WikiLeaks has brought shades of Cold War subterfuge to the US presidential campaign, publishing documents that in any other election might have tarnished Hillary Clinton.
But not this time. Not while the Democratic candidate's Republican opponent, Donald Trump, continues to dominate the news cycle.
Some revelations are embarrassing, like the 84 slogans Clinton's campaign rejected before settling on "I'm With Her" and "Stronger Together." Some proposals: "No Quit," "Next Begins With You" and "Unleash Opportunity."
But there's much more Trump could mine for attacks. The emails — believed to have been stolen by Russian hackers — might have been a sharper political weapon had Trump not made himself the dominant news story with conspiracy theories about a "rigged" election and accusations of sexual impropriety or sexual assault against him from a series of women.
"The thing with Trump is he's just a walking controversy," says Geoff Skelley, a political analyst with the University of Virginia's Centre for Politics. "[WikiLeaks] is getting covered, but those aren't the stories people are clicking on. They're clicking on stories that say Donald Trump makes lewd comments; Donald Trump walks into Miss Teen USA's dressing room; Donald Trump makes unsolicited approaches on women."
None of the correspondence directly involves Clinton, and much of the daily trickle of WikiLeaks material appears to be pretty innocuous. Anyone looking for a fuller roundup is encouraged to dive into WikiLeaks themselves, but here's a sprinkling of what the emails contain:
Clinton has long refused to release transcripts from a series of lucrative talks she gave to bankers and other special interest groups between 2013 and 2015. It now seems clear why.
In a closed-door speech to the National Multi-Housing Council, she describes the need for politicians to hold "both a public and a private position" on policy.
In remarks from a 2013 speech to a Brazilian banking crowd, she said: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders." As WikiLeaks did release the full transcript of her speech, it's not clear if she is talking about movement of goods or people, though Clinton has claimed she was talking energy policy. It would be a far cry from how she frames her "secure our borders" stance on immigration.
WikiLeaks: 'Clinton-Kaine Even Lied About Timing of Veep Pick'https://t.co/e1NVdpSfNr— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2016
Clinton camp chief strategist @benensonj: "I've seen things" in Wikileaks emails "that aren't authentic" #ThisWeek https://t.co/LPQJBfACqz — This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 23, 2016
Emails from the Democratic National Committee's servers showed apparent favouritism of Clinton over Sanders, her rival in the primaries, and what appeared to be efforts to undermine Sanders's presidential campaign, despite the committee's supposedly neutral stance.
Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned after the emails surfaced, including one in which she refers to Sanders's campaign manager Jeff Weaver as a "damn liar" and another in which she accuses Sanders of having "no understanding" of the Democratic Party, as an Independent running for the leadership.
DNC officials also discussed ways to exploit Sanders's possible vulnerability on faith questions by getting him to discuss whether he believes in God.
Sanders has since endorsed Clinton.
WikiLeaks Document Shows Apparent Gender Pay Gap at Clinton Foundation | Fox News Insider #HypocriteHillary https://t.co/4BiscANBa9— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 22, 2016
Chelsea Clinton email to Podesta: Foundation not paying bills. Didn't Hillary accuse Trump of screwing the little guy? #PodestaEmails15 pic.twitter.com/BGUHFE97SY — Deplorable Terry (@xebec78) October 22, 2016
Another email in the Podesta Gmail hacks carries the subject line "From time to time I get the questions in advance." In it, interim DNC chair Donna Brazile shares a question about the death penalty with Palmieri the day before Clinton's March 13 CNN Town Hall debate against Sanders.
Brazile, a CNN commentator at the time, denies she ever sent any draft question, but the episode has been difficult to shake while Trump continues pushing a narrative about election collusion.
It wasn't the crime, but the coverup that killed Nixon. #HillaryLies #Coverup https://t.co/Iy4lR4LVjo— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) October 20, 2016
In an email about the San Bernardino shooter, Podesta laments that the gunman was later identified by MSNBC reporter Christopher Hayes as having the Muslim-sounding name Syed Farook.
Podesta's response on December 2, 2015: "Better if a guy named Sayeed Farouk was reporting that a guy named Christopher Hayes was a shooter."
Another email mocks Sanders as a "doofus." Asked this week by CNN's Wolf Blitzer whether he did, in fact, make the comment, Podesta said he had "great respect" and "affection" for Sanders, though he disagreed with Sanders's opposition to the Paris climate change deal.
"I'll take that as a yes," Blitzer responded.
[This is an excerpt of CBC article, which can be found at http://bit.ly/2euYI0K]
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