‘Clintons won't forget what their friends have done’: WikiLeaks release #PodestaEmails6

© Toru Hanai
WikiLeaks has released a sixth batch of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The leak contains a total of 1,812 messages and highlights links with George Soros, discusses the email scandal and Hillary's difficulty with apologizing.

The whistleblowing site released two batches of emails yesterday, with today’s leak bringing the total number of emails released to around 9,000.

Podesta’s Twitter account and email was hacked on Wednesday after the fifth Wikileaks email release.

READ MORE: Podesta’s Twitter, new email hacked by 4chan users

Clintons won't forget

In November 2014, Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook emailed Podesta about the urgency of pushing a bill to move the Illinois primary out of March, refers to a “lifeline to a moderate Republican candidate.”

“Our preference would be for them to move all the way to May, but if they at least move to April 12 or April 19 they will have the day to themselves and presumably garner a lot of coverage,” says Mook. “They will also be influencing a big northeast primary day on April 26.”

Illinois was offered “a bonus of 10% extra delegates if they move to April and 20% if they move to May,” but didn’t change the date as it had already done so in 2008.

“They don't really care about being helpful and feel forgotten and neglected by POTUS,” Mook writes. “The key point is that this is not an Obama ask, but a Hillary ask. And the Clintons won't forget what their friends have done for them."

The 2016 Illinois primary remained in mid-March. Clinton won 25,000 votes and 2 delegates more than Bernie Sanders, while Trump carried the majority of Republican delegates.

On February 27, 2016 Deputy Director of State Campaigns Brynne Craig emailed Bill Clinton’s office requesting he call Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy to thank him for endorsing Hillary.

“We were hoping WJC could call him and thank him for his continued support of HRC. As you can imagine a lot of people are hitting him for not endorsing Sanders,” Craig says.

The attached call sheet for Bill Clinton detailed Leahy coming under pressure from locals attacking him for “not listening to the people who elected him.”

“The goal is to express YOUR and Hillary’s gratitude to and support for Senator Leahy, and to ensure he remains a committed Hillary superdelegate independent of the electoral outcome in Vermont.”

Hillary’s Achilles heel

After Clinton gave an interview to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell on September 4, 2015, Podesta, Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's director of communications, and Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, discussed the former secretary of state’s almost apology for her use of a private email server.

“I actually cried a little bit with relief,” Palmieri says.

The “press takeaway was the whine of but ‘she really didn't apologize to the American people’,” Podesta says. 

“Everyone wants her to apologize,” Tanden says. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles heel. But she didn't seem like a bitch in the interview. And she said the word sorry. She will get to a full apology in a few interviews.”

Tanden says she “definitely recommend[s] having her [Clinton] beat up a punching bag (or a staffer but that is unpleasant) before she goes on. She really needs to exorcise the injustice of it all.”

The emotional connection

Clinton’s lack of “emotional connection” to voters is revealed as worrying to Democrats in an email from Steve Hildebrand, former deputy national campaign director for Barack Obama, to Podesta. “Hillary has got to get away from Washington speak and begin immediately to find an emotional connection to regular Americans,” Hildebrand warns.

“She needs to have a greater understanding of what people and families are going through every day. And, then she needs to find an emotional connection. This has to turn around now,” he says in an email from January 2016, titled ‘Some unsolicited advice’.

Podesta responds saying he is “aiming in the same direction” but would not mimic Bernie Sanders' tactics. “Bernie has gone decidedly negative and personal and like most things maybe he can get away with it. But we live with a double standard, so I think it's a mistake to follow him down that path.” 

Soros influence

The influence of philanthropist George Soros over the Democratic Party is demonstrated.

In July 2015, Jacqueline Carozza from the office of George Soros emailed Podesta about arranging a meeting with with Mr and Mrs Soros and Podesta during their time in Southampton over the summer.

“Please let me know which dates suit you best to come for a visit and hopefully we can coordinate a mutually convenient time for your stay," Carozza says. "Please note that Mr. and Mrs. Soros will begin their summer in Southampton the weekend of July 4th and wrap up Labor Day weekend."  

