According to a report by the news site The Intercept, Brad Marshall, the Democratic National Convention’s CFO, sent an internal email to two DNC communications officials that has news media outlets buzzing about Bernie Sanders. Wikileaks has reported that DNC senior staff discussed Bernie Sanders’s presence in the presidential primary and suspected bias towards Hillary Clinton.
Wasserman-Schultz angrily, wrote this was the “LAST straw” and instructing communications director Luis Miranda to call MSNBC president Phil Griffin to demand an apology from Brzezinski.“Does he believe in a God,” the email reads. “He had (sic) 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,” the email continues. “My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
The email does not name Sanders outright, and Sanders, has never publicly proclaimed himself an atheist. During the campaign he said he was “proud to be Jewish” and described himself as having “very strong religious feelings.” was the only other Democratic candidate besides Hillary Clinton, who is a Methodist.
Photo copied from theintercept.com, notes Wasserman-Schultz reaching out to NBC’s Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd on the subject. Later in the day, Miranda sent a follow up email to Todd laying out a memo trying to convince him that Wasserman-Schultz was not in fact unfair to Bernie Sanders. Todd asked him if a call with Brzezinski was really a “good idea.” Miranda tried to de-escalate the situation, telling him that “if Mika just doesn’t like [Wasserman-Schultz], I’m not sure it’s worth either of their time”. Three weeks prior to the Democratic primary in California, the largest primary of the contest, DNC staffer Mark Paustenbach, the organization’s national press secretary, sent an email to Miranda pitching an anti-Bernie story that the candidate “never got his act together, that his campaign was a mess”. A day earlier, Miranda complained that Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, had “no backbone” for complaining that DNC head Wasserman-Schultz shared some responsibility for divisiveness in the party. When Sanders campaign chair Jeff Weaver appeared on cable news to defend the conduct of Sanders backers at the Nevada convention, where the news media and opponents of the Sanders campaign complained that there was violence, including thrown chairs, that didn’t actually happen, Wasserman-Schultz reacted harshly, writing: “Damn liar. Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and threatening behavior that occurred.” There was no apparent effort made to actually investigate the claims against Sanders.
As early as the end of April, the DNC was mocking up emails to message to their base about the end of Sanders’s campaign. Eric Reif, a digital staffer at the organization, sent around an email template that would be used by chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. DNC Deputy Communications Director Eric Walker, however, mocked as “#bernieclickbait” the idea that the DNC was tipping towards Hillary Clinton. The emails also show internal pushback on major Sanders causes such as holding more debates and ending superdelegates. On May 2nd, a public relations staffer named Erik Smith sent an email to DNC officials updating them on the positions of both Democratic campaigns on a May debate in California. According to Smith, the Clinton team stated that they would not participate in a debate unless it was DNC-sanctioned. A day earlier, Fox News editor Bill Sammon forwarded a note to the DNC in which he offered both remaining Democratic candidates a chance for a televised debate in California. That email was a follow up to one he wrote on May 13, formally requesting that the DNC sanction a debate in California. “Given that the race is still contested, and given that you sanctioned a final trio of debates, the last of which has not yet been held, we believe a final debate would be an excellent opportunity for the candidates to, as you said when you announced these debates, ‘share Democrats’ vision for the country,’” he wrote. “I don’t really think this makes sense. The RNC would never do an MSNBC debate for the same reason that we shouldn’t do this one,” Wasserman-Schultz responded the same day.
On May 19, Miranda appeared on Fox News and told the network they were “negotiating” for another debate, and that they “know the interest is there.” The day before, Amy Dacey, the CEO of the DNC, signed off on that messaging. Although Sanders and Fox News both agreed to debate, the DNC and Clinton campaigned never sanctioned the debate and it never happened. After Maine Democrats passed a resolution seeking to eliminate superdelegates, DNC Vice Chair for Civic Engagement and Voter Participation Donna Brazille called it “another lunacy.” Dacey wrote that “they have no jurisdiction” to try to eliminate superdelegates: