Aides from the campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Thursday night sat down for a panel discussion at Harvard University about the 2016 race, but the forum devolved into acrimony when a Clinton aide accused the Trump campaign of peddling racism.
After Trump aides gloated about their victory and attributed their win in part to Steve Bannon, who has given a platform to white supremacists with his news website Breitbart, former Clinton campaign spokeswoman Jennier Palmieri blasted Bannon and the Trump campaign’s tactics.
“If providing a platform for white supremacists makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said, according to the Washington Post. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”
“Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?” Kellyanne Conway asked in response, according to the Washington Post.
Palimieri did not back away.
“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” she said, according to the Washington Post.
“Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working-class voters?” Conway then asked, per the Post. “How about, it’s Hillary Clinton, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”
Joel Benenson, a pollster for Clinton, then accused the Trump campaign of sending out “dog whistles,” according to the Huffington Post.
“You’re not being nice. You’re certainly not being analytical,” Conway replied, per the Huffington Post.