Determined to defend her tenure as head of the Democratic National Committee, a role in which she was driven from over allegations she demonstrated favoritism to Hillary Clinton over Vermont’s Bernie Sanders during primary season, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz refuted charges she and fellow DNC members undermined the Sanders campaign.
Speaking to Vice News correspondent Shawna Thomas in an interview aired on HBO, Wasserman-Schultz observed:
“I will be frank with you. If I was trying to rig the outcome of the primary, trust me, I could have — there are so many things that we, not I, we could have done to enhance the campaign of one candidate over another.”
“It was mind-boggling to me that (Sanders) was complaining about the number of debates. Because, things were going just fine [for him]. I think the Sanders campaign began to aggressively find a scapegoat to turn the attention away from mistakes that they made. And they did so successfully and made me the boogeywoman. But that’s okay.”
Wasserman-Schultz resigned her position as DNC chair in late July after Wikileaks released a tranche of internal emails contradicting the party’s stated mission of neutrality in the primary race between Clinton and Sanders.
The hacked communications consistently revealed how top officials had criticized Sanders, with one email from Brad Marshall, then the DNC CFO, inquiring of DNC CEO Amy Dacey the possibility of planting a question with friendly media personalities probing Sanders’ religious views.
Later, hacked emails from Wasserman-Schultz’s account revealed how the former DNC chair fumed over on-air criticism from MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski and a demand from Wasserman-Schultz for an apology.
Initially defiant, Wasserman-Schultz refused to step down from her post, but following a phone conversation with President Obama, she resigned and declined to preside over the convention.
The ensuing scandal consumed the Florida congresswoman and fellow DNC officials Marshall, Dacey and communications director Luis Miranda.