- REUTERS/Bryan Woolston
In the wake of an email scandal and on the first day of the party’s convention, Democrats issued a statement apologizing to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for comments officials had made in leaked emails.
“On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email,” the statement from the Democratic National Committee said.
“These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process,” it said.
Sanders was also moved to a prime-time speaking slot on Monday night. He’s now expected to take the stage between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. He’d originally been scheduled to go on earlier in the evening.
Internal DNC emails published by WikiLeaks on Friday showed top staffers considering leaking negative information about Sanders, the Vermont senator who was running against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Among other things, officials at the DNC were shown to have scoffed at Sanders supporters and at one point questioned Sanders’ religious beliefs.
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned over the scandal.
The first day of the Democrats’ convention in Philadelphia, where Clinton will officially accept the party’s nomination for president, has been marked by chaos.
First, Wasserman Schultz was met with a loud chorus of boos from her home state’s delegation at a breakfast event on Monday where she delivered a speech. Then, at an event later that afternoon, a crowd jeered at Sanders when he told his supporters that they must elect Clinton to prevent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump from winning the White House.
Trump has defended Sanders, blasting the Democrats for treating his candidacy unfairly.
Here’s the full statement from the DNC:
“On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email. These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not – and will not – tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates. Individual staffers have also rightfully apologized for their comments, and the DNC is taking appropriate action to ensure it never happens again.
“We are embarking on a convention today that – thanks to the great efforts of Secretary Clinton, her team, Senator Sanders, his team, and the entire Democratic Party – will show a forward-thinking and optimistic vision for America, as compared to the dark and pessimistic vision that the GOP presented last week in Cleveland. Our focus is on electing Hillary Clinton, Tim Kaine and Democrats across the country, thanks to [a] Democratic Party that is strong, unified, and poised for victory in November.”
Maxwell Tani contributed to this report.