Insults fly when Trump, Clinton aides meet


(CNN)Four weeks after the election, tensions between top operatives at the Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton campaigns erupted during a Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics discussion that was intended to record history by drawing out the internal deliberations of both campaigns.

Facing off at long tables on opposite sides of the room during a two-hour panel, raw emotions on both sides exploded as operatives debated how Trump had won the divisive campaign.
There were periods of calm, substantive discussion about data, metrics and target states, but many moments where tempers flared, with acrimony mirroring the 2016 race. Advisers on the opposing sides shouted over each other. Accusations of lying flew between them. There was lots of eye-rolling on both sides. Operatives snapped at one another for interrupting, as an air of mutual contempt settled within the room. Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway called members of Clinton’s team “bitter.”
“Hey guys, we won,” Conway said at one point, challenging Clinton’s team to “accept the results of the election.” “He was the better candidate. That’s why we won.”
But the Clinton team did not back down. Chief Strategist Joel Benenson charged that the Trump campaign was successful, in part, by sending a series of “dog whistles” and messages with racial overtones that appealed to white voters who believed the government favored minorities.
Benenson pressed the Trump team to explain exactly who their supporters want “to take America back from.” He disputed the Trump team’s argument that his economic message led him to victory. Clinton won a majority of voters who were concerned about the economy, he said, while Trump won more voters who believe minorities are favored in this country.
Clinton Senior Adviser Karen Finney added that Trump had tapped into “underlying cultural anxiety about change that we were not willing to do.”
In a key moment that flipped the initial tone from fairly civil to acrimonious, Clinton advisers Jennifer Palmeiri and Finney charged the Trump campaign with providing a platform for white supremacist views by hiring Breitbart Chief Executive Steve Bannon. The Trump team had elevated the so-called alt-right movement into the mainstream, they said, with Palmieri adding that Clinton’s speech denouncing the extremist movement was the proudest moment of the campaign.
Source: CNN

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