18 Reasons (So Far) Leaked Podesta Emails Reveal Dishonest Side of Clinton, Her Campaign and Media Collusion
Julian Assange, founder and owner of WikiLeaks, has released, so far, over 5,000 (of a promised 50,000) emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta, who was also the former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. Most are incoming emails to Podesta’s account, and contain everything from campaign planning emails to spammy emails from other political campaigns.
While Clinton has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the hacked emails, during Sunday’s presidential debate she clarified some comments reportedly made by her in one of the emails. Podesta has said there could have been some changes made to the emails, but has not identified any.
The Clinton campaign and Podesta claim Russia is behind the emails being hacked from Hillary’s inner circle and the Democrat National Committee, but since Donald Trump has also talked tough in regards to U.S.-Russian relations, some are skeptical that Putin is behind the hacking. As for Assange’s motives, while he says he does not like either Clinton or Trump, he has said he is a big supporter of libertarian Republicans Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul, and believes the libertarian wing of the GOP is the “only hope” for real reform.
Early voting has already started in places around the country, but some of the emails are extremely damaging and may influence undecided voters. The following represent some of the worst emails in the first 5,000. Imagine ten times this many.
1. Clinton “Often” Says False Things
Brett Budowsky, a public affairs consultant with an extensive background in top levels of government, sent an email to Podesta expressing his concern over Clinton telling lies about Bernie Sanders. “Hillary should stop attacking Bernie, especially when she says things that are untrue, which candidly she often does. I am one of the people with credibility to suggest Bernie people support her in November, and she and Benenson and others have no idea of the damage she does to herself with these attacks, which she does not gain by making.”
He went on just as candidly, “Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump. … she has huge endemic political weaknesses that she would be wise to rectify… even a clown like Ted Cruz would be an even money bet to beat and this scares the hell of out me. …”
2. Clinton Hates “Everyday Americans”
In an email dated April 19, 2015, Podesta wrote to Clinton’s Director of Communications, Jennifer Palmieri, “I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion.” He convinces Palmieri to use the phrase “everyday Americans” in a speech Clinton is about to give in Iowa.
3. Clinton Foundation COO Almost Driven to Suicide Dealing With Bill, Chelsea Clinton
Doug Band, a former aide to the Clintons, emailed Podesta in 2011 expressing his alarm that the COO of the Clinton Foundation was about to commit suicide, in part due to Bill Clinton and Chelsea: “She called me to tell me the stress of all of this office crap with wjc and cvc as well as that of her family had driven her to the edge and she couldn’t take it anymore. I spent a while on the phone with her preventing her from doing that, as I have a few times in the past few months, and was able to reach roger and her shrink.”
Band also wrote about Chelsea, “She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life. I realize she will be off of this soon but if it doesn’t come soon enough. …”
4. Collusion With ABC’s George Stephanopolous to Ambush ‘Clinton Cash’ Author Peter Schweizer
Clinton staffers congratulated themselves over helping ABC’s George Stephanopolous, a longtime Clinton crony, prepare in advance so he could ambush “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer during a TV interview. Jesse Ferguson wrote, “Great work everyone. this interview is perfect. he lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work).” Three other staffers gloated about how enjoyable it was to watch.
5. New York Times Reporter Patrick Healy Runs His Thoughts on His Next Clinton/Trump Article Past Clinton Team First
In an email entitled “Hi Angel and Tina — running stuff by you re Clinton/Trump,” New York Times reporter Patrick Healy suggests some ideas for an election-related article to Angel Urena and Tina Flournoy, two Clinton campaign staffers. He provides the two with a lot of helpful information he’s heard from the Clinton campaign, including what Bill Clinton recommends. “President Clinton, like others, thinks that Trump has his finger on the pulse of the electorate’s mood and that only a well-financed, concerted campaign portrayed him as dangerous and bigoted will win what both Clintons believe will be a close November election.”
John Halpin at the Center for American Progress sent an email to Podesta and Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri, expressing his bewilderment how Catholics could be conservative, “It’s an amazing bastardization of the faith.” Palmieri agreed in response. “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.” Halperin wrote back, “Excellent point. They can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.”
7 Bill Clinton: Someone Making $110,000 Annually Would Struggle Financially
Staffer Josh Schwerin emailed his concern about a statement Bill Clinton made in New Hampshire, “WJC just told an anecdote about somebody making $110k per year with student loans as an example of someone who would struggle. Could see that being used to say he’s out of touch.” Staffer Tina Flournoy helpfully agreed, “Or it’s so bad that even if you make $110k you struggle. – imagine how it is for those making less.”
8. The AP is “Helpful”
Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress triumphantly emailed Podesta and Palmieri last summer, “Tide does seem to be shifting a bit on this, great work by the press shop. Cummings is helpful as is AP.” (“Cummings” may be a reference to Elijah Cummings, a member of the House Oversight Committee who has treated Clinton favorably.)
