Two officials who worked in Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 campaign say that during the Democratic primary the Democratic National Committee offered their campaign an inferior deal to the one Hillary Clinton’s campaign received.
"We had no addendum like this, no memorandum, no agreement like this," Mark Longabaugh, former Sanders campaign liaison to the DNC, told the Washington Post. "They basically came to us and said, here's the agreement, take it or leave it."
Former Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver echoed Longabaugh's claims.
“We were not offered veto power on staff at the DNC, I can tell you that,” Weaver told the publication. “This was a laundering operation. They’d go to fundraisers, they’d get a $350,000 check from donors which was supposed to be divvied up. Instead of disbursing that money, they’d turn around and run a small-dollar fundraising to generate small contributions that went to the Clinton campaign.”
The allegations come just days after former DNC head Donna Brazile outed the Hillary Clinton campaign in an except of her upcoming book, published by Politico, striking a deal with the DNC during the early stages of the primary to take control of the DNC's finances and operations, an arrangement she said "sure looked unethical."
The memo, which was reported by NBC News on Friday, would allow the Clinton campaign to make some decisions regarding party staffing and spending for the general election.
At the same time, the DNC agreed in the deal to hire a communications director from "one of two candidates previously identified as acceptable to" Hillary for America by Sept. 11, 2015 – early on in the Democratic primary process.
Brazile's bombshell once again stirred controversy within the Democratic Party, which struggled to unite during the contentious primary, opening old wounds for both Sanders and Clinton supporters.
The DNC's lawyers told the Sanders campaign that if they raised enough funds for the party, they could have partial influence on how the money would be spent prior to the general election, according to an email obtained by the Washington Post.
"If you’re raising significantly more than the amount to cover the voter file for the DNC, DNC staff would be happy to chat with the Sanders team and come to an understanding about the best way to use those funds to prepare for the general election at the DNC," Graham Wilson, lawyer from Perkins Coie, a firm that represented the DNC and Clinton campaign wrote in the email."The DNC has had discussions like this with the Clinton campaign and is of course willing to do so with all."
However, the Sanders campaign was only presnted with what was described as a "standard joint fundraising agreement" – an agreement the Sanders campaign turned down in order to focus on small donors.
“Who are the wealthy people Bernie was going to bring to a fundraiser?” Weaver asked. “We had to buy the voter file right before the primaries.”