National Press Club

Democratic strategist Brazile calls Trump 'vulgar,' takes her party politicians to task

December 14, 2017 | By Wesley G. Pippert | Pippertw@missouri.edu

Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee and longtime Democratic Party strategist, speaks at a National Press Club Headliners Book Rap on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, featuring her book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

Donna Brazile, former chair of the Democratic National Committee and longtime Democratic Party strategist, speaks at a National Press Club Headliners Book Rap on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, featuring her book “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

Photo/Image: Cheriss May

Democratic strategist Donna Brazile told a National Press Club audience Tuesday that President Donald Trump was “vulgar” in his remark about a woman senator, and added she wouldn't object to re-litigating the sexual behavioral accusations against Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas.

The National Press Club Headliners Book Rap included a conversation with Club President Jeff Ballou, who quickly asked Brazile about Trump’s remark that, in the past, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) “would do anything” to get campaign contributions from him. Some interpreted Trump’s remark as sexually suggestive.

“He’s vulgar,” Brazile said. “When is he going to wake up and assume the duties of the presidency? That’s why I continue to pray for Donald Trump.”

The Club event featured her new book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”

“I don’t believe we should have different standards for different politicians at different times,” Brazile said. “Everyone should be treated with respect and sympathy.”

Referring to widening charges by women about harassment, Brazile said several times that “these women need to be heard” and “these women must be heard,” and stated “we all are ready for that conversation.”

“If you want to go back and re-litigate the Bill Clinton episode, or Clarence Thomas episode, fine. Let’s do it,” she said.

She was referring to former President Clinton’s relationship with a White House intern that led to his impeachment, and to Thomas’ Senate hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Speaking before the results of the Alabama senatorial election were known, Brazile’s criticisms spared no Democratic politicians of note, save only her staff at the DNC, whom she praised.

She said she knew of staff members with DC mortgages who had paid rent in New York in order to work on the campaign. “Has anybody called to say thank you?” Brazile asked. “I have.”

She made it clear she still feels pain from not receiving thanks from Hillary Clinton after the 2016 election, and that she was still angry the DNC didn’t get enough financial or other support from the Clinton campaign until it was too late.

“I gave her my all until the bitter end,” Brazile said.

When Ballou said Brazile had taken lots of people to task in her book, she interrupted and said, “Why not? And myself.”

Brazile resisted Ballou’s questions about her current relationships with leading Democratic politicians. Ballou started by asking about President Barack Obama. She called the questions unfair.

Ballou pushed back. But Brazile, who said she turns 58 in a few days, replied: “I have spent over 40 years as a Democratic operative. I love my party. I don’t have to answer to anybody but the good Lord above.”

“I don’t owe Obama, Joe Biden, or Hillary Clinton,” she said. “I didn’t hear from a lot of these people after the election last year. It made me sad.”

Many of her remarks dealt with concerns expressed in her new book, “Hacks,” about cyber security and the critical financial situations for the DNC near the end of the campaign.

When the filled event in the Club conference rooms was over, Brazile and Ballou went to the Reliable Source lounge to eat dinner and watch the Alabama returns as Democrat Doug Jones defeated Republican Roy Moore.