Hardball with Chris Matthews, 8/6/13, 5:00 PM ET

Reince Priebus is on the warpath again

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is aiming to take control of the Republican nominating process by saying the committee won’t participate with debates on NBC or...

NBC, CNN hit back at Priebus’ ultimatum on Hillary Clinton programming

Updated
By msnbc staff

NBC and CNN are hitting back at Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who is accusing the networks of being “campaign operatives” for Hillary Clinton.

Priebus on Monday threatened that the RNC would not partner with CNN or NBC for any 2016 primary debates if the two went ahead with plans to produce a miniseries and documentary about Clinton.

Clinton has not even officially announced plans to run for president, but Priebus called the networks’ actions “to promote Secretary Clinton disturbing and disappointing.” The Republican wrote letters to Jeff Zucker, president of CNN worldwide, and Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, accusing the networks of giving Clinton “special treatment.”

NBC News released a statement saying  it is “completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no involvement in this project.”

CNN has called Priebus’ threat “premature,” adding, “We would encourage the members of the Republican National Committee to reserve judgment until they know more. Should they decide not to participate in debates on CNN, we would find it curious, as limiting their debate participation seems to be the ultimate disservice to voters.”

Former RNC chair Michael Steele told Hardball’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday that Preibus’ threat was merely a “political play to the base” and that the RNC can’t force a candidate to not participate in a debate.

For more, watch the video above:

NBC, CNN hit back at Priebus' ultimatum on Hillary Clinton programming

Updated