Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on Wednesday that Republicans should not use any ill-gotten information against the Democrats in the upcoming elections, but, when pressed, did not seem to think that Democrats should be held to the same standard.
“And what we saw in the 2016 election, a foreign adversary — and not just any foreign adversary, our — our most — our fiercest foreign adversary attempted to interfere with our election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton,” Perez said. “And what we said in 2016, and my predecessor asked her counterpart at the RNC back then to do the same thing, don’t use stolen information. That’s what we’re saying again.”
“It sounds like they’re saying that,” Camerota responded. “I mean when they say it’s an affront to all of us, any breach of political organizations, and we come together to prevent it, it sounds like they’re saying that.”
“We are at war right now. It is a cyber war. Unfortunately, because our commander in chief is compromised, the federal government is asleep at the switch,” Perez claimed without evidence. “And that is why the DNC and others in the Democratic Party ecosystem are working tirelessly to make sure that we are protecting our data, making sure — we’re working with every campaign to provide cybersecurity training because we can’t expect help from the — from this administration.”
“But what if you get something really juicy, say President Trump’s taxes, then should one of the Democratic candidate be able to air those?” Camerota asked.
“Well, that’s going to be a product of a subpoena process where we are —” Perez responded.
“Maybe. I mean maybe it’s going to be leaked,” Camerota responded. “What if that’s leaked to you? Are you saying that the Democrats shouldn’t use that?”
“Well, again, I think we are entitled to that,” Perez said, which contradicted his earlier point about not using ill-gotten information for political gain. “If you look at the law that Chairman Neal of the House Ways and Means Committee is using, it’s a very — it’s very clear. It’s not — it doesn’t say you’re entitled to taxes unless it’s the taxes of the president of the United States. So firmly believe that we will get access to those.”
“Right. I just mean — I just mean the tactics,” Camerota responded. I just mean that — you’re sticking with this, even if you get juicy oppo research of some kind about President Trump through ill-gotten tactics somehow, you are sticking with this position?”
Perez responded by refusing to answer the follow-up question from Camerota and instead deflected to talking about the 2016 election.
“Well, here’s what I’m sticking with. And this isn’t about Right versus Left. This is about right versus wrong,” Perez responded. “A foreign adversary, Russia, they hacked the DNC, they hacked others. They did so with the intent to interfere with our presidential election. And what we said in that letter is, when we have such activity, if someone calls you and tells you, I’m going to rob a bank, your response should be, I’m going to call the authorities. When the Russians called Donald Trump and said, I got dirt on Hillary Clinton, they should have called the authorities. Instead, they said, tell us what you got. That’s not right.”