It is the worst possible scenario for the Democrats on the week of their convention as 20,000 emails were hacked and leaked by Wikileaks, emails that prove the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign did, in fact, rig the primary to protect Clinton and stop Bernie Sanders.
The DNC has now apologized to Sanders and his supporters, but is it enough?
This is a Reality Check you won’t see anywhere else.
For months, Reality Check has told you about allegations that the Democratic party leadership and the Clinton campaign were gaming the primary for Clinton. Now, 20,000 leaked DNC emails prove that was in fact happening. I am going to talk about the 3 major themes that have emerged so far.
The first theme: that the DNC worked with the Clinton campaign to create narratives that would harm Sanders with certain voting blocks.
One email, written May 5 to DNC communications director Luis Miranda from another party official, suggests looking at Bernie Sanders’ faith, saying, “It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” The email went on to say, “Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
In one email exchange, after Sanders upset Clinton in Indiana, Jordan Kaplan, the National Finance Director for the DNC, said that Clinton’s loss means that Sanders will raise another $4 million and will “be more obnoxious.” And when Sanders wanted to debate Clinton before the California primary, DNC staffers exchanged emails laughing at him.
The second theme of those emails is that the DNC colluded with major media organizations to control the narrative around their primary.
Kenneth Vogel, a reporter for Politico, sent a copy of his story about Hillary Clinton’s fundraising to the DNC in late April before publishing it. The subject line read: “per agreement … any thoughts appreciated.” The agreement was that they could see his story before Vogel’s editors even saw it, as long as he didn’t share it. An email titled “WaPo Party” between two DNC staffers brings up the question about whether the DNC was planning a party with the Washington Post.
And then there was the narrative that was pushed that the DNC had nothing to do with Sanders not winning the nomination and instead it was the fault of his campaign’s disorganization. This is the third major theme.
Mark Paustenbach, on staff with the DNC, emailed communications director Luis Miranda three weeks before the California primary. He pitched an anti-Bernie story that the campaign was a huge mess. In fact, it seems strange to some that this story may have been used because media around that time were reporting that Bernie was doing a poor job of educating his delegates about convention rules.
What you need to know is that Bernie Sanders spoke at the DNC last night and once again this morning and in both cases encouraged his supporters to back Clinton and Kaine and stop Donald Trump.
“In my view, it’s easy, it is easy, to boo, but it is harder to look your kids in the face who would be living under a Donald Trump presidency,” said Sanders.
And there, once again for the second day in a row, Bernie Sanders was booed by his own supporters. The reason for that is pretty simple. These emails aren’t about the DNC disenfranchising the candidate Bernie Sanders. They prove that the DNC disenfranchised voters.
The 13 million people who cast a vote for Sanders believed they were doing it in a fair system. They feel disenfranchised. The tens of thousands of others who were blocked from votinng in places like New York where the rules stopped them, they too feel disenfranchised.
If Clinton was selected and not elected, then it doesn’t matter how many concessions the Clinton campaign can make. It doesn’t matter how much Bernie Sanders endorses her. In the minds of millions of Sanders supporters, the DNC has proven they do not care about the people they are supposed to represent.
That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about it on Twitter.