Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been stripped of her speaking spot at the Democratic National Convention due to the ongoing Wikileaks scandal, according to new reports.
Citing an unnamed source within the Democratic Party, CNN reported late Saturday Wasserman Schultz was denied a major speaking slot in an effort to “keep the peace.” Another source told the network Wasserman Schultz was being “quarantined” to limit any harm she could cause at the convention. As DNC chair, Wasserman Schultz is still expected to formally gavel the convention in and out.
The DNC is scrambling to contain the fallout after over 20,000 internal emails were posted online by Wikileaks, revealing a great deal of embarrassing material in the process. One exchange shows DNC officials creating fake Craigslist ads to smear Republican nominee Donald Trump, while another shows Wasserman Schultz herself sending an irate email to NBC News political director Chuck Todd after she was criticized on MSNBC.
The most damaging revelations, though, relate to the DNC’s handling of the presidential primaries. Even though the DNC is supposed to be neutral in the primary race, the emails repeatedly reveal overt DNC bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton.
In one exchange, DNC officials plotted to sabotage Sanders in certain primaries by getting reporters to ask about his religious beliefs, in the hopes of revealing him as an atheist. In another, they talk about how to create a media “narrative” portraying the Sanders campaign as an incompetent mess unable to gets its act together.
After a drawn-out primary battle, Clinton finally secured Sanders’s endorsement just two weeks ago, but the new revelations threaten to alienate his supporters all over again. Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said Saturday someone would have to be “accountable” for what the emails show.
CNN says Wasserman Schultz’s canceled speech is a concession to appease Sanders. It’s also hoped that keeping her out of the limelight will prevent “chaos” on the convention floor, should she be loudly booed by delegates sympathetic to Sanders.
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