UPDATED, 5:53 PM: Donna Brazile will continue to appear on CNN’ as it covers the Democratic National Convention next week, a knowledgeable source tells Deadline. Despite her being named today as the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, plans remain intact for Brazile to be among the network’s key talking-head contributors for the event. The source said, however, that she won’t be paid for her appearances. Brazile is set to take the committee’s reins after the convention, which wraps Tuesday.
PREVIOUSLY, 3:39 PM: CNN has parted ways with political commentator Donna Brazile — at least for now — in the wake of her taking the DNC reins from Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “With news of Donna Brazile stepping in as interim chair for the Democratic National Committee,” the network said, “CNN and Brazile have mutually agreed to temporarily suspend her contract as a contributor for the network effective immediately. As a valued voice and commentator, CNN will revisit the contract once Brazile concludes her role.”
Fox News did the same with Newt Gingrich earlier this month amid rumors that he was on the shortlist to be Donald Trump’s running mate. FNC also cut ties with its then-pundit Mike Huckabee in January 2015 as he eyed a presidential run.
Brazile had been a regular contributor to CNN’s political coverage, usually introduced as a Hillary Clinton supporter and/or DNC vice chair when she took part in panel discussions. She also served as campaign manager for Al Gore’s failed run for the White House in 2000.
Meanwhile, hours after Brazile was announced as the interim replacement for Wasserman Schultz, the group whose email dump helped lead to the latter’s resignation has a new target. Wikileaks tweeted today an email exchange that it says “implicated” Brazile in the scandal over party officials’ alleged favoritism of Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders:
Minutes later, the organization that prides itself on spilling government secrets posted another tweet decrying what it says is a smear campaign from the Clinton camp, which said the email leak came from Russian agents:
Neither Clinton nor Brazile had an immediate response to the Wikileaks tweets.
Friday’s email dump and today’s news about Wasserman Schultz and Brazile have combined to throw the Democratic National Committee into turmoil on the eve of its national convention. The four-day confab kicks off Monday in Philadelphia, with presumptive nominee Clinton slated to give her acceptance speech on Thursday. Donald Trump’s victory-lap speech at last week’s Republican National Convention drew more than 32 million viewers across multiple networks.
Dominic Patten and Lisa de Moraes contributed to this report.