Twenty thousand emails released by WikiLeaks is a lot to sort through, but so far the main thing they’ve revealed is something we probably already knew. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) really was out to get Bernie Sanders, and early on, they were thinking of ways to disparage him in order to garner more support for the DNC favorite Hillary Clinton.
One email features DNC staffers appearing to ponder ways to undercut Sanders, an insurgent Democrat who had a bitter relationship with party leadership. Sanders supporters charged that the DNC was biased toward Clinton, and Sanders late in the primary endorsed DNC chair Debbie Wassserman Schultz’s primary opponent in her Florida congressional race.
On May 5, a DNC employee asked colleagues to “get someone to ask his belief” in God and suggested that it could make a difference in Kentucky and West Virginia. Sanders’ name is not mentioned in the note.
“This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall wrote.
In another email, an attorney appears to advise the DNC on how to respond to a dispute between the two campaigns over how much money Clinton’s operation had raised for state parties. Sanders’ campaign charged that Clinton’s team was not handing over its fair share of its fundraising, which Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver said was “laundering” and “looting.”
Another exchange involves a discussion on whether to move Maryland ophthalmologist Sreedhar Potarazu from sitting beside President Barack Obama at a DNC event after National Finance Director Jordan Kaplan said he gave less money than Philip Munger, another donor.
“It would be nice to take care of him from the DNC side,” Kaplan wrote, referring to Munger.
Wasserman Shultz also called Weaver a “damn liar” in May after he criticized the Nevada Democratic Party following protests among Sanders supporters who said Clinton’s backers had subverted party rules. They shouted down pro-Clinton speakers and sent threatening messages to state party Chairwoman Roberta Lange after posting her phone number and address on social media.
“The state party there has a lot of problems. They’ve run things very poorly. It has been done very undemocratically,” Weaver said on CNN in May. “And there seems to be an unwillingness on the part of the Nevada Democratic Party to bring in all of the new people that Bernie Sanders has brought into the process.”
The DNC chair responded in an email: “Damn liar. Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.”
And in an email quoting Weaver as saying, “I think we should go to the convention,” Wasserman Shultz wrote: “He is an ASS.”
Of course, Donald Trump weighed in:
Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2016
These revelations have come at quite an opportune time – just days before the Democratic National Convention and immediately following Hillary’s announcement that Senator Tim Kaine would be her running mate. Apparently, news of these DNC email leaks overshadowed news of Hillary’s VP announcement.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not a fan of Hillary Clinton, calling her a “war hawk” for her penchant for an aggressive foreign policy. He’s expressed similar criticism toward President Obama, particularly for his drone strike policies which have left thousands of innocent men, women, and children dead.
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