Clinton Aide Accuses Trump Camp of Winning by ‘Providing a Platform for White Supremacists’
Although it’s been almost a month since Donald Trump won the presidential election over top rival Hillary Clinton, negative feelings on both sides have not yet dissipated.
Aggressive rhetoric was on full display Thursday during a post-election panel hosted by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, in which staffs from both campaigns faced off during the first day of a two-day forum that traditionally is civil.
As The Washington Post reports, however, civility between the two sides quickly disintegrated:
As Trump’s team basked in the glow of its victory and singled out for praise its campaign’s chief executive, Stephen K. Bannon, who was absent, the row of grim-faced Clinton aides who sat opposite them bristled.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri condemned Bannon, who previously ran Breitbart, a news site popular with the alt-right, a small movement known for espousing racist views.
“If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”
Palmieri’s comments struck a nerve with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who retorted, “Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?”
“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” Palmieri responded.
The Post continues:
“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters?” Conway asked. “How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”
Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist, piled on: “There were dog whistles sent out to people. …. Look at your rallies. He delivered it.”
At that point, Conway accused the Clinton teammates of being sore losers. “Guys, I can tell you are angry, but wow,” she said. “Hashtag: He’s your president. How’s that? Will you ever accept the election results? Will you tell your protesters that he’s their president too?”
According to CBS News, Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney then interjected, “If he’s going to be my president, then he needs to show me that white supremacy is not acceptable just steps from the Oval Office.”
“He said that a million times, and you know it,” Conway fired back. “Now you’re just lying.”
The Daily Beast states that the heated exchange continued to color Conway’s remarks:
Conway subsequently told the rival team, “You guys are bitter. We are being very gracious. You’re bitter.”
“You’re not being nice,” Conway told Clinton campaign chief strategist Joel Benenson, after his own censure of the alt-right.
CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes, who was present during the intense exchange, said Trump staffers’ praise of Bannon was the breaking point for Clinton staff.
Watch video of Cordes’ interview below; it includes partial audio of the exchange between Palmieri and Conway:
—Posted by Emma Niles
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