Friday, 30 December 2016

Reality Check Clinton: 18 revelations from Wikileaks' hacked Clinton emails

John Podesta aboard 'Hill Force One', the nickname for Clinton's campaign plane

Wikileaks has been releasing hacked emails from the account of Hillary Clinton's campaign boss. What do they say?

The anti-secrecy website says it will release tens of thousands more emails between now and election day.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were hacked, has claimed the Russian government was behind the leak and the Trump campaign knew about it in advance.
He has refused to confirm or deny the emails' authenticity, suggesting some could have been doctored, without so far pinpointing any of the correspondence as fake.
These messages are different from the other Clinton email controversy, when she was found to have and broken government rules by exclusively operating a private server from her upstate New York home while secretary of state.


So what has the Wikileaks dump told us?

'Bill Clinton Inc'

In a 12-page memo written by Doug Band, a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, he describes using his consulting firm to raise money for the Clinton Global Initiative as well as direct personal income for the former president.
Mr Band rallied clients of his firm, Teneo, to contribute directly to Mr Clinton for "in-kind services for the President and his family - for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like" referring to that fund as "Bill Clinton Inc".
Several companies directly paid the former president for his speeches or advice, as well as making contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative. Republicans have criticised this, saying it allowed corporations to pay for access to the former president. 
One client, Coca Cola, received a face-to-face meeting with the former president at his home in 2009, after contributing millions to the non-profit foundation.
Donald Trump tweeted a link to the Washington Post article about this with his anti-corruption mantra #DrainTheSwamp

'Terrible instincts'

On the same day that news of a private email server broke, John Podesta, who later became her campaign chairman, emailed Neera Tanden, who worked for the Clinton campaign in 2008 and has remained a close adviser, to complain about Mrs Clinton's "instincts". 
"We've taken on a lot of water that won't be easy to pump out of the boat", he wrote in September 2015 as Clinton staff feared that Vice President Joe Biden would join the Democratic primary race.
"Most of that has to do with terrible decisions made pre-campaign, but a lot has to do with her instincts," he wrote, to which Mrs Tanden responded: "Almost no one knows better [than] me that her instincts can be terrible."
In the email exchange, Mr Podesta also complained that Clinton's personal lawyer David Kendall, and former State Department staffers Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines "sure weren't forthcoming here on the facts here". Mrs Tanden responds "Why didn't' they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy." 
She later answered her own question saying, "I guess I know the answer. They wanted to get away with it."

Twitter


What Obama knew about Clinton private email

When President Barack Obama told an interviewer that he first learned of Mrs Clinton's private email server at the "same time everybody else learned it, through news reports", the Clinton campaign emailed each other to say that the president was not telling the truth.
The evening after the interview aired Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin emailed to say "it looks like POTUS just said he found out HRC was using her personal email when he saw it in the news".
"We need to clean this up", Clinton's former chief of staff Cheryl Mills responds. 
"He has emails from her - they do not say state.gov", she wrote, implying that Mr Obama was aware that Clinton was using a private email server rather than her State Department-issued email account.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest later clarified to say that the president had exchanged emails with Clinton but that he "was not aware of the details of how that email address and that server had been set up".

Morocco 'quid pro quo'

Mrs Clinton's aide Huma Abedin, usually known for her unflinching loyalty, was blunt in her criticism of her boss over a Clinton Foundation summit in Morocco. 
At the time of the meeting in Marrakesh, in May 2015, Mrs Clinton was no longer secretary of state but about to announce her campaign for president. But four months before it took place, Abedin voiced concern about her pulling out. "If HRC was not part of it, meeting was a non-starter," she warned. "She created this mess and she knows it."
The implication from the leaked emails is that a $12m donation from the king of Morocco was dependent on Mrs Clinton attending the summit.
"Her presence was a condition for the Moroccans to proceed so there is no going back on this," Abedin wrote to campaign manager Robbie Mook in a November 2014 email. 
In the end, Mrs Clinton decided not to attend and sent husband Bill and daughter Chelsea instead. There is no record of a $12m donation.
Mr Mook on Sunday said there was no evidence of wrongdoing or "quid pro quo", and that his emails with Abedin showed he simply did not want any scheduling distractions for Mrs Clinton.

