Leaders in the Democratic Party have apologized to Bernie Sanders and his supporters after leaked emails suggested there was a move to undermine his presidential campaign in favour of Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic National Committee has been in damage control mode since Friday, when WikiLeaks published about 20,000 hacked emails.
“On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email,” the statement read. “The DNC does not — and will not — tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates.”
The statement, released as the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia got underway, went on to promise such a situation would not happen again.
DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has already promised to step down from her post once this week’s Democratic National Convention, getting underway in Philadelphia Monday, finishes up. She also passed on the duty of officially opening the convention, passing the gavel to Baltimore mayor and DNC secretary Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The letter, signed by incoming interim chair Donna Brazile, Rawlings-Blake and other DNC members of the DNC leadership, attempted to push the party to unify behind Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine.
“We are embarking on a convention today that… will show a forward-thinking and optimistic vision for America, as compared to the dark and pessimistic vision that the GOP presented last week in Cleveland,” the statement read.
Sanders made an attempt to bridge the gap between his camp and Clinton’s Monday, when he told a crowd of his delegates and supporters to vote for Clinton and Kaine.
The call to action was met with a loud chorus of boos.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it would investigate what it called a “cyber intrusion involving the DNC.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how WikiLeaks received copies of the internal Democratic emails.
Democratic Party officials learned in late April that their systems had been attacked after they discovered malicious software on their computers. A cybersecurity firm they employed found traces of at least two sophisticated hacking groups on the Democrats’ network – both of which have ties to the Russian government. Those hackers took at least one year’s worth of detailed chats, emails and research on Donald Trump, according to a person knowledgeable of the breach who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
With files from The Associated Press