Leaked DNC researcher’s email: ‘CNN is looking for questions’ for Trump, Cruz interviews

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WikiLeaks released more emails from the account of John Podesta, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, that purportedly reveal CNN requesting the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to provide questions to ask Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in upcoming network interviews.

An exchange on April 28 of this year between DNC research director Lauren Dillon and other DNC officials with the subject header “Cruz on CNN” mentions the network was “looking for questions” to ask Cruz, a GOP senator from Texas, in an upcoming interview.

“CNN is looking for questions,” the email read. “Please send some topical/interesting ones.”

In another email on April 25, 2016, Dillon also asks staffers for questions for an interview that Trump was scheduled to have with veteran CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

The email, titled “Trump Questions for CNN,” says, “Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.”

DNC staffers proceeded to send more than 20 questions back to Dillon, including:

“Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow? Which advisors specifically did you talk to? What advice did they give you? Did they give you any advice that you chose not to take?

“CIA Director [John] Brennan and former CIA Director [Michael] Hayden have both said that our military and intelligence officers might refuse to follow some of your orders if you were president. What would you do if the military refused to listen to you? Should they be court-martialed if they refuse to follow orders?”

The Trump interview was eventually cancelled, but Dillon notes the questions could be re-purposed for future use.

“CNN said the interview was cancelled as of now but will keep the questions for the next one [sad face emoticon]. Good to have for others as well,” Dillon wrote.

A CNN spokesman called the development “completely unremarkable” in an email to The Hill.

“We have similar communications with Republicans. When preparing for interviews we are regularly sent suggestions from rival campaigns and political parties, both solicited and unsolicited. Casting a wide net to ensure a tough and fair interview isn’t just common media practice, it’s smart,” the spokesperson added

The revelations follow CNN severing ties with longtime political analyst Donna Brazile after emails released by WikiLeaks purportedly show her emailing town-hall debate questions to senior DNC officials on two separate occasions.

Brazile was employed by CNN while simultaneously serving as DNC vice chairwoman at the time.

Brazile, now interim chairwoman of the DNC, has denied getting any of the questions forwarded from CNN.

CNN President Jeff Zucker called Brazile’s actions “disgusting” in leaked comments last week. Zucker also reportedly stated that the network completed an investigation and the situation had been “dealt with.”

“To be perfectly clear we have never, ever given a town hall question to anyone beforehand,” a CNN spokesperson said on Oct. 31.

This report was updated at 11:09 a.m.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Ted Cruz

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