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WASHINGTON (CBSMiami/AP) — A South Florida congresswoman could become collateral damage in a fight between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz – the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee – is getting major criticism from Bernie Sanders who claims she is undermining his bid to be the party’s presidential nominee.

A new report out has some calling Wasserman Schultz toxic, saying she could be forced to resign as chair of the DNC before the Democratic National Convention in July.

Meantime, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is stepping up to defend her.

Asked by reporters about Wasserman Shultz, Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed to choose her words carefully.

“Chairwoman Wasserman Schultz has the respect of her colleagues for her efforts and her leadership to unify the party and to win the election in November,” she said. Asked if she agreed with those sentiments, Pelosi said, “That was my statement.”

The long-shot bid by Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination against Clinton has left rifts within the party. Sanders is an independent senator from Vermont.

Sanders has accused Wasserman Schultz of favoring Clinton by scheduling debates on weekend nights, for having many closed primaries not open to independent voters and for its superdelegate system that helped Clinton pad her lead.

Asked about reports that some Democrats felt retaining Wasserman Schultz was making it difficult for the party to unify, Pelosi said she was unaware of that.

“I’m not going to get involved in conversations about personality,” Pelosi said. “I told you that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has the respect of her colleagues in the House for her hard work to unify and to win the elections.”

Pelosi said the party’s next chairman will be selected by the Democratic National Committee and the party’s presidential nominee. She said she believes disquiet among Democrats largely stems from unhappiness with the party’s delegate selection process.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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