The drip, drip, drip of John Podesta’s email hack keeps coming from WikiLeaks, exposing the sickening relationship between the press and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and the internal turmoil about, quite frankly, Mrs. Clinton’s ability as a presidential candidate. Here are the top five takeaways from the latest dump.
1. Prominent journalists look to “highlight” Mrs. Clinton’s personality; lament coverage of her email scandal
Yahoo’s Katie Couric, promised Mr. Podesta a puff-piece on Mrs. Clinton if she would grant her an interview, “that would showcase her personality and has a lot of viral potential,” Mrs. Couric wrote. Obviously, showcasing personalities isn’t the work of real political journalists – digging into the dirt is.
But that wasn’t where CNBC’s John Harwood’s head was. In a September 2015 email – during the heart of Mrs. Clinton’s email scandal – Mr. Harwood couldn’t understand why any reporter was covering it.
“Amazing,” Harwood wrote in the subject line of email to Mr. Podesta, continuing in its text, “that some people still think it’s worth burning so much interview time with person most likely to be next president on her emails.”
2. “What planet is she on?” Clinton adviser questions as team tries to spin her as a progressive, but she admitted she’s a moderate
Mrs. Clinton described herself as a “moderate Democrat” during a September 2015 event, caused senior adviser Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, consternation, asking Mr. Podesta why she would say such a thing.
“I pushed her on this Sunday night. She claims she didn’t remember saying it. Not sure I believe her,” he wrote. To which Ms. Tanden responded the comment made her job more difficult after “telling every reporter I know she’s actually a progressive…It worries me more that she doesn’t seem to know what planet we are all living in at the moment.”
3. Mrs. Clinton’s team acknowledges her “dicey territory” is political corruption
Emails between Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan and Ms. Tanden from March 2016 discussed how it was “REALLY dicey territory” for Mrs. Clinton to comment on public corruption and political reform.
“This is a jump ball. She may be so tainted she’s really vulnerable = if so, maybe a message of I’ve seen how this sausage is made, it needs to stop, I’m going to stop it will actually work. So maybe it requires harder charging,” Ms. Tanden said.
4. Mrs. Clinton’s cozy relationship with tech titans
Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg wanted to arrange a meeting with Mr. Podesta, as he was “hungry to learn” about politics.
“He wants to meet folks who can inform his understanding about effective political operations to advance public policy goals on social oriented objectives (like immigration, education or basic scientific research),” Sheryl Sandberg wrote on Mr. Zuckerberg’s behalf, to which Mr. Podesta agreed.
Furthermore, Eric Schmidt, the chief executive of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is working directly with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to a memo released by WikiLeaks. Mr. Schmidt helped Mrs. Clinton’s team develop their digital strategy, launch her website and was “developing products,” to help her team consolidate “data from disparate sources to allow you to develop user profiles and therefore more effective programs.”
One has to wonder if he helped Mrs. Clinton’s team manipulate Google searches to benefit her campaign.
“Discreet conversations” of forming “working relationships” with companies such as Facebook and Apple were also facilitated as early as October 2014, the memo stated – six months prior to Mrs. Clinton’s announcement.
5. Democrats have been “Bird Dogging” Republicans since at least 2008
MoveOn.org members were dressing up in disguise to embarrass Republicans at their own functions as early as 2008 the emails reveal.
“Our members are bird dogging Republican candidates in character all over the country. They dress up as execs from “RepubliCorp” a not-so-fictitious merger between the Republican party and multi-national corporations and go to events. We got a great hit last night at the Boehner event. Made broadcast television, and was pitch perfect on message,” Ilyse G. Hogue Director of Political Advocacy and Communications MoveOn.org wrote in 2008.
This election cycle, Mrs. Clinton’s staff acknowledged in September 2015, DREAMERS were “bird dogging” Republican candidates on their immigration position, but that it wasn’t as much fun, because “they’ve [GOP candidates] learned how to respond.”
It’s proof her team had direct knowledge “bird dogging” goes on. Project Veritas’ James O’Keefe exposed Democrats dressing up at Trump rallies with the intention to incite violence, essentially introducing to the general public this week, what “bird dogging” actually is.
6. Clinton team thought Obama committed voter fraud in Colorado
Although the 2008 election is in the rear-view mirror, Mr. Podesta, in a May 2015 email still seemed to believe Mr. Obama may have committed voter fraud in Colorado.
Mr. Podesta wrote: “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 $.”
7. Clinton’s staffers wished the San Bernardino jihadis were white
In December 2015, after Sayed Farouk and his wife terrorized a San Bernardino, California office building, Mr. Podesta immediately worried about the couple’s Islamic sounding name.
“Better if a guy named Sayeed Farouk was reporting that a guy named Christopher Hayes was the shooter,” Mr. Podesta lamented.
8. Lawyers complain of “twisted truth” when it comes to Mrs. Clinton’s emails
Erika Rottenberg, a lawyer with ties to the Clinton campaign, passed several questions to Mrs. Clinton’s top staff expressing concern about how they were handling the email scandal.
“I know when I talk to my friends who are attorneys we are all struggling with what happened to the emails and aren’t satisfied with answers to date,” read one of the questions sent to Stephanie Hannon, chief technical officer of the Clinton campaign, and senior campaign policy adviser Ann O’Leary. “While we all know of the occasional use of personal email addresses for business, none of my friends circle can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents without providing anyone outside her circle a chance to weigh in. It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”