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The John Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks

Last Updated Oct 20, 2016 7:41 PM EDT

Katiana Krawchenko, Donald Judd, Nancy Cordes, Julianna Goldman, Reena Flores, Rebecca Shabad, Emily Schultheis, Alexander Romano, Steve Chaggaris and the Associated Press contributed to this compilation

WikiLeaks says it has some 50,000 Hillary Clinton campaign emails, and on Fri. Oct. 7, it began leaking the personal emails Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The group said it would release emails every day until Election Day. Podesta acknowledged his emails were hacked, but has not verify the authenticity of the emails. He warned that messages may have been altered or edited to inflict political damage but has not pointed to any specific case of this.

Cybersecurity experts said on Thursday that Fancy Bear, a group of Russian-linked hackers, had infiltrated Podesta’s email. U.S. intelligence officials last week blamed the Russian government for a series of breaches intended to influence the presidential election, and the FBI is investigating the breach. CBS News’ Nancy Cordes reported that Podesta on Tuesday went step-by-step through all the contact Donald Trump and his campaign aides have had with Russian actors or with Wikileaks. 

Through its Twitter account, the Russian Embassy in Washington has denied any role in the cyberattacks, suggesting U.S. officials are just “whipping up” anti-Russia hysteria.

The messages stolen from Podesta’s account describe how Clinton’s closest advisers considered responding to key events during the campaign, including the discovery of her email server and her congressional testimony over the deadly 2012 attacks on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, as well as excerpts of Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches. The batches have also included emails from then-DNC vice chairwoman Donna Brazile which seem to show a preference for Clinton over other Democratic candidates. Here are the highlights of the emails, with the most recent leaked email highlights at the top.

Thurs. Oct. 20: Fancy Bear linked to Podesta hacking

Cybersecurity experts confirmed that Podesta’s Gmail account was infiltrated by the same Russian hackers who targeted other Democratic groups.  The cybersecurity firm Secureworks said it has determined that Podesta unwittingly entered his credentials on a fake Google login page set up by “Fancy Bear” -- a notorious group of Russian-linked hackers. Podesta was lured to the site by a shortened link in one of his emails -- a practice known as “spearfishing.”

Tues. Oct 18 email release

March 2016: Podesta sends Clinton the long list of potential runnning mates

The list was compiled by Podesta and Clinton’s top advisers. “I have organized names in rough food groups,” he wrote.

And the 39 names included some of the most successful business people in the world: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bill and Melinda Gates, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, GE CEO Mary Barra, and Apple CEO Tim Cook, among others.

Prominent black politicians who made the list were New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx; Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, Columbia, South Carolina Mayor Steve Benjamin, and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

There were several women elected officials on the list -- mostly senators: Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Stabenow, Jeanne Shaheen -- who was also governor of New Hampshire -- Kirsten Gillibrand, Tammy Baldwin, Amy Klobuchar and Claire McCaskill. 

Hispanic politicians who made the long list were Julian Castro, Tom Perez, Ken Salazar, Xavier Becerra and Eric Garcetti (the LA mayor is Jewish, Italian and Mexican).

Gen. John Allen (ret.), former Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen (ret.) and Adm. Bill McRaven (ret.), who also served as U.S. Special Operations commander, offered strong national security credentials. 

The white male contingent was made up of a few senators -- Michael Bennet, Sherrod Brown, Tim Kaine, whom Clinton eventually chose to be her running mate, Martin Heinreich and Chris Murphy, as well as Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is an old Clinton friend going back decades, and Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. 

Another white male senator was in his own grouping at the bottom: Clinton’s then-primary rival, Bernie Sanders.

December 2013: Podesta calls Sanders a “doofus” over his attack of Paris climate deal

Top Clinton aide Neera Tanden congratulated Podesta on the announcement of the Paris climate deal in December. “My children and their future children thank you,” she wrote. Podesta, who has long championed the reduction of carbon emissions, oversaw climate and energy policy as counselor to the president. Under the Paris agreement, the U.S. promised to reduce its emissions by 25 - 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.

Podesta responded, “Thanks, Neera. Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked it?”

Tanden had also noted that the Paris deal “wouldn’t have happened w o the china deal.” Podesta and U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern negotiated the deal with China to cap carbon emissions, announced the month before.

Sun. Oct. 16 email release

WikiLeaks continued Sunday with its daily dump of emails from the hacked personal account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

In its massive Sunday release, several emails showcased the inner workings of the campaign, including exchanges that discussed how the campaign should handle foreign government lobbyists’ donations, how Clinton could better handle apologizing for her use of a private email server, and how the campaign should handle issues of the candidate’s health records and taxes.

