#Podesta latest: WikiLeaks releases 17th batch of Clinton campaign chair emails
The organization has published more than 26,000 emails on its website over the last fortnight, with a new batch dropping every day.
Earlier leaks revealed details of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches, ‘Pay to Play’ donations, and staff concerns over her difficulty with apologizing.
The emails also reveal how some of Clinton’s campaign team showed contempt towards fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders, as well as their attempt to get the jump on Clinton’s own email server scandal.
Yesterday’s leaks showed campaign team members discussing Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, as well as Podesta’s qualms about President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan strategy back in 2009.
Monday’s release by the organization marks the 17th consecutive daily dump of emails related to Clinton’s campaign team, bringing the number of published documents to more than 30,200.
Goldman Sachs speeches
In a January 23, 2016 email leaked Monday, Mandy Grunwald of Grunwald Communications expressed concern over the content of Clinton’s Wall Street speeches.
“It’s pretty bad. She is critical to some extent of what led to the crash but the more memorable stuff is totally accomodationist,” Grunwald wrote in a group email to the Clinton campaign about the Goldman Sachs paid speeches.
Grunwald then elaborates: “‘I'm not interested in pointing fingers’ Dodd-Frank was just because ‘people needed to do something for political reasons’ Suggesting that people in the industry know best how to regulate it.”
“There are also some very tepid comments about Obamacare. And a ton of foreign policy stuff, including some naive sounding comments about Putin - that could cause a whole separate set of issues - but Jake should review all that.”
Grunwald was married to Matthew Cooper, a journalist who worked at Time and was investigated along with Judith Miller over the Valerie Plame CIA leak.
No love from Gore
Emails between Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills on November 11, 2015 discuss former Vice President Al Gore stating he would not endorse Clinton for president.
Abedin tells Mills: “well that was 16 years ago. [H]ard to put on email but there is no love lost in this relationship. [R]eminder that he also refused to endorse in 2008!!!”
‘Fish rots from the head’: Podesta on Clinton 2008 campaign
An email exchange with a former White House adviser gives an insight into Podesta’s assessment of Clinton’s ill-fated 2008 presidential run.
The email from January 2008 shows Paul Begala, who served as counselor to president Bill Clinton, mentioning a New York Times report claiming Podesta is about to help in Hillary Clinton’s faltering race against rival Barack Obama.
“[T]he NY Times say YOU are joining Hillary’s campaign,” Begala writes, to which Podesta implies he has no intention of stepping in from the sidelines.
“Mary [Podesta’s wife] put me in witness protection after reading the NYT,” he said.
The correspondence came following Clinton’s Iowa caucus defeat, a major blow to her effort to become Democratic nominee. “I know the fish rots from the head, but I really feel sorry for her. This definitely could have been won,” Podesta writes.
A March 3, 2014 email marked ‘Confidential’ shows an exchange between Podesta, Cheryl Mills, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Stephanie Schriock from the Emily’s List PAC. In the mail, Schriock flags a request from a Wall Street Journal reporter seeking information about a meeting at Clinton’s home between herself, Podesta and Mills.
“He called me,” Podesta writes. “Tried to get me to confirm Woodward and Bernstein style. Blink twice if I'm far from the truth. I didn't play along and told him nothing. But he knew a lot.”
Cheryl Mills writes back, “what did he know?”
Framing coverage of Clinton’s private server
In an email exchange on March 8, 2015, an opinion writer for The Hill, Brent Budowsky, forwarded Podesta a copy of an email comment he sent to NBC’s Chuck Todd about a recent show that presumably mentioned Clinton’s private server.
“Chuck you neglected to mention that most Republican candidates for president also used private emails, in Jeb's case you neglected to mention that he also used a private server, and you neglected to mention that a long list of Senate and House Republicans almost certainly use private emails and hide behind the Freedom of Information Act,” wrote Budowsky.
“Someday we should have a serious conversation about ratings, and why so many people, myself included, have largely stopped watching this stuff.”
Monday’s leak also includes an August 2015 exchange between Clinton’s campaign staff about framing the email server controversy and the best timing for releasing a statement on the issue.
“Just talked to Podesta - we are thinking we shouldn't put out the statement at this point because it is so late in day on a Friday the press is bound to respond negatively and it will defeat our purpose in framing this,” Deputy Communications Directer Kristina Schake wrote. “Think we should send it out tomorrow morning.”
“In any case, I would vote for having her address this Sunday, so we can legitimately claim she's trying to move on and address what voters care about on Monday,” Campaign Manager Robbie Mook wrote.
‘CNN and bed-wetting’
Some colorful subject lines for emails among Monday’s leak include “CNN and bed-wetting,” an email from The Hill columnist Brent Budowsky to John Podesta on July 9, 2015 about Hillary Clinton’s appearance on CNN which “was awful.”
“She made statements that were untrue and appeared legalistic, evasive and programmed. And gave the worst possible answer on the trust issue when there multiple possible answers that were all better,” wrote Budowsky.
He went on to add that Bernie Sanders had a zero chance of being nominated but “Hillary is going to need every liberal supporting her to vote, which is why I am being very friendly to Bernie and will have some credibility when the time comes to encourage his people to get on the train with Hillary… Considering how long the Clinton campaign was planned, this thing is very weirdly off-key...”
‘Bernie is beating us up’
In a March 2016 email thread, Clinton’s senior policy advisers discussed strategies for responding to Sanders, after he said he was not interested in getting endorsed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“I don’t want the endorsement of a mayor shutting down schools and firing teachers,” Sanders tweeted.
I want to thank Rahm Emanuel for not endorsing me. I don’t want the endorsement of a mayor shutting down schools and firing teachers.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 12, 2016
“Bernie is beating us up over Rahm's record on schools in Chicago. The Chicago school system is overloaded with debt and likely to run out of cash before the end of the school year. As a result, they are withholding their pension contributions, and laying off teachers and support staff,” wrote Ann O'Leary, senior policy adviser at Hillary for America.
O’Leary said she reached out to Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, who proposed sending out a tweet saying that Emanuel and Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner had been bad for Chicago schools.
“That sounded like a toxic idea to me given Rahm's endorsement, but I don't think this issue is going away,” O’Leary writes before outlining possible options for Clinton to take on the topic.
“But I do worry that short of going after Rahm, these options are not going to be satisfactory. So the (c ) option is to stay silent on it for now. Thoughts?”
‘If you’re not in labor’
Working for Podesta apparently means no days off. A 2015 email from Hillary’s campaign chairman to his assistant at the time, Eryn Sepp, shows Podesta giving a presumably heavily pregnant Sepp a couple more tasks before motherhood calls
“Seriously, everything ok on your end? You did the arrangements with Hertz,” writes Podesta in an email titled, “One last assignment if you’re not in labor".
“If you can, can you extend the contract till Monday morning the 10th. Mary will drop me on Friday and then use it to return on Monday.”