Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns

Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns

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That Put Donald Trump in the White House


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The Inside Story of the
Break-ins and Breakdowns
That Put Donald Trump in the White House

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.



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 265 p
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 978-0-316-47851-9 (hardcover)
 978-0-316-47849-6 (ebook)
 2017 by Donna Brazile 

Gratitude. I am truly grateful for all of the support that I have
received in writing this book.
To Robin Sproul, a well-known, respected journalist and
former Washington, DC, bureau chief and vice president of ABC
News, for encouraging me to write my story and for introducing
me to her son-in-law, Matt Latimer, and his partner, Keith
Urbahn, at Javelin. Javelin has become one of the fastestknown
and fastest-growing literary agencies in Washington, DC.
Matt and Keith inspired me to take stock of everything I
experienced and write it down. They took my notes and turned
it into a strong proposal. Matt and Keith became my advocates
who encouraged me to not give up when I was simply too
exhausted to relive the 2016 campaign.

To Robert Barnett, my longtime agent and friend. Thank
you for believing in me for so many long years. Onward!
To a brilliant, first-rate, and inquisitive editor, Paul Whitlatch,
along with publisher Mauro DiPreta, associate publisher
Michelle Aielli, publicity director Joanna Pinsker, marketing
director Michael Barrs, assistant editor Lauren Hummel, and the
entire team at Hachette Books for your constant support,
encouragement, edits, and team spirit. Paul even came down to
Washington, DC, to keep us moving. Thank you for doing your
job so well.

To Danelle Morton, my hero—or, in the words of America’s
poet, Maya Angelou, “a phenomenal woman”—who helped me
write this book. Danelle brought her A game to the table and
the typewriter. For two solid months, she pulled out her tape
recorder, listened to my story, took copious notes, and
interviewed dozens of my former colleagues. She did a
remarkable job of fact checking, research, editing, and writing.
She captured the party’s inner turmoil, the hacking, the
remediation process, and the day-to-day struggles of the
closing weeks of the campaign. With a great sense of humor
and an ability to understand the monumental threats we faced,
Danelle encouraged me to tell this story and stood by me as I
completely broke down and started my healing process. Without
Danelle’s great reporting skills, this project would have been
languishing on my desk for years. She’s now part of my Who Dat family.

To my former colleagues at the Democratic National
Committee (DNC), who contributed to my recollection of events
and the actions we undertook during the worst cyber nightmare
in U.S. history. Let’s start with former ASDC chair and NH party
chairman Ray Buckley and DNC finance chair Henry Muñoz, who
went with me to FBI headquarters for a very thorough briefing
on the DNC’s hacking and the Russian attempts to destabilize
our democracy. Thank you, Ray and Henry. The nightmare isn’t
over, so let’s remain vigilant.
To the other officers—R. T. Ryback, Stephanie Rawlings-
Blake, Andy Tobias, Grace Meng, and Maria Elana Durazo—for
supporting me in every way through the fall campaign and
beyond. You’re my heroes. You’re in my thoughts and prayers for life.

To the DNC’s council chairs, caucus chairs, standing
committees, and state party leadership, and all of our
volunteers, donors, and stakeholders, bless you. Bless you.
Bless you. I am proud of my twenty years of service. We
opened doors, expanded participation, fought to include those
formerly excluded from political leadership. Yes, we nominated
the first black man to win the presidency. We did make history
together. It’s now up to you to help get a woman into the White
House. Yes we can!

To the entire staff at the DNC. I love you all. You’re my
family for life—thank you for your courage, tenacity, and
steadfastness in the face of danger, personal insults,
harassment, and much more. Some of you never knew of or
understood the danger that came our way. But, you came in
every day, weekends and holidays included, to work to help our
first female nominee fight to become president of the United
States. We came back from a massive debt to compete, and we
raised funds for Democrats up and down the ballot. We all owe
you a debt of gratitude for your commitment to the cause of
justice and equality for all. To the Research, Tech, Digital,
Comms, and political staffs, I never lost faith in any of you.
Party Affairs and Finance, you’re amazing, too. Alecia Dyer, let’s
not forget those who served. Thank you, team.

