An internal email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee revealed that staff members fear that continuing to talk about former President Donald Trump and his impeachment could backfire on Democratic candidates in the 2022 midterm election .
On Friday morning, the DCCC, tasked with protecting and expanding the Democratic House’s majority, sent out a press release after Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Calif.) And her “top 10 failures” in Congress. One of them was his vote not to impeach Trump for his role in starting the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill.
But at the bottom of the press release, the DCCC accidentally included an email exchange between staff discussing revisions to the document.
“[D]o we think highlighting his vote not to impeach Trump is helpful? Wrote a staff member. “Halfway through with him out of WH, I’m not sure how much we want to continue to highlight him and give the Trump base a reason to participate.”
Ultimately, staff members decided to keep the impeachment line in the statement.
It’s not entirely surprising that in swing neighborhoods, Democrats don’t want to focus on Trump as much as they do in liberal neighborhoods. The internal email confirms it’s still a talking point in races like Steel, where former Rep Harley Rouda (R) is racing to overthrow her in 2022.
There was also a debate over whether to label Steel as a “QAnon congressman” in the statement “because she has not personally expressed support for QAnon.” The staff member suggested maybe using the terms “division” or “do nothing”.
Another DCCC staff member responded that they have been using the term for months, pointing out his opposition to removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) – the most prominent QAnon congresswoman – from her missions to committee. The staff member also noted that it was Rouda’s personal request to use this term for steel. It was also retained in the press release.
The Congressional Republican National Committee gleefully sent word of the leaked email to its own press list, saying it showed that “Harley Rouda pressured the DCCC to intentionally spread disinformation about Michelle Steel, which they did knowing it wasn’t true. “
The DCCC declined to comment further.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up to become a Founding Member and help shape the next chapter of HuffPost