Hillary Clinton’s inner circle resisted efforts to come clean about her private email server because “they wanted to get away with it,” according to emails published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday.
In an email exchange on March 2, 2015 — the same day the public first learned about Hillary’s private server via the New York Times — Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta discussed their bewilderment at the scandal and why Hillary’s team of top aides tried to keep it hidden for so long.
Tandon wrote Podesta to sardonically recommend that Hillary “start making some other, more positive news soon.”
Podesta didn’t appear happy about the scandal that was blowing up before his eyes, especially given that the campaign was planning to formally launch next month. “Speaking of transparency, our friends Kendall, Cheryl and Phillipe sure weren’t forthcoming on the facts here,” he wrote.
The people referenced in the email are longtime Clinton attorney David Kendall, and longtime Clinton confidantes Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines.
Hillary’s email scandal appears to have sparked a round of infighting between her other advisers. Tanden placed the blame squarely on Mills, who also acted as Hillary’s attorney during the FBI investigation and was granted immunity by the Department of Justice.
“This is a cheryl special,” Tanden wrote. “Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal. Or kypronite. she just can’t say no to this shit.”
Why hadn’t Hillary’s team opted to “get this stuff out like 18 months ago?” Tanden asked in disbelief.
“Unbelievable,” Podesta responded.
Tanden then answered her own question: “They wanted to get away with it.”
Another email uncovered by WikiLeaks, from March 7, 2015, reveals how Clinton’s team scrambled to “clean up” President Obama’s assertion, in an interview with CBS News, that he was unaware Hillary was using a non-government email account.
“We need to clean this up – he has emails from her – they do not say state.gov,” Mills wrote in an email to Podesta.
The White House did “clean this up” days later, in a statement from White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who said the president was aware that Clinton used personal email address, but did not know she was using a private server to conduct all her official business, something no secretary of state had ever done.
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