Although we came up short, I am still in awe of the workload
and long hours of the entire DNC team. Your dedication to the
cause made a huge difference. I look forward to returning as an
intern again—but I’m done with being your leader.
To Pratt Wiley, Hannah Fried, Will Crossley, Greg Moore,
Kevin Jefferson, Seth Rich, and everyone who has contributed
to and believed in the DNC’s Voting Rights Institute, Fannie Lou
Hamer would be damn proud of all of you. The right to vote is
sacred, and we must continue to fight for every eligible citizen
to vote and have it counted. And let us not forget to restore the
1965 Voting Rights Act.
To the best researcher in American politics, Lauren Dillon,
for your help in keeping a great timeline on the entire hacking
of the DNC.

Special thanks to the following DNC staff members,
consultants, and members of my Wings and Wine Caucus.
First, Donnie Fowler Jr. He’s my son from another mother’s
womb. I fell in love with Donnie when I hired him for the
Gephardt 88 campaign. He’s been at my side in every major
political battle, so when I became chair, I called Donnie to join
me. He left behind his beautiful wife and two young daughters
to spend the fall campaign in Washington, DC. His tech savvy
combined with his grassroots organizing ability made him the
perfect seat mate for the final weeks of campaign 2016. Donnie
was my eyes and ears on the ground. Bless you, Donnie.
To Anne Friedman, my other child from another mother’s
womb. She not only kept up with my erratic schedule, she
ensured that I had something to eat every day (so what if it
was healthy) and made sure I got to my various destinations
safely. Although Anne is Jewish, she served as one of my
outreach captains to the Black Lives Matter movement and kept
me informed of their activities. She became one of their
advocates and also did major battle for the DNC’s outreach to millennials.

To Mike Lux, my longtime friend and progressive warrior.
Early on, Mike took my call and came over to the DNC to help
build ties between the progressive community and the DNC.
Mike wasn’t just an advocate, he was the leader who helped me
reach out and build consensus, and helped shape our closing
argument on some of the media we sponsored at the DNC. Mike
brought along his extensive Rolodex and was instrumental in
helping the DNC raise much-needed funds for the final months
of the campaign. Without him, the party could not have
provided resources to state parties and down-ballot races often
ignored in presidential races.

To Adam Parkhomenko, Leah Daughtry, Brian Bond, John
Neffinger, Zac Petkanas, Kandie Stroud, Cynthia Jazzo Rutundo,
and many others whose service went beyond the role of a party
strategist or consultant. You all are damn good warriors. God is
not done with you. There’s one more fight in all of you.
To Julie Greene, Patrice Taylor, and Charles Olivier—
founding members of the Wings and Wine Caucus. Don’t worry,
I will never share our secrets, late night talks over at the
“Club,” or hanging out in Denver, Colorado. You all kept me
sane. You made me laugh, and you never wavered in your
support of the DNC. You played it straight and by the rules. We
pulled five major events together in less than six weeks. We
knew there was no room for any errors. And we didn’t flinch.
You are more than my coworkers, you’re members of my family. Thank you.

Special appreciation to a longtime friend, warrior, and
strategist, Tom McMahon. When I saw you at the DNC
Convention in Philadelphia, I said to expect my call: You
responded, and I am deeply grateful for your leadership. As the
anointed cochair of the Wings and Wine Caucus and my
designee—just in case—I am forever mindful that some of us
are called to serve. Thank you for responding to the call to
service and for helping me rebuild the fifty state strategies.
When I told you that I wasn’t going to get paid but insisted that
you get paid because you’re a father of four kids, you resisted.
There’s no easy way to say thank you, but I hope that your
children will one day know how brave and tough their father
was in helping to save the party from the extreme hacking that
was done. The party owes you a debt of gratitude.

