WikiLeaks posts more John Podesta emails
WASHINGTON — WikiLeaks Monday morning posted an additional 2,000 emails that appear to be from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
This is the second hack in four days from WikiLeaks, which claims it has a trove of more than 50,000 emails from Podesta.
The emails appear to be mostly from 2015, covering a litany of policy and strategy discussions between Clinton staffers on how to handle issues of the day and the press, including the release of the book “Clinton Cash” alleging nefarious activity by the Clinton Foundation. Another email has long-time Clinton aide Doug Band referring to Chelsea Clinton as a “spoiled brat.”
Clinton campaign responded to the release by slamming the Trump campaign for “cheering on a release today engineered by Vladimir Putin,” after Trump adviser Jason Miller tweeted a link to the document page with the phrase “And here…we…go.”
“It is absolutely disgraceful that the Trump campaign is cheering on a release today engineered by Vladimir Putin to interfere in this election, and this comes after Donald Trump encouraged more espionage over the summer and continued to deny the hack even happened at Sunday’s debate,” said Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin. “The timing shows you that even Putin knows Trump had a bad weekend and a bad debate.”
WikiLeaks has been alleged to work with Russia, and US national security officials have accused Russia of trying to influence the US elections through highly coordinated hacks, though they haven’t pointed specifically to Russia in the WikiLeaks release.
Emails released Friday included what appeared to be excerpts from transcripts of closed-door speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street companies after leaving the State Department.
Here are some highlights of the new batch.
Chelsea Clinton a ‘spoiled brat’
One exchange has a long-time Bill Clinton aide calling his daughter Chelsea Clinton a “spoiled brat” who had a “lack of focus in her life” in a 2011 email that came to light as part of hacked emails posted by Wikileaks.
Doug Band emailed Podesta and longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills about a damning story about his consulting company, Teneo, by lashing out at Chelsea Clinton.
“I don’t deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things,” Band wrote. “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.”
“Clinton Cash” response
The emails also revealed that Clinton wanted to respond more forcefully to “Clinton Cash,” the 2015 book that looked to connect Clinton Foundation actions and decisions made by Hillary Clinton’s State Department.
According to an email from another close aide, Huma Abedin, Clinton wanted to tape a straight-to-camera video responding to the allegations.
“She believes she needs to do this video because her integrity is being attacked and she is the only one who can say she didnt (sic) make a decision as secstate based on a donor,” Abedin wrote.
Abedin added, “She doesnt want to continue to have to have press yell these questions at her in Nevada and CA and if she doesnt do the video, that is the situation she will be in.”
Reporters at Clinton events had tried to get the former secretary of state to respond to the book by shouting questions at her at events on the trail. Initially, the Clinton campaign had decided not to respond directly to the charges, given the lack of front-page and TV coverage of the book. Once that began to change, having Clinton respond to the charges began to gain more traction internally.
Clinton ended up responding to the book in TV interviews.
When to object to Keystone?
The Clinton campaign discussed opposing the Keystone XL pipeline as early as spring 2015, according to one email from campaign manager Robby Mook.
Discussing a revelation that a Canadian bank and shareholder in the project had paid $1 million to Bill Clinton while the State Department was reviewing the pipeline, Mook wrote on April 19, 2015, “The enviros may latch onto this going forward. Have we discussed when she will come out against Keystone? After POTUS vetoes?”
Clinton eventually announced her opposition to the project in September 2015; Obama formally vetoed it in November.
Responding to Clinton Foundation link to Russian uranium company
One email exchange revealed the manner in which the campaign aimed to deal with a New York Times article in April 2015 that alleged a connection between donations to the Clinton Foundation and a Russian uranium producing company, Uranium One.
“We should have surrogates attack the NY Times for writing ‘thousands’ of words when their own story admitted that there was no connection,” Joel Benenson, CEO of the Benenson Strategy Group, wrote to Mandy Grunwald of Grunwald Communications. Grunwald responded, “Ditto here. But it still ran on the front page and he’s still getting air time all over the place.”
Suggestions for Clinton
There’s no shortage of suggestions from Clinton supporters outside the campaign on ways she could break through against Bernie Sanders and improve her performance.
One chain from September 2015 starts with an email from Democratic power broker Andy Manatos, who suggests, “A good amount of exposure of Hillary holding, feeding and playing with her adorable grandchild would greatly help the public understand her.”