Days before convention, cache of 19,000 emails released and several show officials scoffing at Hillary Clintons former competitor and questioning his religion

A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clintons nomination in Philadelphia, details the acrimonious divided between the Democratic National Committee( DNC) and Clintons former competitor, Senator Bernie Sanders.

Several emails posted by Wikileaks show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters, and in one instance questioning his is committed to his Jewish religion. Some emails show DNC and White House officials mulling whether to invite guests with controversial backgrounds to Democratic party events.

Earlier this year Russian hackers stole material from the DNCs email system, the party and an investigating cybersecurity firm acknowledged last month. Wikileaks did not expose how it acquired the files, though a hacker who goes by Guccifer 2.0 has also claimed to violate the partys system.

President Vladimir Putin has claimed Russia does not meddle in other countries domestic affairs, saying that he would be willing to work with either Clinton or Republican nominee Donald Trump. But a Russian hack would fit a past pattern of attempts on government servers, a member of Putins ruling party recently expressed a preference for Trump, whose campaign chairman formerly advised a Ukrainian chairperson deposed for his pro-Putin stance.

Last month Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNCs chairwoman, said the violate was a serious incident and a private contractor hired to sweep the organizations network had moved as quickly as possible to kick out the intruders and secure our network.

On its web page, Wikileaks said the new cache of emails received from the accounts of seven key figures in the DNC and warned that the release was part one of our new Hillary Leaks series.

Among the officials whose emails were made public were DNC spokesman Luis Miranda, national finance director Jordon Kaplan and finance chief Scott Comer. Other DNC and media figures and even some White House officials communicated with them between January 2015 and last May, Wikileaks said.

The emails include several stinging denunciations of Sanders and his organization before and after the DNC briefly shut off his campaigns access to the partys key list of likely Democratic voters.

The DNC temporarily curtailed Sanders access to the list in December 2015, after the party accused his campaign of illegally tapping into confidential voter info compiled by the Clinton campaign. The Sanders campaign briefly sued the DNCbut the parties reached an accord, and the suit was dropped in April.

The emails show that after the furor over the voter records was resolved, hostility simmered from top DNC officials over the Sanders campaign.

In mid-May emails with Miranda, his deputy, Mark Paustenbach, wanted to know whether the DNC should use the spat to raise doubts about the Sanders campaign.

Wondering if the working group a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never had his act together, that his campaign was a mess, Paustenbach wrote.

Miranda spurned the idea, although he agreed with Paustenbachs take: True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So well have to leave it alone.

The same month, in another email to DNC officials, another official identified only as Marshall told of Sanders: Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I believe I read he is an atheist. This could build several phases difference with my peeps.

The Associated Press emailed Miranda, Paustenbach and DNC chief financial officer Brad Marshall about the Wikileaks releases but they were not immediately available for remark. Sanders campaign officials were also not immediately available.

The Wikileaks releases also included exchanges between DNC officials and White House event planning officials about whether to allow several influential Democratic party donors to attend events where Barack and Michelle Obama were scheduled to appear. The emails contained lengthy debates about the donors backgrounds, including, in some cases, criminal histories.

One email exchange concerned vocalist Ariana Grande, who was considered to perform at a DNC event but was caught in an infamous online video that proved her licking other clients doughnuts at a bakery in California. DNC officials also worried about a comment in the same video: I hate America. Grande, whose real name is Ariana Butera, later apologized for the comment.

According to the emails, White House officials vetoed Grandes performance.

In June Trump accused the DNC itself of masterminding the hack, which had accessed the partys opposition file of research into the conservative nominee.

Read more: www.theguardian.com