Clinton campaign chair: Wasserman Schultz was 'diversion'
© Greg Nash

PHILADELPHIA — Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMark Cuban says he's decided not to run for president Trump official criticizes ex-Clinton spokesman over defunding police tweet Poll: Biden leads Trump, Cunningham neck and neck with Tillis in North Carolina MORE’s campaign chairman said Tuesday that Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz had become a “flashpoint” and “diversion” from the campaign, saying it was the “right thing” for her to resign after this week’s party convention.

Leaked internal emails showed that top Wasserman Schultz and other top DNC had privately discussed ways of skewing the primary race in Clinton’s favor.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was a hot issue,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said at a Wall Street Journal lunch. “Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led the party, built the party, certainly helped President Obama get reelected had become a flashpoint. That in itself was a diversion" from the campaign.

The newly named interim DNC chairwoman, Donna Brazile, “will calm those waters,” Podesta added.

Throughout the primary campaign, Sanders had accused the DNC of being in the tank of his rival, Clinton. The release of internal emails, which were provided to Wikileaks by suspected Russian hackers, confirmed the Sanders camp’s suspicions.  At one point, DNC officials discussed bringing up the issue of whether Sanders was an “atheist.”

Podesta called that line of attack “downright wrong.”

“There were some things that were downright wrong, like the idea of introducing religion. … Even having the thought is wrong,” said Podesta, who served as chief of staff to then-President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonDavis: 72 hours cementing the real choice for November Top Democratic pollster advised Biden campaign to pick Warren as VP How Obama just endorsed Trump MORE. “I think that it had become a definite diversion.”

Despite the embarrassing email leak, Podesta said Clinton had beaten Sanders fair and square.

“At the end of the day, this is was a hard-fought, fair-fought election,” he said. “We got 3.7 million more votes, we won this election, we will be the nominee of the party.”

Clinton will be formally nominated Tuesday afternoon during a state-by-state roll call on the convention floor at Wells Fargo Center.