Finally, to the cybersecurity task force led by Michael
Sussmann at Perkins Coie, Nicole Wong, Aneesh Chopra, and
Rand Beers, you all taught me more about cybersecurity,
protocols, and much more. Special thanks to the brave men and
women of Hacker House. You’re some of the badasses in the
cyberworld. And I mean that in a good way. To Shawn Henry,
and Dimitri at CrowdStrike. Thanks for helping us clean up the
mess created by the Russian meddling and interference. Your
remediation services throughout allowed us to build stronger.
To the many staffers and volunteers working in Brooklyn at
the DNC or HVF headquarters, thank you for moving away from
home to help the team up at HFA. To Bernie Sanders, Martin
O’Malley, and the other presidential candidates, your support
enabled me to do my job as interim chair. To Julie Goodridge,
whom I met on one long, hot summer day—your insights, love,
and support was invaluable throughout the campaign. Good
luck in all that you’re doing to make this a more just world.
And to my dearest of friends, Elizabeth L. Marvin, whose
wise counsel and special bond helped me figure out the
impossible and stay afloat. Her legal advice, along with her
colleagues at Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC, enabled
me to focus on the campaign and not all the legal stuff that
comes up throughout a long and entangled political season.
When I needed clarity, you provided sound and wise advice.
Thanks to Jeffrey Robinson, Eric Lewis, and your assistant for
being part of my team.

To Mia Coffman, a proud Navy veteran, Betsy’s partner, and
my friend who can handle herself in an alley fight, thank you for
providing me with delicious meals (shout-out to Hello Fresh),
midday humor, and for reminding me to get back on my bike.
Of course, you made me buy a bike, too, but riding again
helped to jog my memory and get out of my house.

You also brought a special little angel into my life—Kai Wolf
Coffman-Marvin. While you recuperated, I was one of his
babysitters. For six weeks, I held this little boy in my arms, and
he made me smile again. Now he’s walking and calling me
Nana. Betsy and Mia, you know what it means to be part of the
Who Dat family. Thank you for allowing me to insert myself into
your lives until I could get back to my own. Our weekend
meals, yawl tolerance for my crazy hours, for keeping Chip
beyond the call of friendship, for endless meals, support, love,
prayers, watering my plants, grabbing my mail, helping me
navigate a new security system and protocol, and for checking
on my house and allowing me to vent in a no-judgment zone.
Your friendship means the world to me.

Kai, with those bright blue eyes. I look forward to watching
him grow up and, of course, teaching him how to dance.
To another son from another mother, Adam Talbot. You’re
talented, and I can’t thank you enough for helping me during
some tumultuous storms.

To David Kusnet for your keen insights and intelligence. For
helping me understand the breaking news from the perspective
of working people. And to David Dreyer, for keeping me
grounded and focused on the day-to-day struggles within our party.

To the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFT, SEIU, Teamsters, Laborers,
UAW, Carpenters, Machinists and other major international
unions who once again pulled out the stops to help us register
new voters, organize vast numbers of communities, and help us
raise much needed funds for voter protection and turnout, I am
proud to be not only a member of two unions, but so very
grateful for your support over my long years in politics and organizing.

To my colleagues at Georgetown University, including my
TA, Jeanna Galper, the Women and Gender Studies
Department, and all my students. Thanks for your steadfast support.

A special thank-you to my neighbors in Crestwood, my
colleagues at Brazile and Associates—my great assistant,
Ro’Chelle Williams; my editor, Neil Scott; the most talented and
most supportive writer, Bruce Cherry; pollsters Stefan Hankins
and Cornell Belcher; my IT and tech guru, Dan Hopkins (Mr.
Two Steps); and the late David Kaufmann, who taught me so
much about acts of goodness and kindness. To my former
editor, Clint Hooker, and colleagues at Universal U’Click. Special
thanks to all my former editors and colleagues at Ms. magazine,
Essence magazine, and O, the Oprah Magazine.
To President Barack Obama, for fulfilling one of my dreams
to serve as a member of the J. William Fulbright Foreign

Scholarship Board. And to Vice President Joe Biden, for those
special “Black on Black” meetings.

