Top aides to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ripped into each other on Thursday during a postmortem gathering at Harvard University, according to multiple sources.
The event was sponsored by Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and was meant to be an analysis of the campaign and election by both sides. It involved top operatives from both campaigns sitting across a table from each other.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri blasted former Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon, who Trump has now elevated to chief strategist and senior counselor of his incoming White House staff.
“If providing a platform for white supremacist makes me a brilliant tactician, I am proud to have lost,” she said. “I would rather lose than win the way you guys did.”
Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway shot back, “Do you think I ran a campaign where white supremacists had a platform?”
“You did, Kellyanne. You did,” Palmieri said.
That seems to have set Conway off. “Do you think you could have just had a decent message for white, working class voters?” she said. “How about, it’s Hillary, she doesn’t connect with people? How about, they have nothing in common with her? How about, she doesn’t have an economic message?”
Clinton’s chief strategist Joel Benenson said “Look at your rallies. He delivered it,” referring to dog whistling at Trump rallies.
Conway, not to let anything go unanswered, said:
“Guys, I can tell you are angry, but wow.
Hashtag he’s your president. How’s that? Will you ever accept the election result? Will you tell your protesters that he’s their president, too?”
The one thing that both campaign teams agreed on was the media — both criticized the media’s coverage of the campaign, though for different reasons.
Palmieri said that history will look back at the controversy around Clinton’s use of her private email server as “the most grossly overrated, over covered and most destructive story in all of presidential politics … If I made one mistake, it was legitimizing the way the press covered this storyline.”
The event is the latest installment of a two day forum that has happened at Harvard’s Institute of Politics following ever presidential election since 1972.