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PHILADELPHIA — Embattled Democratic National Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not address the convention as planned when it begins Monday afternoon, Hillary Clinton's campaign confirmed to NBC News.
In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel she said: “I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention."
The anger over leaked emails showing DNC officials plotting against the primary campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders boiled over Monday as Wasserman Schultz was greeted by boos and jeers at her home state’s breakfast meeting. Later, Bernie Sanders spoke to a raucous crowd of delegates supporting his candidacy which reacted with boos when he urged them to support Clinton's election this fall.
At this morning's breakfast, dozens of people sporting shirts and pins in support of Sanders booed, yelled and waved signs as Wasserman Schultz attempted to speak to the Florida Delegation at Philadelphia's Downtown Marriott hotel.
“Tim Canova!” some chanted, referring to the chairwoman’s congressional Democratic primary challenger in her Florida district.
The outcry came just one day after Wasserman Schultz said she would step down from her chairmanship at the end of the convention after a massive email leak showed DNC officials giving preference to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the prolonged primary contest against Sanders.
Protesters held up signs that simply read “E-MAILS” while others read sarcastically “Thanks for the ‘Help’ Debbie! :)."
Some Wasserman Schultz supporters tried to quiet the protesters so they could hear the chairwoman’s speech, which touched on the recent shootings in Fort Myers, Florida.
The protesters would not stand down and caused a commotion throughout the entire speech.
“That’s how angry we are,” one woman wearing a “Thank You Bernie” shirt argued pointedly at a Clinton supporter.
“We’ll accept [Clinton’s] nomination if that’s what we have to do…but we’re never going to accept her!” the Sanders supporter said gesturing at the chairwoman speaking on stage.
Miguel Valdez, a 32 year old Sanders delegate from Florida who protested loudly, told NBC News he could not be sure if Sanders supporters would protest as vigorously on the floor of the Wells Fargo Arena, where the Democratic National Convention will take place.
"I do think that right now Mrs. Schultz is a lightening rod, and she’ll probably draw a couple of boos to say the least from Sanders supporters,” Valdez said with a grin.