Hillary Clinton was caught on camera last night violating debate rules by meeting with campaign staff during a commercial break, as reported by Fox News’ Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry.
Henry took this photo of Hillary Clinton leaving a backstage area where she appeared to have been consulting with campaign aides.
The former Secretary of State is seen with at least five campaign aides in the background, appearing to have just met with them. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver apparently informed Henry that the photo proves Clinton was violating the Democratic National Committee’s debate rules, which prohibit candidates from meeting with campaign staff in mid-debate.
The Clinton campaign’s only response to the photo was that they weren’t aware the photo existed:
Candidates are not supposed to confer w staff during commercial breaks — Clinton aide Jen Palmieri told me she wasn't aware of pic
— Ed Henry (@edhenry) March 10, 2016
Nonetheless, the meeting didn’t appear to help Clinton during the remainder of the debate. Even the New York Times, whose editorial board has endorsed Clinton, said Sanders won the debate based on the opinions of newsmakers around the country. Mark Halperin, managing editor of Bloomberg Politics, wrote:
“Bernie Sanders: Consistently more precise and energetic than in the most recent debate. Less negative, more natural, more earnest and more on message than his opponent. Clinton’s delegate lead looms large, but he showed why he is inspiring tens of millions of liberals across the country.”
One of the memorable moments of last night’s debate was Clinton repeatedly dodging a direct question about whether or not she supports deporting the children of immigrant refugees fleeing violent conditions in Central America. Her lengthy, evasive answers weren’t satisfying for Jonathan Allen, head of content for Sidewire:
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) March 10, 2016
Incidentally, Clinton isn’t the only candidate accused of meeting with campaign staff during commercial breaks. Republican front-runner Donald Trump was more flagrant with his breaking of the rules, as his campaign manager actually joined him on stage during a break on last week’s Fox News debate.