To my former colleagues at CNN. I miss y’all, especially the
hair and makeup crew and so many wonderful producers and
former producers like Lucy Spiegel. You all taught me to “stay
calm and carry on.” And to my colleagues at ABC News,
especially George Stephanopoulos, Robin Roberts, executive
producer Marc Burstein, Jonathan Greenberger, Mae Joo, Kate
Bosland, Kerry Smith, and so many others, including Elena
George for outfitting me and encouraging me to wear those
mink eyelashes. Thanks for allowing me to be part of the team
that won an Emmy.

Last but never forgotten—my large and extended family.
You have always been in my corner. Your love and support
keeps me strong and picks me up when I stumble. Our parents
raised us to stick together, and you continue to stand by me—warts and all.

My phenomenal sisters Cheryl, Lisa, Demetria, and Zeola—
all I can say is you are my role models and personal heroes. I
know that it’s often tough to place you and your family in the
line of target, especially in the heat of a presidential campaign.
Rest assured, I will continue to try to live up to our mother Jean’s high standards.

My amazing brothers Chet and Kevin—whose strength
matches that of our late father, Lionel. Your prayers were truly
amazing. I heard your prayers when you sent those words: “No
weapon formed against Thee shall prosper.”
To my many nieces and nephews who kept me posted on
family gossip, sent me their grades (go Brianna and Chet Jr.),
shared family photos, posted favorable things about their Aunt
Donna when I was under attack, and came up postelection for
our traditional New Orleans–style Thanksgiving meal, I love you
all from the bottom of my heart.

To all my cousins and especially Louis Smalls, Tina Yancy,
Gina Theis, and Michael Brown—y’all kept texting me to stay
the course. Your prayers were powerful and I am grateful beyond words.

I will never forget the many friends who wrote, called, or
texted me to encourage me to stand up. Your thoughts and
prayers were indeed a powerful blessing to me through the
many storms. Special thanks to author Iyanla Vanzant, my
longtime mentor Eleanor Holmes Norton, longtime friends Dr.
Toni Luck, Priscilla Perkins, and Julia Hudson, my healing sisters
Sherry Dmytrewycz, Sandra Andacht, Dr. Andrea Sullivan, Dr.
Sonya Chawla, and my acupuncturist Dr. Ni, the amazing
financial guru Suze Orman, my New Orleans cup buddy Mary
Matalin, and lawyer, TV whiz, and friend Greta Van Susteren—sisters for life.
If I left anyone out, it wasn’t because you’re forgotten or
unloved. I will never forget you—for you not only prayed for
me, you had my back.

To Mr. Singh who never failed to be there to pick me up and
was always on time. Mark Penn for encouraging me to get back
on the saddle, along with Michael Eric Dyson. To Henry Louis
“Skip” Gates and Glenn Hutchins, who helped me to stay calm
in the storm and find my way back to shore. To Elaine Kamarck,
who introduced me to the Spook. And yes, to the Spook, who kept me steady.

This book is for all of you—and for our great country. But I
urge everyone to remember what former Senator Ted Kennedy
taught us in defeat when he said “the work goes on, the cause
endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

I’m proud to be an American.

The Phone Call
When the name HILLARY CLINTON popped up on my phone in
February 2017, I realized hers was a call I’d stopped waiting to
receive. On Election Day, the tradition in politics is that
candidates personally thank the people who helped most in the
campaign. Win or lose, in the days that follow, the candidate
extends that circle of gratitude to members of the party and the
donors. Bernie Sanders called me on November 9, 2016, and
Joe Biden, too. The vice president even came to our staff
holiday party. But I never heard from Hillary.

