PHILADELPHIA — Gubernatorial hopeful Phil Murphy praised DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s decision to step down Monday morning at a delegate breakfast before the official start of this week’s Democratic National Convention. Washerman Schultz announced Sunday that she would be resigning after the convention because of leaked emails showing that she and DNC staff may have extended preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the primary.
With supporters of Clinton’s primary opponent Bernie Sanders irate and marching in the streets outside the convention center yesterday, Murphy called the emails released by Wikileaks a “painful reminder” that the primary process needs to be “transparent and authentic.”
“I think it’s one of these things that probably had to happen,” Murphy said. “It’s a tough lesson, I’ve had a lot of experience with Wikileaks when I was the U.S. ambassador of Germany.”
“Get out ahead of the crisis,” he added.
That experience came when the site published diplomatic cables containing derogatory statements about senior German politicians including Chancellor Angela Merkel. Some German officials called for a recall of Murphy as Ambassador.
Murphy said both incidents underscore the need for politicians and party leaders to be consistent in an era of instantaneous global communication. He added that he does not expect the new email controversy to splinter the Democratic vote.
“You cannot say in one room what you’re not prepared to say in another,” he said. “It’s a sad, unfortunate, painful lesson. I think she did the right thing, to her credit. I give her a lot of credit. I’m a big fan of [Vice Chair and interim Chairwoman] Donna Brazile, I think Donna’s exactly the right person to take the mantle. She’s got a lot of support in the Clinton camp, but also in the Sanders camp.
“I think this will, in a funny way, bring us closer together. There will be a catharsis.”
As for reports that metadata and code scripts point to the DNC leak resulting from the efforts of Russian hackers, Murphy said that he has no more evidence than anyone else that the hackers on behalf or in support of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump had said during last week’s Republican convention that he may not honor NATO agreements if he takes the White House.
“I know Russia does not have our interests in mind,” he said. “And I know Donald Trump talks a lot about how he loves Vladimir Putin. So I suppose it wouldn’t shock me.”