An adviser to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is calling the Democratic National Committee hypocritical in its response to last week’s breach of Clinton campaign voter data given that the party provided a positive job recommendation for Joshua Uretsky, the Sanders campaign official fired for improperly accessing the information.
Uretsky, who was fired from his job as Sanders’ national data director, also came highly recommended by a former official with NGP VAN, the company that provided the voter data that was breached last week, Yahoo! News reported.
“It’s not as if we conjured this guy Josh from thin air. This is an individual…who was recommended to us by the DNC and NGP VAN,” the adviser, who is unnamed, told Yahoo! News.
The Sanders campaign fired Uretsky on Dec. 17, a day after he reportedly accessed some Clinton campaign voter data which was accidentally released by NGP VAN. (RELATED: Sanders Staffer Fired After Improperly Accessing Clinton Voter Data [VIDEO])
After the breach, the DNC suspended the Sanders campaign’s access to the crucial data, which campaigns use as part of their fundraising and get-out-the-vote efforts.
Two other staffers were suspended over the incident in addition to Uretsky being fired. But Sanders sued the DNC for revoking its access to the NGP VAN data, alleging that the move was a breach of contract. The DNC reinstated access to the data but is conducting an independent investigation. Sanders apologized to Clinton over the incident during last weekend’s third Democratic debate. (RELATED: Sanders Campaign Sues DNC For Shutting Off Access To Voter File)
In the interview with Yahoo!, the Sanders adviser asserted the response from the DNC and NGP VAN has been unfair given that officials with both organizations recommended Uretsky for the campaign job.
The adviser told Yahoo! News that one of Uretsky’s references came from Andrew Brown, the DNC’s national data director, and Bryan Whitaker, the former chief operating officer at NGP VAN.
“Andrew Brown spoke to us and gave [Uretsky] a positive review, as did this guy Bryan Whitaker,” the adviser claimed.
“I just think it’s utter hypocrisy on their part,” the adviser said. “I mean here we are being attacked for the behavior of an individual, which we ultimately fired. We agree he acted improperly, but it’s just amazing to me that this…individual that actually caused this trouble in our campaign was recommended by these guys.”
“I don’t know how you can more centrally connect this thing than those two entities,” the adviser added.
The adviser issued other complaints. He said that NGP VAN appeared to have leaked information about what data Uretsky had accessed to the Clinton campaign. That allowed the former secretary of state’s campaign to mount an attack against a largely defenseless Sanders team.
“This is one of the things that we were whipsawed in over the course of the, you know, 48 hours,” the adviser told Yahoo! “NGP VAN was leaking information, clearly provided documents to the DNC and the Clinton campaign — or the DNC was providing those documents to the Clinton campaign. Documents that we didn’t have.”
“It would have been fair play to provide us the info in proper time…they basically locked us out and then started throwing stuff under the table,” the adviser added.
Neither the DNC nor NGP VAN responded to Yahoo!’s request for comment.
The flap added to an increasingly intense standoff between the DNC and the Sanders campaign, which has accused the party of favoring Clinton. The limited number of debates and the timing of the contests have also become a point of contention between Sanders and the party. (RELATED: Sanders Campaign Manager: DNC ‘Actively Attempting To Undermine Our Campaign’ [VIDEO])