CNN commentator Van Jones criticized Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) on Tuesday for weighing in on the dispute between the Nevada Democratic Party and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“If you’re gonna come out, you’re gonna talk about violence, and you’re the DNC chair, you’ve gotta be fair about it. I think she made it worse,” Jones said. “We need to bring these people together — that did not happen.”
Jones’ remarks came after a back-and-forth between the Vermont senator and the party regarding the incident at the party convention over the weekend. Sanders released a statement saying that while he condemns any violence, he rejected accusations from state leaders that his campaign had a “penchant for violence.”
“That is nonsense. Our campaign has held giant rallies all across this country, including in high-crime areas, and there have been zero reports of violence,” Sanders’ statement read.
The state party responded by accusing him of “continuing to lie” about the incident in a statement of its own.
“We respect and admire Senator Sanders for his values and leadership in the United States Senate, but the Sanders campaign is continuing to be dishonest about what happened Saturday and is failing to adequately denounce the threats of violence of his supporters,” the party said.
Wasserman Schultz later told Jones’ colleague Wolf Blitzer that she had not spoken to the senator about the incident, or about death threats against state chair Roberta Lange and her children from people who identified themselves as Sanders supporters.
“Unfortunately, the senator’s response was anything but acceptable,” she said. “It certainly did not condemn the supporters for the violence and added more fuel to the fire.”
Jones described the congresswoman’s remarks as unwise given the situation.
“I don’t think that that was wise for her to do that. First of all, Bernie did say in his statement that he was against the violence,” he argued. “Also, if you want to talk about violence, only one person’s been arrested; it was a Hillary Clinton supporter, Wendell Pierce, arrested for assaulting a Sanders supporter.”