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On convention eve, Democrats try to bury new email embarrassment

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chairwoman,

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democratic National Committee chairwoman, on Saturday, July 23, 2016: Wassernan Schultz was forced to resign Sunday after DNC emails were leaked. Credit: TNS / Al Diaz

Emails’ exposure claims DNC boss

The pre-convention bounce of good feeling that Hillary Clinton got from her rollout of running mate Tim Kaine didn’t last long.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman who introduced the ticket in Miami Saturday, was forced to resign Sunday after hacked emails posted by WikiLeaks revealed efforts by senior party staff to undermine Bernie Sanders during the primaries.

Her departure was welcomed by Sanders, who had long demanded her ouster and complained of a process “rigged” in Clinton’s favor. But the revelations could make it harder for him to corral his aggrieved supporters into Clinton’s corner.

The resignation takes effect after the convention, and Wasserman Schultz still planned to speak at its beginning and end, despite the risk of getting shouted down.

Read Newsday’s story by Yancey Roy and Laura Figueroa.

He’s loving it

Donald Trump let loose an epic tweet string over the DNC’s debacle, including this: “The highly neurotic Debbie Wasserman Schultz is angry that, after stealing and cheating her way to a Crooked Hillary victory, she’s out!”

It’s her party

Clinton has been a supporting player at conventions since 1992. For her first time in the starring role, she will have plenty of marquee-name Democrats vouching for her. Read Roy’s preview story.

The take-away: A Spackle spectacle

Aside from trashing Trump, the Democratic convention’s goal is to boost Clinton and smooth over the cracks in her record with what her supporters will say is the right perspective: not that big a deal, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

The message in a nutshell: Everyone makes mistakes, not every plan or foreign intervention works out perfectly and there is much more to like.

Sanders meh on Kaine

Sanders said he would have preferred Sen. Elizabeth Warren as Clinton’s running mate, but Kaine, though “more conservative than I am,” is “100 times better” than Trump — and that’s on his “worst, worst day.”

Trump berns Sanders bridges

For months, Trump has professed sympathy for Sanders as a fellow victim of a “rigged” system who shared his stance against trade deals.

But after Sanders’ stuck with Clinton in his talk show appearances Sunday despite the DNC emails uproar, Trump launched a tweet storm against him. A sample:

“There is no longer a Bernie Sanders ‘political revolution.’ He is turning out to be a weak and somewhat pathetic figure, wants it all to end!”

The Russians did it?

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook accused the Russian government of orchestrating the hacking and release of the damaging Democratic Party emails to help Trump. He offered no evidence, but some cybersecurity experts told The Washington Post they agree.

The email cache released by WikiLeaks on Friday appears to have been given to the anti-secrecy group by Russian intelligence, the experts said.

Com-Putin the Trump connections

Trump has been pushing for a more Russian-friendly tilt in foreign policy and questioning U.S. defense commitments to NATO. Campaign manager Paul Manafort dismissed as “absurd” suggestions of coziness between Trump and Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Josh Marshall, editor and publisher of Talking Points Memo, writes that Trump’s real estate empire has become increasingly dependent on financing from Russian investors close to Putin, that Manafort was a top adviser to a deposed pro-Russian Ukrainian leader, and that a Trump adviser on Russia and Europe has close ties to Russian business interests.

Bloomberg’s with her

The score is now one former Republican mayor each. Michael Bloomberg will address the Democratic convention Wednesday to make the case for Clinton, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.

Bloomberg, an independent since 2007, has criticized Trump as running the “most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember.” His backing could help Clinton with moderates and encourage donors to support her, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports.

Bloomberg’s predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, gave a fiery speech for Trump at the GOP convention last week.

It’s a Muslim ban-plus

Trump said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that his latest plan to stop entry into the U.S. of people from countries beset by terror is not a softening of his Muslim ban — it’s adding to it.

“I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion,” Trump said. “People were so upset when I used the word Muslim. Oh, you can’t use the word Muslim. ... And I’m OK with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.”

Day 1: What to see Monday

Sanders and first lady Michelle Obama are the prime-time headliners. For a full schedule, click here.

What else is happening

  • Ted Cruz was rebuked by two major Long Island donors who had supported him, Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, for not endorsing Trump in his GOP convention speech, The New York Times reported.
  • On CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Clinton said of concerted Republican attacks on her trustworthiness: “I often feel like there’s the Hillary standard and then there’s the standard for everybody else.”
  • President Barack Obama said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Clinton is the most qualified candidate for president in history, but “she’s not always flashy. And there are better speechmakers.”
  • Trump pushed back at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who described as a “rookie mistake” the GOP candidate’s call to pull back from NATO. “He’s 100% wrong,” Trump said on “Meet the Press.”
  • Trump backer Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, reacting to the allegations of a Russian hand in the DNC emails leak, retweeted an anti-Semitic remark and then apologized several hours later, calling it a technical mistake.
  • Clinton and Kaine plan a bus tour through swing states Pennsylvania and Ohio after the convention.
  • Trump released a video celebrating the number of times he was applauded during his convention speech Thursday.


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