POLITICS
07/23/2016 11:24 am ET | Updated Jul 26, 2016

Leaked Emails Suggest DNC Was Conspiring Against Bernie Sanders

Looks like Sanders supporters weren't just being paranoid after all.

A new leak of internal emails from the Democratic National Committee appears to support the long-held suspicions of some Bernie Sanders supporters that the DNC was working against him.

WikiLeaks released the 19,252 emails Friday that came from “seven key figures” in the DNC, including communications director Luis Miranda and national finance director Jordan Kaplan.

One email from May shows chief financial officer Brad Marshall suggesting that they use religion against a certain possible atheist with a Jewish heritage:

From:MARSHALL@dnc.org To: MirandaL@dnc.org, PaustenbachM@dnc.org, DaceyA@dnc.org Date: 2016-05-05 03:31 Subject: No shit

It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.

The email doesn’t mention Sanders by name, and Marshall told The Intercept that he was likely referring to “a surrogate,” not the independent Vermont senator himself. He did not elaborate on who such a surrogate could be. (It’s also unclear how using this tactic on a surrogate would make it less questionable.)

Another email shows national press secretary Mark Paustenpach suggesting an anti-Bernie “narrative” for a story.

“Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess,” Paustenpach wrote in a May email to Luis Miranda. He lists several examples of such “messiness” and concludes by saying, “It’s not a DNC conspiracy, it’s because they never had their act together.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign issued a statement Saturday evening downplaying the concerns the emails raise and shifting blame to the Russian government. 

While the WikiLeaks database is searchable, Heavy.com has compiled a comprehensive list of some other intriguing emails about the DNC’s treatment of Sanders, including committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz writing that it’s “silly” to speculate about Sanders ever being president and Kaplan referring to him as obnoxious.

In an ironic twist, one leaked email reveals deputy communications director Eric Walker mocking BuzzFeed for writing that the DNC had bad cybersecurity.

This article has been updated to include a statement from the Clinton campaign.

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