Politics

Emails: DNC Staffer Annoyed At Having To Commemorate The Holocaust

Internal DNC emails released by WikiLeaks reveal at least one Democratic party staffer seemingly annoyed at having to commemorate the Holocaust.

Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks before introducing Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Fla., Sept. 3, 2015. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)   Democratic Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz speaks before introducing Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Fla., Sept. 3, 2015. (REUTERS/Joe Skipper)   

On May 5, 2016, Florida Rep. and then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent an email to two of her Congressional staffers as well as two DNC employees — newly-hired director of Jewish engagement Aaron Weinberg and senior communications director Ryan Banfill.

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“We need to do a statement from the DNC. Is there a reason we haven’t?” Wasserman Schultz asked in the email, which had the subject line “Yom Hashoah statement.” Yom Hashoah, which is also known as Holocaust Memorial Day, began the evening of May 4 and ended the followed evening, May 5.

Banfill forwarded Schultz’s email to another DNC staffer, Kate Houghton. “Flagging for you. The chair is asking for a statement on Yom Hashoah,” Banfill wrote.

“We aren’t going to do statements for every Jewish holiday unless she wants to do them for every religious holiday and trust me, this Catholic can give you a list of them,” Houghton replied. “Also when she does an official statement it makes very little sense to have two statements out there in her voice.”

Banfill replied: “This is about remembering the Holocaust. Never forget.”

“Yup… or Darfur or Armenia or Rwanda or Bosnia (which PS is where my husband served),” Houghton replied. “Does she want us to do one for each other those remembrance days as well?”

Elsewhere in the WikiLeaks email dump, DNC CFO Brad Marshall accused Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders of being an atheist who skates by on his Jewish heritage.

“It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. 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,” Marshall wrote.

Marshall ultimately apologized for his “insensitive, emotional emails”.

“I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process,” Marshall wrote in a Facebook post, according to Politico. “The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended.”

Update: An earlier version of this article noted that one of Banfill’s comments appeared to be written tongue-in-cheek. Banfill objected to that characterization of his comment.

Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson