Clinton Officials Dodge Sunday Show Questions About DNC Email Leak, Debbie Wasserman Schultz

• July 24, 2016 10:42 am


Hillary Clinton campaign officials Robby Mook and Joel Benenson were not interested in answering questions about party disunity and embattled Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) on Sunday morning talk shows.

The fallout from leaked DNC emails, which revealed Schultz and other higher-ups disparaging and even conspiring against Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, has the Democratic Party in a state of turmoil with its convention beginning in just one day. The emails seemed to confirm that Sanders was correct in his assertion that the primary process was rigged in favor of Clinton, and Schultz has reportedly lost her convention speaking gig.

Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, dodged so artfully on CNN that Jake Tapper eventually called him out in exasperation. Tapper asked Mook how he would feel if he'd been running Sanders' campaign and saw emails that showed party officials were actively working against him.

"As I said, the DNC needs to take appropriate steps, and I'm confident that they will," Mook said. "I'm really proud of the primary that we ran."

Mook ignored Tapper's question and said there would be strong unity at the DNC convention.

"You're still not answering the question about what appropriate action would be," Tapper said. "Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, a huge Clinton ally, has said somebody needs to be fired. Should somebody be fired?"

"I'm going to leave that to the DNC, because I don't have all the facts," Mook said.

Tapper asked him if he was afraid Schultz would be booed by Sanders supporters when she went to gavel in the convention, citing that she had already lost her speaking slot as a result of the leak.

"What I am looking forward to is how we have worked in partnership with the Sanders campaign. Senator Sanders has endorsed Secretary Clinton," Mook said. "Our campaigns have worked very hard to get a unified platform, to have unified rules, and we're going to celebrate that at this convention, and it's something we're both very proud of."

"Obviously, you're not going to answer the question about specifics," Tapper said wryly, moving on.

In an appearance on ABC's This Week, Mook didn't answer host George Stephanopoulos' question about whether the Clinton campaign thought Schultz should be disciplined for the emails.

"I think the DNC needs to get to the bottom of the facts, needs to understand what actually happened here, and then appropriate action needs to be taken," Mook said. "Right now, we're really focused on having a great convention."

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Benenson if Clinton had full confidence in Schultz and what her job status was.

"I honestly have never had a conversation with Hillary Clinton about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the chair of the Democratic Party, so that's the honest truth, Chris," he said. "I can't sit here and assure you of anything."

Benenson also said he didn't know if the Clinton campaign had asked her not to speak.