Last week, Wikileaks released more than 2,000 emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. WikiLeaks announced that they have hacked 50,000 emails from the personal inbox of Podesta. Since then, there have been three email dumps, of the over 5,000 emails released thus far, here are the ones of interest.
Saudi Arabia Funding ISIS
In a leaked email exchange sent on August 17, 2014 between Hillary Clinton and Podesta, who at the time was a counselor to Barack Obama, Clinton admitted that Qatar and Saudi Arabia “are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”
In the email, Hillary said, “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” and recommends more support of KRG (Kurdish Regional Government).
“The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure. By the same token, the threat of similar, realistic U.S. operations will serve to assist moderate forces in Libya, Lebanon, and even Jordan, where insurgents are increasingly fascinated by the ISIL success in Iraq.”
The email was sent just days after the U.S. launched a “temporary” air campaign in Syria, which is still in effect, over two years later.
Clinton sent an eight-point plan to Podesta outlining a strategy on how to defeat the Islamic State, and said that if ISIL is dealt with immediately and forcefully that the terrorist organization would spread in the region:
“If we do not take the changes needed to make our security policy in the region more realistic, there is a real danger of ISIL veterans moving on to other countries to facilitate operations by Islamist forces. This is already happening in Libya and Egypt, where fighters are returning from Syria to work with local forces. ISIL is only the latest and most violent example of this process. If we don’t act to defeat them in Iraq something even more violent and dangerous will develop. Successful military operations against these very irregular but determined forces can only be accomplished by making proper use of clandestine/special operations resources, in coordination with airpower, and established local allies. There is, unfortunately, a narrow window of opportunity on this issue, as we need to act before an ISIL state becomes better organized and reaches into Lebanon and Jordan.”
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has donated between $10 million and $25 million to the Clinton Foundation. Qatar has given between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
No-Fly Zone In Syria
Last October, Clinton called for the creation of a no-fly zone inside Syria, a day after Russian warplanes started bombing rebels fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
“I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air, to try to provide some way to take stock of what’s happening, to try to stem the flow of refugees,” Clinton said at a campaign event in Boston in October of 2015.
Hillary doubled-down on her advocacy of a no-fly zone last Sunday during the second presidential debate:
Russia hasn’t paid any attention to ISIS. They’re interested in keeping Assad in power. So I, when I was secretary of state, advocated and I advocate today a no-fly zone and safe zones. We need some leverage with the Russians, because they are not going to come to the negotiating table for a diplomatic resolution, unless there is some leverage over them. And we have to work more closely with our partners and allies on the ground.
However, during a paid Wall Street speech Clinton admitted to the dangers of no-fly zone that would “kill a lot of Syrians.”
“To have a no-fly zone you have to take out all of the air defenses, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk— you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
Corporate Tax Rate
Neera Tande, one of Hillary’s top advisors, said in July at the Democratic National Convention that there was no need to cut the federal corporate tax rate from its current 35 percent. Tanden argued that “the U.S. has been doing pretty well when it comes to competitiveness.”
However, in private, Clinton told corporations and trade groups something quite different.
During an October 13, 2014, speech to the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, Clinton told the audience that “A number of business leaders have been talking to my husband and me about an idea that would allow the repatriation of the couple trillion dollars that are out there. And you would get a lower rate — a really low rate — if you were willing to invest a percentage in an infrastructure bank.”
DNC Helping Hillary Beat Sanders
Wikileaks hacked emails found current DNC chair Donna Brazile tipping off the Clinton campaign with information about a Bernie Sanders “Twitterstorm.” In the January 2016 email, Brazile, then vice DNC chair, forwarded an email from Sarah Ford, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary, announcing a “Twitterstorm” from Sanders’ African-American outreach team. Brazile wrote “FYI” to the Clinton staff and Hillary’s campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod replied, “Thank you for the heads up on this Donna.”
In an email titled “PLS REVIEW: Sanders Hits,” the Clinton campaign compiled a massive “hits” file on Democratic primary opponent Bernie Sanders. Clinton campaign research director Tony Carrk sent the email on Oct. 28, 2015, which highlight some points to attack the Sen. from Vermont.
The document has 12 sections, with headings such as “Sanders Is Not Straight with People on His Spending” and “Sanders Not Straight with People on Taxes.”