I figured she might be hurting too bad to make that call. I
had a tender spot for Hillary. I sympathized with everything she
had gone through in the wretched election of 2016. I had been
through plenty of rough campaigns in my forty years in politics,
but I had never seen anything like the viciousness and turmoil
of that horrible season as I fought alongside her. The only thing
that was keeping me going as we faced the blazing fury of
Donald Trump, when I was getting hit every day and thinking I
just wanted to stop, was knowing my friend Hillary was getting
the shit kicked out of her, too. Look at what they are doing to
her, how they are destroying her, I’d think. I felt a duty to
Hillary that went far beyond just being the chair of the
Democratic Party.

We had met when I was still in my twenties. I was working
as a consultant at the Children’s Defense Fund in the 1980s,
which was where I met Hillary. I was a high-minded, strongwilled
young woman who, through my aptitude for politics,
crawled out of poverty in Louisiana to a career in Washington,
DC. Hillary was one of my idols. While I was rough and bossy,
Hillary was cool and smooth, polished by the Ivy League, and
comfortable in the halls of power. Also, she was fearless
fighting for children’s rights, and I saw in her many qualities I
wanted to make stronger in myself.

I never forgot that it was Hillary in 2003 who told some of
the party leaders to pay attention to a talented young Illinois
state senator named Barack Obama. Without that assist from
Hillary, Obama would not have been offered the keynote at the
2004 Democratic National Convention and almost certainly
would not have gone on to become the first black president.
Hillary’s gesture back then always stayed with me. So when
several decades later, I suddenly was asked to serve again as
interim party chair on the eve of the Democratic Convention in
July 2016, just until she won in November, I couldn’t say no.
But I wanted to. I had promised myself, after I managed Al
Gore’s campaign in 2000, that I never would let politics break
my heart again. Acting as a media surrogate and staunch
supporter of the team that got the first black president elected
more than healed that wound. Getting Obama reelected was
joy. So when I was asked to serve as interim chair—for what
would be my second stint in this thankless job—I decided I had
one more fight left in me, and a noble one at that. I could help
get the first woman president elected. After she won, Hillary’s
staff would assume control of the party. I could dance out the
door to the sweet music of victory and go back to my perfect
life. I never could have guessed how the months that followed
would alter my life—and my country—forever.

Instead of being able to dance out the door in November, I
had to stay through the end of February to perform the somber
duties of the defeated: the painstaking work of filing all the
financial reports with the Federal Election Commission, filing
similar reports in all fifty states and the District of Columbia,
shutting down offices, laying off thousands of people.

After that disastrous Election Day I didn’t want to think
about politics or talk about it, and I was guessing Hillary felt
that way and worse: that she had blown this chance and had let
her sisters down. My heart went out to her. No matter how
strong our differences were in the campaign, I know she is a
good woman. I heard from time to time that she was asking
about me, but I never took it seriously. She had all my
numbers. I knew what I wanted to say to her and it was: I have
nothing but respect for you for being so brave and classy
considering everything that went on. But in the weeks after the
loss, every time I checked my phone thinking I might have
missed her call, it wasn’t her.

After the loss, the Democrats went into hiding, or started
picking through the carnage, while the country was hungry for
answers from a party that honestly didn’t know what to say. We
had lost to Donald Trump! How was that possible? And what did
we have to do to make sure that didn’t happen the next time?
It took me until the end of the year, after a holiday in
Hawaii, to start getting my mojo back. We needed to remember
that Hillary had won the popular vote. We did not have to hang
our heads in shame. No, we had to find a way to stand this
party back up if we were ever to have a chance to win again.
What inspired me was my kids, all 150 of them. I’ve never
given birth to a child, but politics is a family affair. In a
campaign, you see what the others are made of, you see people
under pressure, and you see their limits tested in triumph and
defeat. You get to know one another, in ways better than you
do members of your real family. When I spotted young people
with a real spark, that true combination of idealism and cunning
essential to surviving in politics, I found work for them. Those
were my kids, ages twenty-two to forty-five, scattered all
around the country. I wanted to rebuild the party to give them
a chance to lead.

