Nina Turner Allies Rally in Defense of Prominent Sanders' Surrogate

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Nina Turner Allies Rally in Defense of Prominent Sanders' Surrogate

Source close to former Ohio state senator says top spokesperson was 'mortified' by how she was treated by DNC officials

Former Ohio state senator Nina Turner has had her credentials stripped by the Democratic National Committee. (Photo: AP)

Developing story... Please check back for updates...

Update II:

Allies of Nina Turner are held a press event inside the media tent at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday evening in order to show solidarity with the high-profile surrogate for Bernie Sanders who on Tuesday was blocked from being one of the official nominators of Sanders during the roll call vote as the campaign had intended.

Appearing on MSNBC with Chuck Todd inside the convention hall, and with her credentials, Nina Turner made her first televised remarks regarding what transpired late Wednesday afternoon. Though she did not discuss what happened in detail, she explained how at "the last minute" on Tuesday she was told she would not be allowed on stage to nominate Sanders and explained that though she was "gracious" as events transpired, the episode was very "hurtful" given her dedication to both Sanders and the party:

Meanwhile, according to a press release by National Nurses United (NNU), an all-star list of performers and Sanders backers, including Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Shailene Woodley, and Kendrick Sampson, made themselves available as a way to respond to efforts by the Democratic National Committee to silence the former Ohio State senator, a leading and prominent member of the campaign.

Ahead of the event, RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the NNU, tweeted:

Later, this tweet was also being widely shared:

Watch the press event here:

Subsequently, Mother Jones'  David Corn reported:

As the press conference was winding down, Turner showed up. She was immediately mobbed by delegates and reporters. Initially, she only spoke to thank her supporters for their backing and talked about how the Clinton campaign had to demonstrate its willingness to accept more of the progressive agenda. Eventually, security guards appeared to escort her out of the public space in the media tent. As she walked away, she did speak to Mother Jones.

Turner said that prior to Tuesday she had been asked by Sanders to be part of the nominating and seconding speeches for Sanders before the roll-call vote on Tuesday. "I was told it was going to be me and Tulsi," she said, referring to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), another top Sanders supporter. But when she arrived at the convention on Tuesday afternoon, she saw that nobody from the Democratic Party was there to greet her or help her prepare for her appearance. She then heard from Sanders: The Clinton campaign did not want her on the stage. 

Why? "No reason was given," Turner said. Was it because she might not have been willing to endorse Clinton? Again, she said, "No reason was given." She said she still doesn't know exactly what happened. She noted that she had not submitted any prepared text to the convention managers and had not spoken to them about her remarks. She said she had arrived with the expectation she would be on the stage to nominate Sanders or second his nomination.

What about Sanders? Did he resist or push back against the Clinton campaign on her behalf? "Sen. Sanders is in a difficult position," she said. "I don't know. I don't want to say."

Update I:

Following original publication of this story, other explanations surrounding what exactly transpired between Nina Turner and the DNC emerged, including those disputing her credentials had been stripped or that she was ejected from the hall—a potential distinction without a difference. Ben Jealous, former head of the NAACP and himself a prominent Sanders surrogate, claimed via Twitter that earlier reporting, though based on a reliable source and verified prior to publication, was inaccurate.

Shaun King, columnist with the New York Daily News, reports speaking directly to Turner and sent out a series of tweets:

The first iteration of this story reported confirmation by a trusted source, someone in direct communication with Turner, that her credential had been stripped by the DNC. A clarifying statement from the source, however, said that while the status of the credential remains unclear at this time, "the story is worse" than that and added that Turner herself will address what transpired with reporters on Wednesday. In turn and subsequently, the source indicated this version of events tweeted by journalist David Schuster is a more accurate way to describe the situation:

As King indicates, and as was explained to this writer by his source, Turner herself is "mortified" by how she was treated and is planning to address the controversy directly, offering her side of the story, but not until some point on Wednesday. As the exact status of her credentials remains unclear, all interested parties look forward to hearing that account. 

Earlier:

Just before former president Bill Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night, progressive social media lit up with news that former Ohio state senator Nina Turner, one of Bernie Sanders' most celebrated surrogates, had her convention credentials stripped by the DNC and was ejected from the convention hall.

On Twitter:

Though Turner has yet to make any public statement on the situation at this hour, Common Dreams communicated with a source close to Turner who confirmed that her credentials had been taken away. Though postings on social media indicated Turner was punished "for criticizing DNC corruption," those claims could not be independently verified. The DNC has yet to make any official statement on the matter.

The source, familiar with some of the details but not authorized to discuss them, said the DNC also cut Turner and another prominent and effective surrogate, actress Rosario Dawson, from the promotional video that aired just before Sanders' remarks during Tuesday's roll call. Sanders reportedly fought the moves, but was not able to overturn the decision.

Turner has become a celebrated voice among those embracing Sanders' progressive campaign. In recent days, many of his delegates even pushed an idea to nominate Turner as a replacement vice-presidential candidate as a way to express dissatisfaction with Hillary Clinton's choice of Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. Earlier on Tuesday, Turner essentially put those suggestions to rest.

"Oh God, no, not at all," she responded when asked if she would want the VP spot. Though Sanders supporters "are very frustrated and upset," she reportedly added, "any presidential candidate has the right to pick their vice presidential running mate. We’ve got to keep our eye on the movement."

Earlier on Tuesday, a massive walkout of Sanders volunteers and supporters occurred at the convention after hundreds who had been promised access to the floor were reportedly denied.

Correction: The first iteration of this story reported confirmation by a trusted source, someone in direct communication with Turner, that her credential had been stripped by the DNC. A clarifying statement from the source, however, said the status of the credential was unclear.

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