The college student pressed by Hillary Clinton’s staffers to ask a scripted question at a campaign stop now says she reluctantly took part in the ruse and that she wasn’t the only plant in the audience.
In an interview with CNN, Grinnell College student Muriel Gallo-Chasanoff owned up to reading a scripted question to Sen. Clinton at the Nov. 6 event in Newton, Iowa.
Gallo-Chasanoff, told CNN that a senior Clinton staffer approached her at the event and asked if she'd like to ask Clinton a question after the senator’s speech on energy policy.
"I sort of thought about it, and I said 'Yeah, can I ask how her energy plan compares to the other candidates' energy plans?'" Gallo-Chasanoff said.
The campaign staffer told Gallo-Chasanoff that wasn’t “a good idea,” and produced a binder with pre-written questions, she said. "The top one was planned specifically for a college student," she added. " It said 'college student' in brackets and then the question."
Gallo-Chasanoff, who told CNN she "likes to be agreeable," conceded to asking the question, which read: "As a young person, I'm worried about the long-term effects of global warming. How does your plan combat climate change?"
The student says she now feels participating in the charade was wrong. She told CNN that scripting questions is "dishonest," and that the incident has given her a negative outlook on politics.
"Personally I want to know that I have someone who's honest representing me," Gallo-Chasanoff said. “
Gallo-Chasanoff also says she wasn’t alone in being manipulated by the Clinton staff..
"After the event, I heard another man talking about the question he asked, and he said that the campaign had asked him to ask that question," Gallo-Chasanoff said.
The Clinton campaign has since distanced itself from the practice of prepping questioners. Clinton spokesperson Mo Elleithee told CNN that Sen. Clinton had "no idea who she was calling on."
"This is not acceptable campaign process moving forward. We've taken steps to ensure that it never happens again," Elleithee said in a written response to the network.
Still, this is not the first time such accusations have been leveled at the Clinton camp.
Earlier this week, Geoffrey Mitchell of Hamilton, Ill. told CNN the Clinton campaign wanted him to ask a certain question at an Iowa event in April.
"[They] asked me if I would ask Sen. Clinton about ways she was going to confront the president on the war in Iraq, specifically war funding," said Geoffrey Mitchell, a Barack Obama supporter "It was not a question I felt comfortable with."
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