Back in December when I thought about what the party
could do, what I could do, I remembered how Terry McAuliffe
took over as Democratic National Committee chair after our loss
in 2000 and how Howard Dean stepped up after the defeat of
then U.S. senator John Kerry in 2004. They reached out to the
voters to understand what the party had gotten wrong about
the mood of the country. They wanted to let the grassroots
decide the future direction of the party. I would do the same.
First we needed to get this loss out of our system.

I set up four regional meetings in January and February—
we called them Future Forums—mostly in states where we
hoped to regain our electoral advantage, or where we wanted to
expand our electoral map in 2020. We’d lost Michigan, but by
less than eleven thousand votes, so I planned to spread a little
love in Detroit. I scheduled one in Houston and another in
Baltimore. I started the tour in Arizona because, even though
we lost there, we were making steady gains in that state. If the
party was going to rise from the ashes, we might as well begin in Phoenix.

In each city I held a town hall with millennials, asking them
what we did wrong and where we should go from here. I
arranged for an inspirational speaker to open the general
meeting, hoping that an uplifting message would help us expel
the ghosts of 2016. In Phoenix I found that the mood was raw:
angry, saddened, disappointed, and scared. I started the event
telling the story of what we had been up against, but it did not
seem like it was a story that people wanted to hear. People
were bitter, and all of them wanted to blame the DNC. The
Bernie people were saying how no one trusted Hillary, and
Hillary people were complaining that the Bernie people never
did come on board, even after the convention. These voters had
many harsh words for how we didn’t connect with folks, about
why turnout was down, and the harassment that some voters
had experienced at the polls. No matter how many times during
these forums that I was goaded to do so, I never threw the
Clinton campaign under the bus. I knew my job was to stand
there and take the body blows, acknowledge it, absorb it, so
that all of us could let it go.

The meetings were cathartic. I began to feel that I could
end my tenure knowing I had done what I could to set things
right. As I drove up to Baltimore from Washington, DC, on a
cold February morning, I was looking forward to the last of
these forums before heading to Atlanta for the election of new
DNC officers and then on to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi
Gras with my family. After the forum, the staff and I gathered
at a restaurant near the Chesapeake Bay for crab cakes and
beer. We were toasting each other at the moment when I felt
my phone vibrate, looked down, and saw that it was Hillary.

She asked me how I was doing and I said I was fine. She
sounded rested and confident, as if the Hillary I knew had
returned. I told her about the Future Forums and that I felt
good about the people who were running to be the new leaders
of the party. We were in better shape financially than we had
been in months. Before leaving the White House, the president
had agreed to do one more fund-raising appeal, and our online
fund-raising was outpacing previous months. We had almost
$11 million in the bank, which would give the new chair a head
start. This was chitchat, like I was talking to someone I didn’t
know. This was not I can’t wait to see you. Let’s get together.
You stepped up and I really wanted to thank you for doing it. I
know Hillary. I know she was being as sincere as possible, but I
wanted something more from her.

The 2016 campaign, convention, and election had shattered
long-standing relationships, leaving old friends wary of one
another. This was more than the burnout and dejection that
follows a crushing loss. The Russian dirty cybertricks that were
still just coming to light had left everyone scarred and scared.
We were all unable to reach out to the people we normally counted on.

As the call wrapped up, Hillary said she hoped I would be
okay. That was when I almost lost it. Even if the party was
starting to regain its footing, I was not okay. I had nothing left
to return to. This campaign had tarnished my reputation, forced
me to step down from CNN, and strained my relationships with
colleagues and friends. The hacking of the DNC by the Russians
shook my world, depleted my energy, creating in me a fear so
deep that now I had surveillance cameras on every door and
window at my house. I was struggling within myself to find a
way to say this to Hillary, and if it would do either of us any
good if I did, when she offered that if there was anything she
could do to help I shouldn’t hesitate to give her a call.
“Don’t forget what happened to the DNC,” I suddenly
blurted out.

