Tom Perez: DNC Primary Was Not Rigged, Democrats Facing "Perception" Problem

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At Wednesday night's CNN DNC Leadership debate, Chris Cuomo asked former Obama administration Labor Secretary Tom Perez about the allegations that the 2016 Democratic primary was "rigged" against Bernie Sanders.

Perez discusses how Democrats need to be transparent both in "fact and perception" and said: "Here are the facts. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote. At the same time because of the absence of transparency in the Democratic primary, there was a crisis of trust that ensued."

Another candidate, U.S. Air Force veteran Sam Ronan replied: "Not only was the primary rigged but also rigged across the country because the DNC has never allowed outsiders or brand new people to rise through the ranks. It’s always been insider game and it has been that way for a very, very long time."

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: Next question: Secretary Perez, recently you said that the primary was rigged against Bernie Sanders. Later the same day you said you misspoke when you made those comments. Which is it?

TOM PEREZ: Well, you know, here are the facts. Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary. Hillary Clinton also won the popular vote. At the same time because of the absence of transparency in the Democratic primary, there was a crisis of trust that ensued.

And what we need in the chair of the Democratic Party is to make sure that in fact and in perception, every single day, you are fair and neutral...

CUOMO: Hold on a second. Secretary, 10 seconds, was it rigged or not?

PEREZ: Again, the process, because of the absence of transparency, it created that crisis of relevance and it created the distrust that people didn't trust the outcome...

SAM RONAN, U.S. AIR FORCE VETERAN: Thank you. I was going to interrupt anyway.

The point is -- not only was the primary rigged but also rigged across the country because the DNC has never allowed outsiders or brand new people to rise through the ranks. And it’s always been insider game and it has been that way for a very, very long time.

That is where the lack of trust has come into play because not only was Bernie Sanders snubbed, not only did it look like Hillary Clinton had bought or muscled her way into it, then those supporters were denied the chance to speak at convention, and that was final straw.

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