The Missouri Senator disagreed with a constituent over the level of corruption inside the DNC but didn’t dismiss that there was corruption inside the DNC.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) during a town hall last week suggested that there is a level of corruption inside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) but downplayed its scope.
During a town hall in Farmington, MO on Friday, a constituent expressed her concern about the corruption that existed within the DNC during the 2016 primary.
Many supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) felt that the DNC tilted the playing field in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Those concerns were exacerbated the DNC email leak, which showed some favoritism to Clinton.
“You and I would disagree about the level of corruption in the Democratic Party,” McCaskill told the constituent. “I know that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was for Hillary, but the primary schedule was set way before the election ever began,” likely a reference to debates being schedule opposite college football or during holiday weekends.
That’s not quite true, however. The debate schedule was announced in August 2015, well after both Clinton and Sanders formally entered the race.
According to the New York Times, disgraced former DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) was forced to resign after the DNC email leaks showed “party officials conspiring to sabotage the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”
McCaskill, who was an early supporter of Clinton’s, cited Sanders’ success during the Democratic Party as evidence that there wasn’t an effort by the DNC to sabotage his campaign.
“If there was really an effort to step on Bernie, Bernie wouldn’t have done nearly as well as he did,” McCaskill told the constituent.
McCaskill then attacked Sanders supporters, saying that there was never a negative ad run against Sanders and that the Republican Party wanted Sanders to win the Democratic primary.
“I’m not going to accept that there is massive corruption in my party,” McCaskill concluded. “I don’t always agree with my party, but I think it’s very unfair to say there is massive corruption in my party because I don’t think there are facts to support that.”
However, McCaskill’s claim that there wasn’t an effort to sabotage the Sanders campaign from inside the DNC isn’t entirely accurate.
The New York Times reported at the time of the DNC email hack:
“Among the emails released on Friday were several embarrassing messages that suggest the committee’s chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, and other officials favored Hillary Clinton over Mr. Sanders — a claim the senator made repeatedly during the primaries.”
“The emails appear to bolster Mr. Sanders’s claims that the committee, and in particular Ms. Wasserman Schultz, did not treat him fairly. His campaign accused the committee of scheduling debates on weekends so fewer people would see them.”
What might be worse for McCaskill’s argument is the ongoing class action lawsuit against the DNC, during which a DNC attorney admitted that the party wasn’t required to be impartial during the presidential primary and the party could pick its candidate in a back room if it would like.
Legal or not, that kind of defense will likely not sit well with people like one who raised this issue with McCaskill.
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