Former Obama labor secretary Tom Perez was elected Saturday as the new chair of the Democratic National Committee despite his refusal to definitively say whether the DNC rigged its presidential primary in favor of Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Earlier this month, Perez admitted that Sanders’s supporters believed “that the process was rigged and it was.” He walked back his comments that same day, saying he “misspoke” and that “Hillary became our nominee fair and square.” (RELATED: Leaked Emails Show DNC Officials Constructing Anti-Bernie Narrative)
During Wednesday’s DNC chair debate, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo pressed Perez three times to clarify whether or not he believes the DNC rigged the primary against Sanders. All three times, Perez refused to provide an answer.
Hacked emails from DNC officials published by WikiLeaks showed party leaders working to boost the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Sanders throughout the primary.
Perez, the Democratic establishment’s favored candidate for DNC chair, prevailed Saturday over Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, a strong Sanders ally.
Ellison had come under fire for his history of making racially inflammatory statements, as well as his past ties to radical figures like notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, who heads up the black nationalist group Nation of Islam. (RELATED: Ellison Accepted Thousands From Wife-Beating Saudi Donor)