Donna Brazile, the longtime strategist tapped to take over the Democratic National Committee, may have her own set of problems as she scrambles to unite the party following the explosive email scandal that led to Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation as chairwoman.
The party is in turmoil at the start of their national convention after leaked emails indicating an anti-Bernie Sanders bias inside the operation inflamed the left. But it turns out the leaked emails also show Brazile mocking Sanders.
Just two months ago, on May 22, Brazile fired a message to DNC communications director Luis Miranda after Sanders endorsed Wasserman Schultz’ primary opponent, and Miranda forwarded Brazile the text of Wasserman Schultz’ statement.
“I saw it this am. How stupid. Don’t know how to respond to Bernie anymore,” Brazile wrote.
In another email released by WikiLeaks, Brazile declined a Washington Post interview request two months ago because she was worried what she might say about Sanders’ campaign.
“I have no intentions of touching this,” Brazile wrote to several DNC operatives on May 13. “Why? Because I will cuss out the Sanders camp!”
The Post reporter, Abby Phillip, had requested to speak with Brazile to get her thoughts on “this fight between the Sanders camp and DNC over adequate representation on the platform committee and others ahead of the convention.”
So far, though, Brazile has avoided the heavy media spotlight and ire from Sanders supporters that continued to trail Wasserman Schultz Monday morning. As Wasserman Schultz explained her new role in the party – campaigning for Hillary Clinton from now to November – she faced taunts of “shame” from apparent Sanders supporters.
Brazile, along with Clinton officials, pushed back on allegations that the primary process was rigged all along.
“The Democratic Party, we have a very open process,” she said, while claiming the emails were hacked and “selectively leaked.”
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook insisted Monday, “Our party is coming together.”
Sources familiar with the DNC email dump told Fox News the communications were likely seized in a hacking operation with ties to the Russian government.
Donald Trump, though, brushed off the Clinton campaign’s suggestion that Russia was trying to help his campaign with the leak.
“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me,” he tweeted.
The emails, meanwhile, are hardly the first political controversy that has entangled Brazile.
She infamously had to step down from the Michael Dukakis presidential campaign in 1988 after stoking an unsubstantiated rumor about a George H.W. Bush affair.
She had said, “The American people have every right to know if Barbara Bush will share that bed with him in the White House.” She said Bush owed it to Americans to “fess up” about the rumors.
According to a Los Angeles Times article from the time, Dukakis apologized to Bush, and Brazile resigned. Brazile also said she regretted making the comments.