MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski called on Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down for her allegedly unfair treatment of the Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. “This has been very poorly handled from the start,” Brzezinski said. She added, “It has been unfair and they haven’t taken him seriously, and it starts quite frankly with the person we just heard speaking. It just does. You know that.” Wasserman Schultz is also a congresswoman who represents a district in Florida.
“Can I ask this? Why would Bernie Sanders politely get in line for the Democratic Party?” asked co-host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida. Brzezinski replied sarcastically: “Because Hillary Clinton‘s people said so.”
Scarborough concluded, “I sure wouldn’t. If the party I was a member of treated me like this, rigged the debate process… I’d say go straight to hell, I’m running as an independent.”
“She should step down,” Brzezinski said.
The Sanders organization slammed Wasserman Schultz today after she panned the campaign’s “anything but acceptable” response to reports of violence at the recent Democratic convention in Nevada. Yesterday, the Nevada Democratic Party lodged a formal complaint to co-chairs and members of the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee over allegations against the conduct of Sanders’ supporters and representatives at the convention. The state party warned against the “very dangerous atmosphere that ended in chaos and physical threats to fellow Democrats,” which could happen at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July.
The Nevada Democratic Party alleged that Sanders’ supporters posted state Chairwoman Roberta Lange's personal information online, threatening her and family members. Wasserman Schultz said Lange “has been essentially stalked by phone, has had to endure unacceptable feedback through violence and intimidation.”
Sanders released a statement before the convention and again after speaking with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid yesterday. “He categorically condemns any kind of threats that went on — absolutely unacceptable,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told CNN. Weaver then accused Wasserman Schultz of “throwing shade on the Sanders campaign since the very beginning.” He cited the limited number of debates, Sanders’ revoked access to the DNC voter databank and a joint fundraising agreement with Hillary Clinton’s campaign that Weaver said takes money away from state parties and goes to the DNC. Weaver added. “You know, by and large, people at the DNC have been very good to us. Debbie Wasserman Schultz really is the exception.”
Besides condemning violence, Sanders noted that months ago shots were fired into his campaign office and a housing complex used by his campaign “was broken into and ransacked.”
On CNN today, Wasserman Schultz appeared unsatisfied with Sanders’ statements. “With all due respect, when there is a ‘but’ in between condemnation of violence generally, and after the word ‘but’ you go on to seemingly justify the reason that the violence and intimidation has occurred, then that falls short of making sure that going forward this kind of conduct doesn’t occur in the future,” she said.
In an appearance on MSNBC, Weaver said Wasserman Schultz’s remark was “ridiculous.” “It’s been pretty clear almost from the get-go that she has been working against Bernie Sanders — I mean, there’s no doubt about it — for personal reasons,” Weaver said, while adding that Wasserman Schultz “appointed really hostile Hillary Clinton partisans” to head standing committees.