Words started rushing out. I summoned that strength that
comes from down deep. I had held it. I had taken all the hits.
Hearing her voice was the first moment I understood how tired
I was of taking it. What about the Russians? They had tried to
destroy us. Was she going to help? I wanted to file a lawsuit.
We needed to sue those sons of bitches for what they did to us.
I knew the campaign had over $3 million set aside in a legal
fund. Could she help me get this lawsuit started? And don’t
forget the murder of Seth Rich, I told her. Did she want to
contribute to Seth’s reward fund? We still hadn’t found the
person responsible for the tragic murder of this bright young DNC staffer.

You’re right, she said. We’re going to get to that. But she
really had to go. She had made the call and checked it off her
list, and I accepted after we said our good-byes that I might
never hear from her again.

In the weeks that followed, as I put my life back together, I
thought about the notion that the Democratic Party is a family.
I’m one of nine children, and I know how families squabble and
forget because they have to move forward. They start to shrivel
if they live only in the past. The other thing families are good at
is keeping secrets. This Democratic family needed to stop doing
that. So many things happened during this campaign that we
were not supposed to talk about, and those secrets became
part of our bigger problem and part of our defeat. I knew I
needed to speak up. I was likely to be the first person to do so,
at least in so public a way.

I wanted to tell the story of all the things that contributed
to the loss, some of which we could not control and some of
which we brought on ourselves. In the midst of the reality show
that became the campaign, no one was focused on what was
happening to the democracy, and the distractions have only
continued with Trump in the White House. Amid the chaos of
the new administration, the truth of what happened in 2016 is
starting to slip away. We can’t allow that to happen.

We were hacked by the Russians. I want to talk about what
this means for our democracy. Most people are not aware of the
full-scale terror it creates—fear that slows everything to a crawl
as people start to doubt one another. I want to talk about the
arrogance and isolation of the Clinton campaign and the cult of
Robby Mook, who felt fresh but turned up stale, in a campaign
haunted by ghosts and lacking in enthusiasm, focus, and heart.
More than that, Hillary’s campaign and the legacy project of the
outgoing Obamas drained the party of its vitality and its cash, a
huge contributing factor to our defeats in state and local races.
I became so frustrated that in the days following Hillary’s
shocking collapse at the 9/11 memorial ceremony I nearly
replaced her as the party’s candidate for president. I want to
explore the reasons why I decided not to do that and instead
gave her time to heal and return to the campaign trail.

Many people don’t want me to write this book. They told me
no one cared about what happened at the DNC. To them, the
hacking was something we would rather forget. Some seemed
to think that this was only Hillary’s story to tell. Others were
still not convinced that the Russians were behind it. The
purpose of this exhumation is to once and for all get everything
out in the open.

As galling and heartbreaking as it was, the ascendency of
Donald Trump to the White House has also created a
tremendous opportunity for the Democrats. Once we
understand exactly what happened in the debacle of 2016, we
can stand up from this defeat and come back stronger.
As you can imagine, I have a lot to say about that.

1. Cover
2. Title Page
3. Copyright
4. Dedication
5. Epigraph
6. The Phone Call
7. 1. Storm Clouds
8. 2. From the Back of the Bus to Center Stage
9. 3. The Russians, the Russians, the Russians
10. 4. Picking the Apples
11. 5. Trouble Comes to the White House
12. 6. Gentlemen, Let’s Put Our Dicks on the Table
13. 7. Meeting at the FBI
14. 8. The Duck and the Spook
15. 9. The Smell of a Loss
16. 10. Bernie, I Found the Cancer but I Won’t Kill the Patient
17. 11. The Collapse
18. 12. I Am Not Patsey the Slave
19. 13. Hacker House
20. 14. October Surprise
21. 15. The Terror Comes Home
22. 16. State of Denial
23. 17. Firefighters
24. 18. Comey’s 18-Wheeler
25. 19. Election Night
26. 20. Grief and Regret
27. Epilogue: Choose Hope, Choose Action
28. Timeline of the Hacking
29. Acknowledgments
30. Also by Donna Brazile
31. Newsletters