More than 19,000 emails written by staffers at the Democratic National Committee were hacked by Guccifer 2.0 and have been posted to the web by Wikileaks.
Of particular note is confirmation of the obvious: the DNC favored Hillary Clinton in the primaries and the staff searched for ways to discredit the Sanders campaign.
The suggestion of going after Sanders based on religion was included in one of 19,252 e-mails.
In one message dated May 5, 2016, with the subject line “No s–t,” the chief financial officer of the Democratic National Committee, Brad Marshall, plotted how to portray Sanders, who was raised Jewish in Brooklyn, as an atheist.
“It might [make] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief,” Marshall wrote, apparently referring to Sanders and upcoming Kentucky and West Virginia primaries.
“Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage,’’ Marshall asked.
“I think I read he is an atheist.”
“This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and atheist.”
The chief executive officer at the DNC, Amy Dacey, responded with a single word: “Amen.”
Marshall told The Intercept that he didn’t recall the sleazy e-mail.
But then he claimed it wasn’t an attempted hit job on Sanders.
“I can say it would not have been Sanders. It would probably be about a surrogate,” Marshall told the Web site.
He did not explain why the DNC would try to slime a Sanders surrogate.
The DNC continued to deny they were in the tank for Clinton — until these emails were posted:
The DNC was supposed to be neutral in the primary between Clinton and the Vermont senator.
But the e-mails confirm the party establishment was in the tank for Clinton long before the primaries were decided.
And top DNC officials were not happy when they were called out for taking sides.
Wasserman Schultz sent an e-mail to NBC anchor Chuck Todd complaining about MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, who was calling for her to resign for taking sides in an intra-party battle.
The subject line read: “Chuck, this must stop!”
In another e-mail, dated May 21, 2016, DNC press secretary Mark Paustenbach wrote to communications director Luis Miranda suggesting they plant a story that the Sanders campaign was in chaos.
“Specifically, [Wasserman Schultz] had to call Bernie directly in order to get the campaign to do things because they’d either ignored or forgotten something critical,” Paustenbach wrote.
“It’s not a DNC conspiracy, it’s because they never had their act together,” he wrote.
Note the petulant tone of DWS to Chuck Todd, ordering him around like a little kid.
The email was sent on May 18 to Todd with the subject “Chuck, this must stop.” In the email, Wasserman Schultz forwards Todd an article from Breitbart‘s Ian Hanchett glossing the criticism Wasserman Schultz had received from the Morning Joe co-host. Brzenzinski is quoted as saying that Wasserman Schultz “should step down” over her poor handling of the Democratic primary.
“Chuck, see below. I would like to discuss this with you today. Can you reach out to Luis to schedule a call? Thanks,” Wasserman Schultz writes.
Just before contacting Todd, in an email to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda, Wasserman Schultz was more forceful, writing, “This is the LAST straw. […] This is outrageous. She needs to apologize.”
Did the DNC derail the Sanders campaign? It depends whether you believe Bernie had a chance in the first place. It was always an improbable effort, but the candidate made a good run and in the end, was steamrolled by Clinton’s superior organization and financing.
Of course, what the DNC did didn’t hurt.