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Memo Reveals Details of Hillary Clinton-DNC Deal

NBC News logo NBC News 11/3/2017 Alex Seitz-Wald
Image: Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book © Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book "What Happened" during a... Image: Hillary Clinton signs copies of her new book

WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee struck a fundraising deal with Hillary Clinton in 2015 that gave her campaign input on some party personnel and spending decisions, but only as they related to the general election and with the provision that other candidates could make similar arrangements, according to a memo of the agreement obtained by NBC News.

The document provides more context to the explosive claims made by former DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile in a forthcoming book, an excerpt of which was published this week.

The August 26, 2015, memorandum of understanding from Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook to DNC CEO Amy Dacey, which supplemented a standard Joint Fundraising Agreement, more fully explains the relationship between Clinton and the DNC long before she won her party's nomination.

In exchange for Hillary for America's (HFA) helping the cash-strapped DNC raise money, the committee agreed "that HFA personnel will be consulted and have joint authority over strategic decisions over the staffing, budget, expenditures, and general election related communications, data, technology, analytics, and research."

Specifically, the DNC agreed to hire a communications director from "one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to HFA." And while the DNC maintained "the authority to make the final decision" on senior staff it the communications, technology, and research departments, it said would it choose "between candidates acceptable to HFA."

Read: The full memo here

However, the memo made clear it pertained only to the general election, not the primary season, and it left open the possibility it would sign similar agreements with other candidates.

"Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC's obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary," the memo states.

"Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates," it continues.

The Clinton campaign agreed to make an initial payment of $1.2 million to DNC, which was crippled by debt, and provide a monthly allowance and other funds. The agreement appears intended to give the campaign oversight over their money was money was spent.

The Joint Fundraising Agreement was first reported over a year and a half ago, but gained new attention this week with Brazile's book.

In an excerpt published this week in Politico, Brazile writes she was stunned to discover the fundraising agreement, which she called a "cancer" on the party that led the DNC to treat Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. unfairly.

Sanders' campaign later signed its own Joint Fundraising Agreement with the DNC, but did not utilize it.


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