Here are some of the highlights: 

April 2015: Clinton campaign discusses what to do with foreign government lobbyist donations

Clinton National Finance Director Dennis Cheng wrote in April that the campaign needed to make a policy decision on whether to allow those lobbying on behalf of foreign governments to raise money for the Clinton campaign.  After some debate, campaign manager Robby Mook responded that he was “OK just taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Jennifer Palmieri agreed: “Take the money!!”

A week later, however, it became apparent that that decision had not been run by Hillary Clinton. Huma Abedin wrote to Mook to say that Clinton had read in the paper that the campaign would be taking FARA money, and she wanted to discuss who the donors were and “weigh in,” according to Abedin.

August 2015: Tanden fears Clinton’s inability to show remorse for email server will become “a character problem”

Neera Tanden wrote to Podesta saying she fears that Clinton’s inability to do a national interview and communicate genuine remorse for having a private email server is becoming a character problem. “I see no downside in her actually just saying, look,  I’m sorry. I think it will take so much air out of this,” Tanden wrote.

Clinton, Tanden said, “always sees herself bending to ‘their’ will when she hands over information....But the way she has to bend here is in the remorse. Not the ‘if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it.’ A real feeling of -- this decision I made created a mess and I’m sorry I did that.”

Tanden continued, “No one things she doesn’t have the judgment to be president -- she’s not reaffirming a negative characteristic in saying sorry. She needs to do that. I see no way of moving on until October otherwise.” 

In this email, Tanden was talking about October 2015. it was not until July 2016 that the FBI announced it would not recommend charges against Clinton, a conclusion that is still being questioned by House Republicans, in particular.

March 2015: Mook on taxes and Clinton’s health:

Robby Mook asked Podesta if he had ever talked to Clinton about issues surrounding her health or her taxes. “I’m know both are hyper sensitive but I wonder if both are better dealt with very early so we control them--rather than responding to calls for transparency.  What do you think?” Mook wrote.

Sat. Oct. 15 email release

WikiLeaks released what they claim were the transcripts from Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches in 2013. This batch of emails also included a look at an email about Juanita Broaddrick, who accused former President Bill Clinton of raping her in the late 1970s. 

January 2016: Transcripts of Clinton’s Goldman Sachs paid speeches 

In one email from earlier this year, Podesta received three transcripts for speeches to Goldman Sachs that Clinton had given in 2013.

Some of the more notable excerpts are below:

  • Ironically, Clinton once told an audience at Goldman Sachs: “You know, I would like to see more successful business people run for office. I really would like to see that because I do think, you know, you don’t have to have 30 billion, but you have a certain level of freedom. And there’s that memorable phrase from a former member of the Senate: You can be maybe rented but never bought. And I think it’s important to have people with those experiences.”
  • Clinton joked that “this is all off the record, right?” before launching into a discussion about WikiLeaks: “So, all right. This is all off the record, right? You’re not telling your spouses if they’re not here...Okay. I was Secretary of State when WikiLeaks happened.  You remember that whole debacle.  So out come hundreds of thousands of documents. And I have to go on an apology tour. And I had a jacket made like a rock star tour.  The Clinton Apology Tour. I had to go and apologize to anybody who was in any way characterized in any of the cables in any way that might be considered less than flattering. And it was painful.”
  • Clinton weighed in on Syria and how a no-fly zone would “kill a lot of Syrians”: “My view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene. 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... But the idea that we would have like a no fly zone -- Syria, of course, did have when it started the fourth biggest army in the world. It had very sophisticated air defense systems. They’re getting more sophisticated thanks to Russian imports. To have a no fly zone you have to takeout all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas.  So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting our pilots at risk -- you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians.”

January 2016: David Kendall gives Podesta a history of Juanita Broaddrick’s allegations

A January 2016 email from Clinton’s personal lawyer, David Kendall, to Podesta gave a breakdown of the history of allegations made by Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Mr. Clinton of raping her in the late 1970s.

Broaddrick was among the three past accusers of the former president who attended last week’s debate in St. Louis at the invitation of Trump. Mr. Clinton has denied the rape accusation made by Broaddrick, which was never adjudicated by a criminal court.

The documents in the WikiLeaks release include the affidavit that Broaddrick signed saying that Mr. Clinton did not assault her and the independent counsel’s history of the Paula Jones case in which Broaddrick later received immunity from any prosecution for perjury if she changed her story.

“Voila! She did, disavowing her sworn affidavit and sworn deposition testimony,” Kendall wrote in the email to Podesta. He concluded, “Please let me know if there’s anything else I can provide about this slimefest.”