Also, in an email from 2008 the Obama campaign team take his advice on how to tackle John McCain. The team discuss a way to tackle Soros’s concerns in a manner that pleases him.

“If you ask him to think about additional funds stress that the message operation is multiplatform. Not primarily broadcast TV,” an advisor at Soros Management Fund tells Andy Stern, referencing Soros’s dislike of television advertising.

At the time of the email Soros is said to have contributed $2.5m to the party out of a commitment of $5m.

Those emails

One email reveals that Clinton’s motivation for releasing 55,000 emails was not because she wanted the public to “learn more about the incredible department I was proud to lead.”

Nick Merrill, Clinton’s travelling press secretary, tells Cheryl Mills “I'd take out 'That's why' in the next sentence. You know, because it's not why…”

Tackling Trump

On March 1, 2016, Podesta received an email from Robert Wolf, chairman of the consulting company 32 Advisors, regarding a conference call about the primaries taking place that day.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz predicts Trump and Clinton would capture the party nominations and that the match-up between them was “closer than any national polls” because of Trump’s appeal to blue-collar democrats “even though Clinton does much better with all women & minorities.”

The unspecified “executives” on the conference call say “all-out war against Trump will start in DC because of down ticket,” Wolf writes, adding that the call had “more people on than any before which is a sign that execs are now nervous Trump is real.”

In yet another example of the cozy relationship between the media and the campaign, Brent Budowsky, a columnist for the Hill emailed Podesta in December 2015 to recommend Bill Clinton ignore Trump and the attacks he would levy against him.

“Trump is very predictable. The media is very predictable, they will megaphone Trump taking cheap shots at WJC. My suggestion would be for WJC to have ready a litany of ‘responses’," he says.

“The media is about as popular as the bird flu, but no need to attack the media to make the point.....WJC can deflect with a light touch,” Budowsky says. “Make the bastard look like a dwarf, in the way only a former president can,” he added.

Sensitive Bill questions

In a January 2016 email chain about debate prep for the January 14 debate, the team brought up the need for a review of “the sensitive WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] related questions.”

“Is this accomplishable or will it be too weird?” Karen Dunn, lawyer and former counsel for Obama for America asks Huma Abedin. “Maybe the WJC stuff will come up during this session but if not, better done in a smaller group. Plus, our smaller group may want to meet after this anyhow?”

Abedin suggests the small Bill Clinton team meet at Clinton’s house. “#2 small group agenda item could take a while....” she says.

Bill's big birthday gift

In a 2012 email between Clinton Foundation staffers, Ami Desai discussed meeting with Ambassadors from Qatar, Brazil, Peru, Malawi and Rwanda in Washington.

Qatar “would like to see WJC ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC's birthday in 2011," Desai says.

Bernie and Wall Street

In an email chain starting on March 13, 2016, Gary Hirshberg, chairman of one of America’s biggest dairy producers, Stonyfield, wrote to Podesta with concern over proposed GMO labeling legislation.

Rather than focusing on public health, Hirshberg is more concerned on how the proposed Vermont bill “blatantly validates Bernie’s entire campaign message about Wall Street running our government.”

In response, Podesta asks if the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack “signed off on this.”

The Stonyfield chairman then writes that Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) should “keep pushing for something that is less damaging than [Pat] Roberts but which will still fall short of a real path to mandatory labeling,” and that “she agrees that the passage of such a bill could unfortunately give Bernie a major PR fundraising and political opportunity.”

Pat Roberts, a Republican Senator from Kansas, is the Senate Agriculture Committee chairman. The compromise on GMO labeling was reached in June.

1/16th Apache

Clinton’s team joke about their lack of diversity in a 2015 email. “Robby claims he's 1/16th Apache, so we should be all set,” says Nick Merrill in a mail to members of Clinton’s campaign. Mook adds that the team is a “Lotta white guys.”

“We were hoping WJC could call him and thank him for his continued support of HRC. As you can imagine a lot of people are hitting him for not endorsing Sanders,” Craig says.