Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) pushed back Monday against the notion that she favors Hillary Clinton for her party’s presidential nomination, telling Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo there was not a “shred of evidence” to substantiate that claim.
After Schultz mounted a defense of Clinton’s private email server use, Bartiromo repeated a charge that’s been leveled against Schultz by many Democrats, including supporters of Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) and former candidate Martin O’Malley.
“It’s pretty clear that you’re favoring Hillary Clinton,” Bartiromo said. “What do you want to say to Bernie Sanders supporters?”
“No, no,” Schultz said, waving her hand. “There’s just no shred of evidence to suggest that I’m favoring Hillary Clinton … I’m not doing a very good job wrapping the nomination up for her if I were actually favoring Hillary Clinton. I could have worked a lot harder at it if that were what I was doing.
“There’s no evidence to that effect. If I wanted to support a particular candidate, I would do exactly that. Not be DNC chair, and go support a candidate, but I truly believe that my time is best spent making sure that I can get our party ready, to make sure we can continue the progress that we’ve made under Barack Obama.”
Schultz said she was “thrilled” about how strong a challenge Sanders had mounted for Clinton.
Schultz, a friend of Clinton, has faced criticism for initially limiting the number of debates, with O’Malley calling her out by name for helping “circle the wagons” and ensure a Clinton victory. Sanders was also briefly locked out of the DNC’s valuable voter file and its voter information after a breach allowed Sanders campaign employees to illicitly access Clinton data.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii) resigned her post as vice-chair of the DNC last month to openly support Sanders for president and reportedly after being at odds for months with Schultz over the primary process.
As part of the combative interview, Bartiromo played a March 8 clip where Schultz called the notion that Clinton could be indicted over her private email server “melodramatic,” despite Clinton being under federal investigation for her conduct.
Schultz said Monday there was an “investigation, period,” adding that she agreed with Clinton refusing to answer a recent debate question about whether she’d drop out of the race were she indicted. Schultz also took care to repeat Clinton’s line about electing to not use the server if she could go back and do it over again.
“She’s actually said if she had it to go back and do it again, she would not have used private email, but in terms of what she was doing with compliance, that she was compliant,” Schultz said.
“I don’t think it’s only using private email, but it’s also having the server. She’s made the case in the past that other secretaries of state have had Gmail accounts,” Bartiromo said. “Sure, you can have a Gmail account if you’re not using it for government business, but the key is she’s the only one who actually had a server in her basement.”
“She has released 55,000 pages of emails,” Schultz said. “This election is not about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Her opponent, Bernie Sanders, has said that.”
Bartiromo asked if Schultz knew whether Clinton had spoken with the FBI for its investigation and if she hadn’t, whether she would. Schultz professed no knowledge of the situation, insisting she was focusing on getting ready to elect a Democrat.