fb-pixel Skip to main content

Warren says the 2016 primary was rigged in Clinton’s favor

Senator Elizabeth Warren embraced Hillary Clinton at a rally at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire in October 2016. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Senator Elizabeth Warren said twice Thursday in separate interviews that she believed the 2016 Democratic primary was rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Warren’s comments came after Donna Brazile, who served as the interim Democratic National Committee chairman in 2016, published excerpts of her book in Politico in which she detailed an “unethical” financial deal between the party and Clinton’s campaign.

In the excerpt, Brazile said she told US Senator Bernie Sanders that Clinton “had exerted this control of the party long before she became its nominee.”

Warren, a liberal firebrand from Massachusetts with a national following, did not endorse Clinton until the end of the primary. Warren also campaigned with Clinton, a former US secretary of state, during the general election.


But since President Trump took office, Warren has ramped up public appearances with Sanders, who shares many of her progressive policies. She joined Sanders as he unveiled his proposal for a single-payer health care system in September. And on Thursday, the pair released a video in which the senators sat side-by-side, showering criticism on the GOP’s new tax plan.

Senator Bernie Sanders patted Senator Elizabeth Warren’s back during an event on health care on Sept. 13.Alex Wong/Getty Images

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Thursday, Judy Woodruff asked Warren about Brazile’s excerpts and what they meant for the Democratic Party.

“Do you think that what we’re learning from Donna Brazile’s book suggests that the campaign, that what the Democratic National Committee did, meant this election was rigged?”

“Yeah, I think it was,” Warren said.

“That’s a pretty powerful charge,” Woodruff followed up.

“What we have to focus on now as Democrats is we recognize the process was rigged, and now it is up to Democrats to build a new process — a process that really works and works for everyone,” the senator said.


Warren also said that going forward, the Democratic Party needed to have “confidence” that “Democrats, as they run a primary, are going to let the people speak, and that we’re going to have a candidate who’s the candidate chosen by the people.”

In a separate interview Thursday with CNN, Jake Tapper asked Warren, “Do you agree with the notion that it was rigged?”

“Yes,” Warren said.

She also said in the interview that she told current DNC chairman Tom Perez that he has to “put together a Democratic Party in which everybody can have confidence that the party is working for Democrats, rather than Democrats working for the party.”

“Either he [Perez] is going to succeed by bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders’ representatives into this process and they’re going to say it’s fair, it works, we all believe it — or he’s going to fail,” Warren said.