Emails published by WikiLeaks over the weekend revealed an “agreement” between the campaigns of U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The emails showed top Clinton campaign aides discussing how to control what the Vermont senator said about the former secretary of state during the primary race using the “leverage” they had over him. In the recent weeks, whistleblower website WikiLeaks has been publishing emails hacked from Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s personal Gmail account.
The latest dump over the weekend showed the Clinton campaign did not take Sanders’ comments on the Clintons’ wealth lightly. In an interview with CNBC in May, Sanders was asked about the impact of Clinton’s wealth on her policy-making decisions.
“Theoretically you can be a multibillionaire and in fact be very concerned about the issues of working people. Theoretically that’s true,” Sanders said.
“When you hustle money like that, you don’t sit in restaurants like this. You sit in restaurants where you spend, I don’t know what they spend, hundreds of dollars for dinner and so forth. That’s the world you are accustomed to. And that’s the worldview that you adopt. I’m not going to condemn Hillary and Bill Clinton because they’ve made a lot of money. That type of wealth has the potential to isolate you from the reality of the world,” he added.
The quote was sent to Clinton Campaign Manager Robby Mook who replied, “This isn’t in keeping [with] the agreement. Since we clearly have some leverage, would be good to flag this for him.”
The weekend dump also contained an email dated December last year that had a memo on how to use Sanders’ eventual endorsement of Clinton to gain ground with the senator’s supporters. In the memo, Mook lists one of the objectives of the campaign post the primaries “will be communicating Democratic unity and using Sanders and others to help drive contrast and urgency.”
“We should be very aggressive about saying the primary has ended as early as possible, since it will save us money and give us a further head start on four key transition activities,” Mook wrote. The transition activities include a “unity event” with Sanders.
Sanders officially endorsed Clinton in July this year to unite against their common rival, Donald Trump.
“I have come here to make it as clear as possible why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president,” Sanders said at a joint rally in New Hampshire. “Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nomination and I congratulate her for that.”
Meanwhile, an email from July last year showed that the Clinton campaign already had journalists working with them to bring Sanders’ supporters over to the Democratic nominee’s side. An email shows that Brent Budowsky, whose bylines appear in the Hill and the Huffington Post, wrote to Podesta advising the campaign to suggest Democratic candidates come to an agreement to not run negative ads against each other during the primaries.
He added that he was also “repeatedly writing friendly and positive pieces about Bernie as an HRC supporter, and when the time is right I will have money in the bank with him and his people as a liberal to urge them to come out in force to vote for HRC.....which is not a given, and we won't have much margin for error in a close election.”
Aside from making public the workings of Clinton’s campaign, the hacked emails also reveal other important information about the former secretary of state such as her support for fracking and her belief that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were supporting the Islamic State group.