Every day this week Wikileaks has released hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. There have been no major bombshells so far, but there are emails that reflect poorly on the campaign and raise questions about relationships with people outside the Brooklyn headquarters.
While the Clinton campaign is not confirming the authenticity of the emails, it maintains the hack was done by the Russians to aide Donald Trump. The Trump campaign, meanwhile, has jumped on the leaked emails and the Republican nominee has been bringing them up on the trail. Here are four of the most talked-about emails:
“Rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals”
An email exchange between Center for American Progress fellow John Halpin and Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri had some negative things to say about Catholicism and evangelical Christians.
“Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative movement are all Catholic (many converts) . . . It's an amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy," Halpin wrote.
“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals,” Palmieri responded.
The Trump campaign held a conference call to discuss the comments Wednesday and former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu, R-N.H., issued a statement on behalf of the campaign that said the emails “revealed an underlying sense of religious bigotry.”
But on Wednesday Palmieri told reporters she didn’t remember sending the email.
"I'm a Catholic, I don't recognize that email that we saw. This whole effort is led by the Russians. The Russians orchestrated this hack,” Palmieri said.
“Questions in advance”
Donna Brazile who is now the acting chair of the Democratic National Committee emailed that she had gotten a question ahead of a March town hall that “worries me about HRC.” The question was about the death penalty. Clinton ended up being asked a very similar question during the town hall.
The Trump campaign has accused the Democratic Party of receiving favoritism by getting questions in advance. The email also raises the question why Brazile, who was a vice chairwoman at the DNC and a CNN contributor at the time of the email, seemed to be rooting for Clinton while she was in a primary battle with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The DNC is supposed to stay neutral in the primary. Brazile became interim chair after Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned this summer following DNC email leaks that seemed to show some employees favoring Clinton over Sanders.
Brazile denied the accusations in a statement Tuesday.
“As a longtime political activist with deep ties to our party, I supported all of our candidates for president. I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue. As it pertains to the CNN Debates, I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did,” Brazile said in a statement.
Brian Fallon, Clinton’s press secretary and the former director of the Department of Justice’s Office of Public affairs, emailed that he had heard "from DOJ folks" there would be a status hearing regarding public release of Clinton’s State Department emails.
"DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning, so we could have a window into the judge's thinking about this proposed production schedule as quickly as today,” Fallon wrote.
While the statement took place before the FBI’s investigation into her private email server, it raises questions about the relationship between the campaign and the DOJ. Trump and Republicans have excoriated DOJ’s decision not to pursue charges over Clinton’s private email server, even though the FBI recommended no charges.
Podesta emailed Clinton in August with the names and contact information for Latino politicians who he recommended Clinton call to gain support. In the email, which included “Needy Latinos” in the subject line, Podesta urged Clinton to reach out to former transportation Secretary Federico Peña and former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and ask for endorsements. Podesta framed both Peña and Richardson as influencers who could help Clinton if they endorsed.
Podesta was justifying why he had encouraged former president Bill Clinton and Richardson to “bury the hatchet.”
“Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and not withstanding the fact that he can be a dick, it was worth getting him in a good place," Podesta wrote.