"We've got to hold this party accountable."
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren
When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview on Thursday if she believes the 2016 Democratic primary was "rigged" in favor of Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) gave a definitive one-word answer: "Yes."
Tapper's question came in response to the bombshell piece by former interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Donna Brazile, which detailed the party organization's "unethical" fundraising agreement with former Secretary of State Clinton's presidential campaign.
Elizabeth Warren says she agrees with the notion that the 2016 Democratic nomination was rigged in Clinton's favor https://t.co/Z6KpCGJj4Q
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) November 2, 2017
Warren emphasized that DNC chair Tom Perez now faces a crucial "test": whether he can succeed in "bringing Bernie Sanders and Bernie Sanders representatives into this process" and convincing progressives that the party is committed to a "fair" process that people can believe in.
"This is a real problem," Warren said. "But what we've got to do as Democrats now, is we've got to hold this party accountable."
In a separate interview on PBS Newshour on Thursday, Warren said that in order to restore public trust and win elections, Democrats must "recognize the process was rigged and...build a new process, a process that really works, and works for everyone."
Brazile's Politico Magazine piece on Thursday—excerpted from her forthcoming book, Hacked—highlighted the so-called "Joint Fundraising Agreement" between the Clinton campaign and the DNC.
The deal effectively handed the Clinton team full control over the DNC's finances and staffing decisions in exchange for its help in paying off the organization's $24 million debt.
Brazile's account immediately sparked a firestorm of outrage on social media, and Sanders backers viewed the piece as vindication of their belief that the Vermont senator was denied a fair shot at the Democratic nomination.
"We all knew that the primary was rigged," Saikat Chakrabarti, executive director of Justice Democrats, said in a statement responding to Brazile's article. "But the corruption that plagues the Democratic party is bigger than one primary—it's become a rot set at the very root of a party claims to be for working people...The American people could prosper if Democrats did more to build unity with the grassroots wing of their party that has a winning message."