Sanders is a 'doofus'

In December 2015, Mr Podesta attacked Mrs Clinton's primary election rival Bernie Sanders for criticising the Paris climate change agreement.
"Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked it?" said Mr Podesta.
When asked on CNN about it, Mr Podesta admitted he was frustrated at the time but he had a very good relationship with the Vermont senator. 


Bill Gates for veep? 

Mrs Clinton's campaign considered Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates or his wife Melinda as her running mate, according to the hacked emails. 
Mr Podesta drafted a list of nearly 40 names for her potential vice-presidential pick, organising it by what he called "rough food groups", which appeared to refer to demographic coalitions.
The list included Hispanic, white and black men, three former high-ranking military officers, business leaders and female senators. 
Among those included were Apple's Tim Cook, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, General Motors' Marry Barra and Starbucks chief exeuctive Howard Schultz.
Senator Bernie Sanders was listed in a group by himself.

'Clintons won't forget' 

The Clinton campaign tried to reschedule the Illinois presidential primary to a month later, so as to make it less likely that a moderate Republican would get a boost following the Super Tuesday primaries.
"The Clintons won't forget what their friends have done for them," future Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in the November 2014 email to Mr Podesta.
But Mr Mook said the vote would be difficult to reschedule because Illinois Democrats "feel forgotten and neglected by POTUS", a reference to President Obama. 
The primary was ultimately held on its original date, 15 March this year.


'The most Scary Covert' Syrian action Plan by Clinton!

According to the latest leaked emails, Mrs Clinton told a Goldman Sachs conference she would like to intervene secretly in Syria.
She made the remark in answer to a question from Lloyd Blankfein, the bank's chief executive, in 2013 months after she left office as secretary of state.
"My view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene," she told employees of the bank in South Carolina, which had paid her about $225,000 to give a speech.

Mrs Clinton - who is accused of being a war hawk by liberal critics - added: "We used to be much better at this than we are now. 
Now, you know, everybody can't help themselves. 
"They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we're doing and I want credit for it."


'Ring China'

Mrs Clinton said in emails that she had told Chinese officials if they were not able or willing to control North Korea's aggression then the US would be forced to put up missile defences in the region. 
"So China, come on. You either control them or we're going to have to defend against them," she purportedly told a Goldman Sachs conference in June 2013. 
She also remarked that the US would send additional warships to the region to counter the North Korean missile threat. 
As secretary of state, Mrs Clinton visited China seven times and helped develop Washington's "pivot" to Asia, which has long been viewed with suspicion by Beijing. 


Catholic 'bastardisation'

A 2011 exchange between Mrs Clinton's now-communications director Jennifer Palmieri and liberal think tank fellow John Halpin mocked a magazine article describing media mogul Rupert Murdoch raising his children as Catholics
Mr Halpin, a self-described Catholic, writes that many of the "most powerful elements of the conservative movement are Catholics... they must be attracted to the systematic thought and [severely] backwards gender relations", adding that "it's an amazing bastardisation of the faith". 
Ms Palmieri responds that those people must think it is "the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion". Ms Palmieri recently said she doesn't recognise the emails, adding that "I'm a Catholic".


'A public and a private position'

In excerpts from one of Mrs Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street bankers, she said: "Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. 
"But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."
She introduced this comment by saying that she had just watched Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln, which shows the political negotiations the US Civil War-era president undertook to pass the 13th amendment to the US constitution, abolishing slavery. 
Bernie Sanders, who campaigned against Mrs Clinton during the Democratic primary season, had called repeatedly for Mrs Clinton to release the transcripts of her paid Wall Street speeches.


