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Leaked Podesta emails address Obama polling in 2008, executive privilege

Podesta's hacked emails

Emails leaked from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s private email account Friday by WikiLeaks addressed using executive privilege to keep the emails between Hillary Clinton and President Obama from being released, a 2008 survey testing reaction to then-Sen. Obama’s Muslim father and use of cocaine, and a suggestion from former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on how to take Clinton out of the “bubble.”


March 2015: Podesta wrote to Cheryl Mills about withholding emails between Clinton and Obama

Six days before Hillary Clinton spoke to reporters at the United Nations about her private email server, Podesta wrote to Cheryl Mills, “Think we should hold emails to and from potus? That’s the heart of his exec privilege. We could get them to ask for that. They may not care, but I seems like they will.” 

In September, Politico reported that the State Department would not release emails exchanged between Clinton and Obama to the public, citing the “presidential communications privilege,” which is another name for the executive privilege. Claiming the privilege enables the president to withhold certain information that has been requested by other branches of government or by the public. This means that the emails the two wrote to each other won’t be released until 5 to 12 years after the end of the Obama administration, as dictated by the Presidential Records Act.


January 2008: Clinton pollster proposed message testing lines on Obama--including reference to his Muslim father, past cocaine use

An email referring to “McCain Survey-3” from Greenberg research listed a number of survey questions with “negative facts” about Clinton’s primary opponent, then-Sen. Obama. Kristi Fuksa, of Greenberg Research, sent the email to Democratic operatives including Podesta, Paul Begala, Tara McGuinness and Susan McCue

The statements floated included subjects like his upbringing among Muslims, his father’s Muslim faith, his referring to past cocaine use as “a little blow” -- here’s the survey:

* 1 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) was the only candidate at a recent event not to cover his heart during the national anthem and he has stopped wearing an American flag pin. 

* 2 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) benefited from a land deal from a contributor who has been indicted for corruption. 

* 3 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) would personally negotiate with the leaders of terrorist nations like Iran and North Korea without preconditions. 

* 4 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) voted against allowing people to use handguns to defend themselves against intruders. 

 * 5 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) plans to raise taxes by 180 (one hundred and eighty) billion dollars a year to pay for his government-run health care plan 

* 6 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) voted repeatedly against emergency funding bills for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

* 7 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh)‘s father was a Muslim and Obama grew up among Muslims in the world’s most populous Islamic country.

* 8 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) is ranked as one of the ten most liberal members of the Senate because of his support of issues like gay adoption. 

* 9 (Other) 

* 10 (All) 

 * 11 (None) 

 * 12 (Don’t know/refused) 

 * 13 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) voted against requiring medical care for aborted fetuses who survive the procedure. 

 * 14 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) supports giving driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants 

* 15 Obama (owe-BAHM-uh) described his former use of cocaine as using “a little blow.” 

Begala told the Washington Post that the survey was named for John McCain because “it was designed to test attacks that might come in the general election.” He also pointed out that “every campaign and every PAC tests potential negatives against the candidate they support...that’s all it was.”


July 2015: Jennifer Granholm’s suggestion on how to get Clinton out of the “bubble”

The former Michigan governor suggested Clinton could dispense with the idea that she’s “out of touch” by doing “work days,” in which she’d pick “8 occupations that she is willing to spend one day working at. She humbles herself, but gives dignity to the workers whose salaries she wants to raise.” Some of Granholm’s suggestions included working as a janitor in a school cafeteria, at a daycare center, making beds in a hotel, bussing tables at Denny’s or working “behind the counter at McDonalds or Chipotle’s!” 

CBS News’ Steve Chaggaris and Donald Judd contributed to this report

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