Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 emails from Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffers just days before the convention kicked off.
The leaks, dating from January 2015 to May 2016, reveal Democratic staffers colluding with certain media outlets and discussing how to best undermine Sen. Bernie Sanders, among other embarrassing revelations. Despite the magnitude of the hack and its consequences for DNC leadership, there is certainly some humor to be found in the emails.
In the spirit of an election that feels more like a reality show than a formal bid for president, we’ve rounded up some of the funniest — and most ridiculous — emails from the DNC email leak.
1. The White House vetoed having Ariana Grande perform at the presidential gala because of a video of her licking donuts.
“Can we also vet Arianna Grande?” DNC Finance Chair Zachary Allen wrote in an email, misspelling the famous pop singer’s name. What followed was a back-and-forth email exchange vividly discussing a video of Grande licking donuts and saying she hates America (with DNC staffers continuing to misspell her name).
The vetting email summarizes, “Ariana Butera – video caught her licking other peoples’ donuts while saying she hates America; Republican Congressman used this video and said it was a double standard that liberals were not upset with her like they are with Trump who criticized Mexicans.” White House employee Bobby Schmuck abruptly shot down the performance request, writing back, “Nope, sorry.”
2. Literally no one ever took John Kasich seriously
3. The DNC created fake, sexist ads from the Trump campaign
Deputy communications director Christina Freundlich proposed the Democrats impersonate the Trump Organization on Craigslist. In an email to fellow DNC staffers Mark Paustenbach and Luis Miranda, Freundlich asks for their approval for the fake ad, which seeks “hot women” who “must be open to public humiliation” and “should be proficient in lying about age if the boss thinks you’re too old.”
4. DNC staffers mocked a (now accurate) Buzzfeed report that suggests both the DNC and RNC had weak cybersecurity
“The dumbest thing I’ve ever read,” reads the subject line of a May email sent from DNC spokesman Eric Walker to an email list. The subject includes the headline to the Buzzfeed story, “These Experts Think The DNC And RNC Are Both Horrible At Cybersecurity,” which the staffers go on to mock in the body of the email.
5. One DNC official casually suggested using Sanders’ religion to undermine his credibility
In a May 2016 email, Chief Financial Officer Brad Marshall suggests that the DNC “gets someone” to question Sanders’ faith at speeches in Kentucky and West Virginia. “Does he believe in God. He had skated on saying he has Jewish heritage,” Marshall asked. “This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist,” he added.
Staffer Amy K. Dacey responded to that message with: “AMEN.”
6. DNC party officials entertained the conspiracy theory that Cruz’s dad killed JFK
Luis Miranda, the DNC communications director, gives some credit to Trump’s conspiracy theory that Ted Cruz’s father killed JFK. “It would not be unusual for [his father] to be caught up in the ugly web of Cuban militants with questionable histories,” he notes in the May email.
7. DNC staffers actually used the phrase “Bernie Bro”
Miranda and other staffers used the term several times in response to an interview request from Mark Thompson, a radio host for Sirius XM and a Sanders fan. The term “Bernie Bro” refers to outspoken, aggressive white males who support Bernie Sanders.
Many involved in the emails have not yet issued public statements — including Ariana Grande, whose donut-licking video will likely haunt her forever after she realizes it cost her a White House performance.
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