Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez told Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty during an event Wednesday night that he had no knowledge of his party’s role in funding a dossier that contained false allegations about President Trump and his ties to Russia.
Speaking at an event at the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, Perez, who was not at the DNC at the time the document was funded and compiled, said he learned about the dossier only “a few days ago,” CNN reported.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Hillary Clinton‘s campaign and the DNC paid millions to the law firm Perkins Coie, which then worked with opposition research firm Fusion GPS to construct a dossier containing outrageous accusations about President Trump.
“You hire a lawyer, and we hire lawyers all the time, who hire third-party vendors, to do their work. And so, we knew that we were paying for opposition research at the DNC, but we didn’t ask questions about who they’re hiring in the context of doing their research,” Perez said, according to CNN.
Perez added that he finds the interest in the dossier story “curious” because candidates frequently conduct research on their opponents.
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who was the DNC chairwoman at the time, also denied knowing about the arrangement. Wasserman Schultz was forced out as DNC chairwoman at the party’s national convention in 2016 after the story broke that she had “meddled” the party’s primary election, which facilitated Hillary Clinton becoming the presidential candidate instead of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“[Wasserman Schultz] was not aware of anything related to this research arrangement,” spokesman David Damron told reporters.
Democratic officials said that the national party was not empowered to make campaign decisions, particularly at a time when it was racked by controversy over leaked emails and while its chairwoman was being forced out.
“I doubt that any of the leadership at the DNC was even aware,” a Democratic official said.
Wasserman Schultz says she knew nothing at all about Dossier. Is there a person alive that actually believes her? pic.twitter.com/inuxTw2lXR
— ßlair ß*tch Project (@blairanton) October 25, 2017