DNC Staff Mocked Wasserman Schultz’s Lack of Policy Knowledge, Emails Show

Top Dem fundraisers also quipped about DNC chair showing up late to events

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Debbie Wasserman Schultz / AP
• July 24, 2016 12:50 pm


Democratic National Committee staffers mocked chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz over her lack of policy knowledge and tendency to show up late to events, internal emails show.

When DNC fundraising staffers scheduled her to address a fundraising event held by a trade association of nurses, Wasserman Schultz’s assistant complained that she was not familiar enough with measures to combat the Zika virus, which she expected to be brought up at the event.

"Shouldn't a Florida rep know about Zika virus. Come on," wrote DNC finance director Jordan Kaplan in an email to Alexandra Shapiro, the fundraising staffer that had set up the event.

"Realistically she'll come 45 minutes late anyways," Shapiro quipped. "And leave in five minutes," Kaplan responded.

Those messages were among 20,000 hacked emails released by the group Wikileaks last week.

The release has embarrassed the DNC and Wasserman Schultz, in particular, primarily due to messages that showed DNC staffers plotting to undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid despite the party’s official neutrality.

Party officials announced on Sunday that Wasserman Schultz will not make any official appearances at the party’s convention in Philadelphia this week. She has also been replaced as the chair of the convention.

"She's been quarantined," one Democrat told CNN.

The emails showing DNC staffers mocking the embattled chairman had to do with a May fundraising event hosted by the American Nurses Association.

The group was "interested in talking about the Zika virus" and then-pending legislation to combat it, Shapiro wrote to Kate Houghton, Wasserman Schultz’s assistant.

"We can't do this to Debbie. There were no joke 10 bills on this topic on the floor in the last two days," Houghton responded. She suggested Shapiro call an expert on the issue. "Every time we lean on the legislative staff to do this it is recorded and we can't have that," she wrote.