Hillary Clinton campaign advisers plotted in February 2016 to show “no mercy” and “stick the knife” in Democratic primary challenger Bernie Sanders, according to emails published by WikiLeaks.
In an email titled, “Friendly advice. No mercy.” political consultant Joel Johnson, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Hillary’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, to destroy Bernie Sanders in the final weeks of the primary.
“Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp,” Johnson wrote. “We can’t start believing our own primary bullshit. This is no time to run the general. Crush him as hard as you can.”
Podesta agreed, writing back: “Where would you stick the knife?”
Johnson suggests a number of political attacks on Sanders, and suggested that members of the Democratic establishment would help “affirm” these attacks. Here’s how he suggested the Clinton campaign portray Sanders in their effort to “crush” him:
Obama betrayer (Wh will affirm). Hapless legislator (Senators/members will affirm). False promiser (policy elites will affirm). Can’t win (black people will affirm).
Supporters of Bernie Sanders, including the aging Hollywood starlet Susan Sarandon, have accused the Democratic National Committee of plotting with the Hillary Clinton campaign in order to prevent Sanders from winning the nomination.
Emails published by WikiLeaks prior to the Democratic convention in July indicate that these concerns were well-founded; former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign as a result of the leaked emails.
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