Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign suspended two additional staffers on Saturday for their possible roles in breaching Hillary Clinton’s campaign data.
Speaking to reporters after the two candidates appeared to make up over the issue on the Democratic debate stage in New Hampshire, Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver said the two staffers—whose names he declined to share—will continue to be paid as the probe is conducted.
“If I fire somebody I’m certainly happy to let you know” but he would not “impugn the character and reputation of these dedicated young people until I know whether somebody’s going to be fired or not.”
The campaign’s national data director has already been fired.
Despite the best efforts of the two presidential contenders to patch things over, the atmospherics in the post-debate spin room, located on the covered ice hockey rink at Saint Anselm College, suggested that the spat over the data breach that led to a temporary block on Sanders' access to voter file data is still not over for his campaign staff or for the Democratic National Committee.
Weaver said it only became possible for his campaign to make the suspensions on Saturday, after the campaign received vendor NGP VAN’s audit logs of activity by Sanders campaign accounts during Wednesday’s incident. “After withholding from us for days activity logs that were in the possession of the DNC and ironically in the possession of all of you,” he told reporters, the Sanders campaign finally got those records on Saturday afternoon. “They wouldn’t send it to us … the DNC wouldn’t provide it to us.”
DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz challenged Weaver’s assertion. “The Sanders campaign and the Clinton campaign, which are the two involved parties, absolutely got the record logs … on Wednesday,” she said.
Told of the party chair’s claim, Weaver responded: “absolutely 100 percent false.” Then he added: “How about this – it’s Christmas time – inaccurate.”
Wasserman Schultz insisted that it was Weaver who was being inaccurate. “I can tell you we gave the logs to the campaign. I’m not going to get into a back and forth,” she said.
She pointedly took on Sanders' campaign manager. Weaver “is the individual, unfortunately for Senator Sanders, he is the individual that has consistently said incorrect things and has been proven to have been saying incorrect things," she said. "So I wouldn’t really take much more of his word versus ours when everything we’ve said has been proven to be true.”
Earlier in the evening, Sanders heaped much of the blame on the DNC but also took responsibility for the actions of his aides. "I apologize," he said. On Friday, the Sanders campaign sued the DNC for penalizing him by denying him access to the data—access the DNC quickly restored.
"We should move on," Clinton said, accepting Sanders’s apology.