9. Saudi Arabia Providing Aid to ISIS
Podesta engaged in an email exchange over the Middle East with Clinton. Clinton emailed him a 9-point plan, which appears to have been written by her, although this not clear. It acknowledges the suspicion that Saudi Arabia is propping up ISIS: “While this military/para-military operation is moving forward, we need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
10. Clinton’s Affiliated SuperPAC ‘Correct the Record’ Placed 132 Op-Eds, Killed Negative Stories
According to an email from Mary Pat Bonner to Podesta, the Clinton affiliated SuperPAC “Correct The Record” has placed 132 op-eds nationally and in strategic local markets. Since May 15, CTR has helped write and place 36 op-eds across the country in a number of publications including Politico, Times Union, Huffington Post, CNN, Washington Blade, and New Jersey’s Bergen Record.” Additionally, “Correct The Record staff members have conducted over 900 on-the-record and off-the-record media interviews” and “kill negative stories before they are even published.”
11. Clinton Campaign Aware Obama Campaign Committed Massive Voter Fraud in 2008
On May 14, 2015, Podesta sent an email indicating he was aware of voter fraud by the Obama campaign in Colorado during the 2008 presidential election, and was concerned the Sanders campaign might engage in it.
High importance. I met with Jim and Mike in Denver. They are both old friends of the Clintons and have lots of experience. Mike hosted our Boulder Road Show event. They are reliving the 08 caucuses where they believe the Obama forces flooded the caucuses with ineligible voters. They want to organize lawyers for caucus protection, election protection and to raise hard $. They are not just Colorado focused and have good contacts in the region.
12. Clinton’s Wall Street Speeches
Clinton has refused to release her private, paid speeches to Wall Street, but excerpts from some of them are in the leaked emails. In one, she discusses the necessity of having “both a public and a private position” on controversial political issues. She admits that her wealth leaves her “kind of far removed” from the middle class. In fact, she complains about how tough it is being wealthy in politics, “There is such a bias against people who have led successful and/or complicated lives.”
Clinton prefers to have Wall Street write its own financial regulations, “The people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.” In a speech to a Brazilian bank, she expressed her desire for open borders: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open borders, sometime in the future.”
13. CNBC’s John Harwood, a Republican Presidential Debate Moderator, Congratulated Podesta on Clinton Campaign Success
After Clinton won all five state primaries on March 15 last year — Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina — CNBC’s John Harwood, who moderated one of the Republican presidential debates, emailed Podesta: “Congrats – pretty strong.” Podesta chummily replied, “Yup. Feeling good.”
14. Staffers Brazenly Refer to the Democratic Base as “The Red Army”
While discussing support for a $15/minimum wage, Jake Sullivan writes, “John Podesta (and the Red Army) want to support $15!” Neera Tanden, with the left-wing public policy organization Center for American Progress, writes back to clarify that he’s essentially calling hardcore Democrats as communists, “And when you say Red Army, you mean the base of the Democratic party, right?”
15. Carelessly Discussing Sanctions Against Iran Over Unsecured Email
Sullivan sent an email on March 3, 2015 to Podesta, Huma Abedin and others, responding to a speech that Stuart Eizenstat, a former American diplomat, had sent him that he’d given to AIPAC, “Thanks Stu,” Sullivan wrote. “What would those sanctions look like? If Iran actually tried to break out at the end of the period, ostensibly we’d be talking about military action?” Stu helpfully responded, ” We need to keep the military option on the table, but it would be the additional sanctions in the new congressional bill, which would give the future President the right to impose them upon a finding of a violation. But it would als [sic] include current sanctions–SWIFT, CBI, etc.”
Someone with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org sent an email entitled “What’s the difference between a German and a shopping cart? A shopping cart has got a mind of its own,” to Podesta, a fellow professor of Podesta’s at Georgetown University named Charles Abernathy, several staffers at Politico and Huffington Post, and a staffer at Media Matters. The email contains statements like this:
The main reason behind successful immigration should be painfully obvious to even the most dimwitted of observers: Some groups of people are almost always highly successful given only half a chance (Jews*, Hindus/Sikhs and Chinese people, for example), while others (Muslims, blacks** and Roma***, for instance) fare badly almost irrespective of circumstances. The biggest group of humanity can be found somewhere between those two extremes — the perennial overachievers and the professional never-do-wells.
17. Wall Street Banker Included in Top Staffer Email Discussions
As I’ve written previously, it’s no secret that Clinton is the Wall Street candidate for president. Former Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, who is now vice-chairman at Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley, is included in several emails between Clinton’s top staffers, including at least one with his work email account. He responds to a few of them. Good thing the bank doesn’t care about his extracurricular political work!
18. Plot to Smear Bernie Sanders and His Supporters as Sexist
Clinton staffer Mandy Grunwald provided some helpful points last year on how to portray Bernie Sanders as sexist. “Bernie Sanders says he supports women’s rights, but has a pattern of expressing and tolerating extreme views on women.” She also lays out how his supporters allegedly harass women with profanity on the internet (too offensive to repeat here).