Donna Brazile speaks in SF, says Russia hacking made her fear for democracy

Former DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile appeared in San Francisco as the featured speaker for the Commonwealth Club, talking about her tell-all book "Hacks". 

Brazile spoke for about one hour to a sold-out crowd at the Marines Memorial Club and answered some tough questions about her book, an insider's account of her time as chair of the DNC during the 2016 elections.

"I wanted to write this book because we have to protect our democracy," said Brazile, who said the Russian hacking made her fear for American democracy. 

"This book is a warning to all Americans," Brazile said," This is a super duper hacking." 

Brazile told the crowd about her meeting with the FBI after agents confirmed the DNC emails had been hacked by Russians.

"What you didn't know is they corrupted our data. What you didn't know is they got our voter files," Brazile said. 

Her book has raised controversy over her criticism of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party, both which she said she respects.

"In exchange for relieving the DNC of its debt, the Clinton campaign would run certain part of the operations and my reaction to that is oh hell no," she said. 

She said no candidate should run the DNC before winning the primary. She said she tried to be fair. 

"I found no evidence that the primary was rigged," she said.

Brazile also answered a question about the accusations that she gave Hillary Clinton debate questions in advance. Brazile says she provided no questions, just debate topics to both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.

"CNN did not give me any questions," Brazile told the crowd.

Audience members say they appreciated her candor.

Some said it is making them think about what the Democratic party should do differently in the next election. 

"I think she talks truth, and what she talks about she says with great passion, great heart," said Richard Rubin of the Commonwealth Club.

Barbara Farhner of Walnut Creek is a Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary. 

"I've loved Donna Brazile for many years, I really respect her, but she pulled a faux pas in this election and I'm not sure that I've forgiven her for it," said Farhner.

"For her it's just coming clean to some degree I'm not sure she did the right thing. I think she could have done more when things were unfolding," said Nicole Erazo, a Bernie Sanders supporter from New Jersey.

"I'm happy she wrote the book. I think that in order to get better, you always have to be introspective," said John Martin of San Ramon.

Brazile said Democrats need to give everyone an equal chance in primaries, support local grassroots campaigns in all 50 states, and keep young voters engaged during off election cycles.

She also said she feels the Democratic party needs to do more to embrace other parts of the party and develop young future candidates to deepen the Democratic bench. 

"I don't want the Dianne Feinsteins and Nancy Pelosi to leave the room. I want them to scoot over," Brazile said. 

Brazile also said the nation needs to take immediate action to stop hacking and interference from foreign operatives in U.S. elections.