A post-election discussion featuring aides to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton turned into a shouting match at Harvard University Thursday, with Clinton aides blaming white supremacy for Trump’s victory while Trump’s aides ridiculed them back as a group of sore losers.
For every election since 1972, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government has held a campaign debriefing featuring both Republican and Democratic campaign operatives, along with many journalists. Typically, the discussions are civil, but this time around the wounds from a grueling, sharply negative campaign were clearly still open and the mood raw. During a round-table discussion between top members of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, moderators struggled to keep participants on-point as they constantly attacked and bickered with one another.
Members of Trump’s campaign team were understandably celebratory, and weren’t shy about giving credit to campaign CEO Steve Bannon, previously the head of news outlet Breitbart. Any credit attributed to Bannon infuriated Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, who choked up multiple times during the session and bluntly accused the campaign of winning with racism.
“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.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was outraged by Palmieri’s implication.
“Are you gonna look me in the face and say I ran a campaign that was a platform for white supremacists?” she asked.
“You did, Kellyanne, you did,” responded.
“Are you kidding me?” Conway replied.