“Attached are some hits that could either be written or deployed during the next debate on Sanders,” Carrk wrote.
From Fox News:
“Per HRC’s request,” the research team is “doing a deeper dive on Sanders’s agriculture record.”
“Sanders, often thought of as a champion of labor unions, accepted support from a company while it was involved in a bitter labor dispute — locking out union employees for nearly 22 months,” the document states in the “Labor/Pay to Play/Sugar” section. Sanders later voted “to protect the sugar program.”
“Sen. Sanders has not told the American people how much he is going to raise taxes and who is going to pay for them,” one section states. “When confronted on details of his tax plan, he simply says ‘it’s coming.’”
Nearly nine months after the email, Sanders would endorse Clinton after she won the Democratic nomination.
Podesta’s Relationships With Journalists
Hacked emails also show a cozy relationship between Podesta and the mainstream media. John Harwood of CNBC and the New York Times, who moderated one of the Republican presidential primary debates last year, corresponded often with Podesta, even congratulating on primary wins.
After Clinton won a Democratic primary day, with important states Florida, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and North Carolina in play.
Harwood wrote to Podesta, “Congrats – pretty strong.” Podesta then replied to Harwood on March 16, “Yup. Feeling good.”
One email, received by major Hillary Clinton donor and Univision owner Haim Saban, was forwarded to Clinton staff, where there was praise for the friendly moderators in the early March 2016 Democratic primary debate co-hosted by Univision in Florida.
“Haim, I just wanted to tell you that I thought the moderators for last nights Debate were excellent. They were thoughtful, tough and incisive. I thought it made Hilary appear direct and strong in her resolve. I felt it advanced our candidate. Thanks for Univision,” wrote Rob Friedman, former co-chair of the Motion Picture Group.
Clinton Campaign Defusing Hillary’s Previous Stand On DOMA
In an October 2015 email thread, Clinton staff were discussing ways to handle Hillary’s support for the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which refused to recognize same-sex marriages and defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
“I’m not saying double down or ever say it again. I’m just saying that she’s not going to want to say she was wrong about that, given she and her husband believe it and have repeated it many times. Better to reiterate evolution, opposition to DOMA when court considered it, and forward looking stance.
I think everyone agrees we shouldn’t restate her argument. Question is whether she’s going to agree to explicitly disavow it. And I doubt it.”
Clinton Camp Scared Of Marco Rubio, Not Donald Trump
During the primaries, emails suggest the Clinton camp was concerned about facing Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the general election. The Clinton campaign believed Rubio had the potential to do well in the polls similar to Obama and posed the greatest threat to her run to the White House.
“He gives a good speech, and sounded much more reasonable, populist and accessible than much of the rest of the GOP field. Felt more like an inspiring Democratic speech than a GOP candidate,” a communications aide wrote in April 2015.
Meanwhile, notably missing from the emails is much mention of Donald Trump. Here is one of the few emails regarding the current Republican presidential candidate.
In an email from last March sent to Podesta by Brent Budowsky, formerly a Capitol Hill staffer and Huffington Post columnist who now contributes to The Hill, he said the best thing for Clinton was to run against Trump.
“Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump,” Budowsky wrote. “[S]he 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.”
Aide Called Chelsea Clinton A ‘Spoiled Brat’
One longtime Bill Clinton aide called Chelsea Clinton a “spoiled brat” who helped drive a Clinton Foundation COO to nearly commit suicide. In a 2011 email, Doug Band in a 2011 email told Podesta and Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills that Chelsea Victoria Clinton “CVC” has a “lack of focus in her life” over a potentially damaging story about Teneo, which is an advisory firm and investment banking organization where Bill Clinton is a client and unpaid advisor.
“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. 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.”
Band later described an incident in which the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer, Laura Graham, contemplated suicide in Dec. 2011 due to the “stress” of the “office crap” that transpired at the foundation.
“She was on staten island in her car parked a few feet from the waters edge with her foot on the gas pedal and the car in park,” he wrote. “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.
But I’m sure [C]helsea is more concerned with a mostly false story in the distinguished ny post [sic] about mf global [sic] and [T]eneo not her role in what happened to laura/bruce [sic], what she is doing to the organization or the several of stories that have appeared in the ny post about her father and a multitude of women over the years.”
The Clinton campaign has neither confirmed or denied the authenticity of the emails in the Wikileaks hack.