The race for Democratic National Committee chairman was excruciatingly contentious, just like “Bernie versus Hillary” was in the 2016 race to become the Democratic presidential nominee. The DNC voting members were split right up until the final ballot. Tom Perez came out ahead with 235 votes, as opposed to Rep. Keith Ellison’s 200 votes.
President Trump then claimed that Sunday’s race had been “rigged.”
The race for DNC Chairman was, of course, totally “rigged.” Bernie’s guy, like Bernie himself, never had a chance. Clinton demanded Perez!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2017
Rep. Ellison of Minnesota was, in fact, “Bernie’s Guy.” While so-called establishment Democrats like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton supported Perez, Sanders and other further-left Democrats, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, spent the past several months pushing for Ellison’s election.
The split in support turned a usually calm DNC election process into a proxy war between the established Democrats and the party’s more progressive wing—a kind of continuation of the Bernie and Hillary fight.
Divided support within the DNC does not mean that Trump was right about rigging, though. “No, he doesn’t have a point,” Sanders said when asked about Trump’s comments by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Perez, the DNC’s first Latino leader, also answered Trump’s comments by warning him that an Ellison-Perez duo would be the president’s “worst nightmare.” In a conciliatory move, Perez appointed Ellison as the deputy chair of the DNC just moments after winning the race.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) February 25, 2017
This isn’t the first time Trump has gotten himself involved in rigging. He claimed that illegal voting cost him the popular vote in the presidential general election. Trump is also still tied up in the Russian hacking scandal, in which U.S. intelligence agencies found credible evidence that Russian hackers had worked to rig the election in Trump’s favor.
“Frankly,” Tom Perez said in an interview with CNN. “What we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy Vladimir Putin.”