The transparency organization claims to be in possession of over 50,000 emails from Podesta, a key figure in the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The 14 batches that have so far been released have revealed a number of insights, and gathered here are the most interesting and damning details exposed in the leaks.
Emails containing excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches to financial institutions revealed the candidate’s double-sided nature.
"I mean, 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," she said.
"So you need both a public and a private position."
A message from political pundit Brent Budowsky to Podesta revealed the campaign’s concerns about the sordid past of Bill Clinton’s sex life.
“I had a multi-email exchange with someone in the media this morning – a name you would know – who is telling me that there are people close to the Clintons who say WJC’s (William Jefferson Clinton) sex life could be damaging to her," the email read.
An exchange between DNC official and CNN contributor Donna Brazile and Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri showed that Clinton received debate questions ahead of a town hall event in March.
“From time to time, I get the questions in advance. Here’s one that worries me,” Brazile wrote, followed by a question about the death penalty that was asked one day later at the event.
An email between Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin, communications adviser Mandy Grunwald, and Palmieri, revealed attempts to avoid discussions of Wall Street when up against primary rival Bernie Sanders.
“I agree with you. Bernie wants a fight on Wall Street. We should not give him one. Our polling shows this is one of our weakest areas. Further, our Wall Street approach has always been to agree about the problem, show passion about it, and say we have a better approach to holding the rascals accountable,” Grunwald said.
“We don’t need to prove he’s bad on Wall Street – that’s not really credible. We need to prove we’re ok. Most of all, we don’t want this fight.”
One exchange shows the need to keep explanations for Clinton’s email controversy short.
“You know I love you people very much and you are the smartest minds in America but this is LONG. This will be impossible to nail without a podium,” Clinton aide Huma Abedin wrote.
An email thread shows Clinton aides planning to reverse the candidate’s support of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement months before the primary race began.
“It sends the strongest signal not only to [organized] Labor but to where voters are on trade,” political consultant John Anzalone wrote.
“They feel they always get the raw end of the deal. I am less concerned about historical blowback on her [Clinton’s] past position than this issue eating us alive for being on the wrong side.”
An excerpt of a paid speech from 2013 shows Clinton voicing her support for hawkish military policies against China in order to pressure North Korea.
“We’re going to ring China with missile defense. We’re going to put more of our fleet in the area. So China, come on. You either control them or we’re going to have to defend against them,” she said.
One exchange reveals the campaign’s attempts to present an “alternate view” to a reporter threatening to write a negative story.
“Don’t be surprised if I write a column soon that Hillary is going to blow it, and is repeating her mistakes of 2008,” a journalist writes to Clinton supporter Roy Spence, adding that she has said, “virtually nothing important about what Democrats stand for, while the most admired person in the world is the pope for saying the kind of things she should be saying.”
“Who sent you that original e-mailing saying they were about to write a column?” Philippe Reines, Clinton’s former Senate and State Department aide, responds. “It’s awfully belligerent. But if it’s someone serious, we should start by presenting an alternate view.”
An email from longtime Clinton ally Douglas Band to Podesta and Cheryl Mills describes Clinton’s daughter Chelsea as “backstabbing.”
“She sends me one of these types of email every few days/week,” Band wrote. “As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far. A kiss on the cheek while she is sticking a knife in the back, and front.”
Leaked correspondence appears to show top Clinton aides accepting contributions from US citizens representing foreign states or nationals. An email from Dennis Cheng, the national finance director for the Clinton campaign, asked other aides “whether we are allowing those lobbying on behalf of foreign governments to raise $ for the campaign. Or case by case.”
“I’m ok just taking the money and dealing with any attacks,” he added. “Are you guys ok with that?”
An email to Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden reveals Podesta’s true feelings for Sanders.
“Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked?” he wrote.
Podesta seemed to confirm the dicey relationship between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Obama developed a real feud with Bib,” he wrote.
In email from January 2015, between Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman, John Podesta and Huma Abedin, a close Clinton aide, Abedin reveals her discomfort at the cozy relationship her boss has with some multi-million dollar donors.
Abedin recalls that it was Hillary Clinton's idea to approach the King of Morocco for money to fund her political campaign.
“This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request. The King has personally committed approx. $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting.”
In the most recently revealed collection, ad agency owner Roy Spence reiterates concerns about a journalist preparing to write a negative story about Clinton’s campaign.
“Don’t be surprised if I write a column soon that Hillary is going to blow it, and is repeating the mistakes of 2008, with stories about her ‘shadow campaign’ of consultants milking her for a lot of money, while she gives paid speeches to banks, while she acts like an incumbent,” Spence says, quoting the journalist.