This ought to send Sanders and his supporters right over the edge. Unbelievable.
Democratic party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has stepped down following Bernie Sanders’ call for her resignation in the wake of a humiliating Wikileaks email hack that exposed her bias and showed the party had conspired against the Vermont senator.
Party officials took part in crisis talks on Sunday afternoon – the eve of the party’s national convention in Philadelphia – over mounting calls for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.
The controversy exploded over the weekend, prompted in part by the publication of some 19,000 hacked emails on Friday, some of which suggested the Democratic Nation Committee was favoring Hillary Clinton during the primary season.
The revelations prompted runner-up Bernie Sanders to call for Wasserman Schultz’s resignation on Sunday – a day before Democrats open their convention to nominate Clinton as the party’s presidential candidate.
Later on Sunday, Wasserman Schultz issued a statement announcing that she will be stepping down from her role as party chair at the end of the convention.
DNC Vice Chair Donna Brazile will serve as Interim Chair through the election in November, DNC communications director Luis Miranda said on Twitter.
Wasserman Schultz said her first priority has been her role as a Florida congresswoman and that she looks forward to working on Clinton’s campaign in the crucial battleground state.
Clinton later announced that Wasserman Schultz will serve as honorary chair of her campaign’s 50-state program to help elect Democrats around the country because ‘there’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie.’
‘I have been privileged to serve as the DNC Chair for five and a half years helping to re-elect President Obama and Vice President Biden, strengthening our State Party Partnership in all 50 states, leading a vigorous primary election this past year while preparing for the general election and representing millions of Democrats across the country,’ Wasserman Schultz said in a statement announcing her departure.
‘As the mother of my three amazing children and the Representative of Florida’s 23rd congressional district, I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future.
‘I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.’
In her statement, Wasserman Schultz said: ‘I couldn’t be more excited that Democrats are nominating our first woman presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, a friend I have always believed in and know will be a great President.
‘We arrived here in Philadelphia with the most inclusive and progressive platform the party has ever proposed and a unified recommendation from the Rules Committee on our path forward as Democrats. I am proud of my role in leading these efforts.’
But she added: ‘Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention.
‘As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans.
‘We have planned a great and unified Convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had.’
Bernie Sanders slammed the party for not being impartial during the primary process.
He said in a statement: ‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people.
‘The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.’
Shortly after her announcement, President Barack Obama said he called Wasserman Schultz to tell her he is grateful to her for having his back over the past eight years.’
In a statement, Obama said: ‘For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful.
‘Her leadership of the DNC has meant that we had someone who brought Democrats together not just for my re-election campaign, but for accomplishing the shared goals we have had for our country.’
He added that her critical role in supporting the country’s economic recovery, fights for social and civil justice and providing health care for all Americans ‘will be a hallmark of her tenure as Party Chair.’
‘Her fundraising and organizing skills were matched only by her passion, her commitment and her warmth. And no one works harder for her constituents in Congress than Debbie Wasserman Schultz,’ he said.
‘Michelle and I are grateful for her efforts, we know she will continue to serve our country as a member of Congress from Florida and she will always be our dear friend.’
Clinton also issued a statement, saying this week’s convention will be a success thanks Wasserman Schultz’s ‘hard work and leadership’ – and that there’s ‘no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans.’
‘I want to thank my longtime friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz for her leadership of the Democratic National Committee over the past five years,’ Clinton said.
‘I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democratic Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership.
‘There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Republicans than Debbie – which is why I am glad that she has agreed to serve as honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country, and will continue to serve as a surrogate for my campaign nationally, in Florida, and in other key states.
‘I look forward to campaigning with Debbie in Florida and helping her in her re-election bid – because as President, I will need fighters like Debbie in Congress who are ready on day one to get to work for the American people.’
Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump quickly took to Twitter to gloat that Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus is the ‘tough and smart’ one.
He said on Twitter: ‘Today proves what I have always known, that @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one, not Debbie Wasserman Shultz (@DWSteeets.)’
He later added: ‘I always said that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was overrated. The Dems Convention is cracking up and Bernie is exhausted, no energy left!’
In another set of posts later on Sunday, he wrote: ‘If the Republican Convention had blown up with e-mails, resignation of boss and the beat down of a big player. (Bernie), media would go wild.
‘Crooked Hillary Clinton was not at all loyal to the person in her rigged system that pushed her over the top, DWS. Too bad Bernie flamed out.
‘Even though Bernie Sanders has lost his energy and his strength, I don’t believe that his supporters will let Crooked Hillary off the hook!
His campaign chair Paul Manafort also had harsh words for the official, and suggested that Hillary should also resign.
‘Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned over her failure to secure the DNC’s email servers and the rigged system she set up with the Clinton campaign,’ he said in a statement.
‘Now Hillary Clinton should follow Wasserman Schultz’s lead and drop out over her failure to safeguard top secret, classified information both on her unauthorized home server and while travelling abroad.
‘Wsserman Schultz’s emails only put the Democratic party at risk, but Hillary Clinton’s emails put all of America at risk.’
Clinton emailed supporters and said that Schultz would join the campaign as “honorary chair” of the 50-state program to ensure Democrats win elections nationwide. Wasserman Schultz will continue to serve as a Clinton surrogate.