Clinton 'was fed a question'

Donna Brazile, the former CNN contributor, notified the Clinton campaign in advance of a question she would be asked at a town hall-style event hosted by the cable network in March, according to the leaked emails.
"From time to time I get the questions in advance," Ms Brazile, now chair of the Democratic National Party (DNC), wrote in the subject line of a 12 March email to Clinton aides.
She went on to paste the text of a question about the death penalty that Mrs Clinton would be asked. The question, with very similar wording, ended up being posed to the White House hopeful at the event.
Hours after WikiLeaks broke the news of the alleged collaboration, Ms Brazile wrote in an statement: "I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did."
The leaked email has also caused embarrassment for CNN, which Donald Trump has mockingly referred to as the "Clinton News Network".
Ms Brazile took over at the DNC when its former chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultzover hacked emails which revealed the party establishment's favouritism towards Mrs Clinton.
The DNC was meant to be neutral in the contest between Mrs Clinton and her Democratic primary season challenger, Bernie Sanders. 
While serving as DNC vice-chair in January 2016, Ms Brazile forwarded to Clinton's staff an email revealing the Sanders camp's plan to court African-American voters. 
"FYI," Ms Brazile wrote to campaign spokesperson Adrienne Elrod, who responded: "Thank you for the heads up on this Donna."

Justice Department 'collusion'

Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote in a May 2015 email: "DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning."
He was referring to a Freedom of Information Act request by a journalist seeking disclosure of Mrs Clinton's emails from her time as the secretary of state. 
Mr Fallon, who is a former Department of Justice spokesman, was relaying information that was already publicly available and being reported by multiple news outlets. 
Nevertheless, Donald Trump seized on the communication between the Clinton campaign and the DOJ, saying, "this is collusion and corruption of the highest order".


Clinton 'wary of refugees'

In a leaked 2013 paid speech to the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Mrs Clinton said that Jordan and Turkey "can't possibly vet all those refugees so they don't know if, you know, jihadists are coming in along with legitimate refugees". 
Trump supporters seized on these remarks to criticise her call for the US to accept 65,000 refugees per year, an increase on President Obama's plan to allow 10,000 per year. 
Many refugees from Syria transit through Jordan, Turkey, or Lebanon on their way to the West. 
Donald Trump has called for a ban on all Muslim immigration, but said in the second debate his plan had "morphed into an extreme vetting from certain areas of the world".


'Open borders' dream

Mrs Clinton's newfound opposition to trade deals contradicts remarks she made in a 2013 paid speech to Brazilian bank Banco Itau. 
She said: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere." 
Critics seized upon those remarks, pointing to Mr Trump's frequent talking point that "without a border, we just don't have a country". 
Mrs Clinton reportedly earned over $26m for speeches she gave after leaving the State Department.

Keystone XL pipeline

Several Clinton aides discuss what political opinion their candidate should take on the controversial energy pipeline known as Keystone XL. 

In May 2015 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook pointed to a report that the Clinton Foundation had received money from one of the project's backers, emailing that "the enviros may latch onto this going forward. 

Have we discussed when she will come out against Keystone?" 
He also asks if they should wait until after President Obama vetoes the pipeline, which he did in November 2015. Mrs Clinton announced her opposition in September. 

When she was asked in 2010 about when the pipeline would be approved, the then-secretary of state said the analysis was not yet complete, "but we are inclined" to approve the project. 

Critics said her subsequent opposition to the pipeline was a "flip flop".



'Needy Latinos and 1 easy call'

That's the subject line of an August 2015 email sent by Mr Podesta to Hillary Clinton and one her closest aides, Huma Abedin. 

Mr Podesta's email suggests that Mrs Clinton reach out to former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and former Energy Secretary Federico Pena to ask for their support during her primary campaign. 

Mr Podesta also uses a profane term to refer to Gov Richardson, who had implied in an earlier email that he would require a phone call in order to provide his support.