said.

"The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal, but it sure looked unethical," Brazile wrote in her book in an excerpt published by Politico Magazine. The agreement was unfair to Sanders, she said, as campaigns should not be integrated with the party's finances until they are the official nominee.

Money donated to the Hillary Victory Fund by individuals who had met the individual campaign donation limit would be distributed to the state parties who backed the deal first, and then directly to the DNC, Brazile explained.

Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook reportedly struck the deal with then-DNC chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who was ousted from the DNC after leaked emails revealed the committee's ingrained support for Clinton.

Sanders fought a bitter primary race against Clinton, who clinched the Democratic nomination but lost to Trump in the general election.

Clinton has blamed Sanders for negative portrayals of her that harmed her chances against Trump.