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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For the first time since the Democratic National Convention, Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is talking about her party’s hacked e-mails which forced her to abruptly step down as DNC chairwoman.
“The buck stops with me,” said Wasserman Schultz while talking to reporters on Thursday. “Were there mistakes made? Sure there were, but who among us, in thinking about whether your private emails were stolen, like our private emails were stolen, would survive the light of day and the bright light of public scrutiny,” she said. Wasserman Schultz went on, “People said unfortunate things over private email but we ran a primary according to the rules that resulted in the outcome that voters decided.”
It’s an outcome that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and his supporters, didn’t like. He complained that Wasserman Schultz’s DNC, which historically has remained neutral in presidential primary season, backed his victorious Democratic presidential rival, Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schultz abandoned her party post as the Democratic convention began after leaked emails revealed party staffers had done just what Sanders had suspected.
At least one email mentioned using Sanders’ religious beliefs as a way to hurt his campaign.
“Even in that exchange one of the staff acknowledged that I as chair would never be OK with that. That person has resigned. I fully condemn even the suggestion that he made even though it was over private email and even though it was never implemented.”
Wasserman Schultz also spoke about the need to implement tougher cyber security.
“At the end of the day these were stolen emails. At the end of the day, I’m very proud of the work we did. And it was important that we have a convention that was going to put the spotlight where it should be.”
Now that she has stepped down, she has turned her attention to her August 30th primary where she’s opposed by upstart law professor Tim Canova. He’s backed by Sanders and has mimicked Sanders’ populist style by raising huge sums from small individual contributions. That has let Canova stay surprisingly competitive financially, raising $2.3 million compared to Wasserman Schultz’s $3.1 million.
(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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)