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WikiLeaks Releases More Purported Emails, Bringing Total To More Than 11,000

John Podesta walks off stage after delivering a speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention July 25 in Philadelphia.
Drew Angerer
Getty Images
John Podesta walks off stage after delivering a speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention July 25 in Philadelphia.

WikiLeaks on Saturday released another tranche of emails allegedly linked to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, bringing the total to more than 11,000 emails released over the last eight days.

This batch was the eighth installment of what Wikileaks says are Podesta's emails, and the controversial organization claims to have more than 50,000 emails in total that they plan to release.

The Clinton campaign has not confirmed that the hacked emails are real and NPR has not been able to confirm their authenticity, but the campaign has linked the hack to Russia and says Moscow is interfering with the election to promote Donald Trump's candidacy.

Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin told NPR in a statement:

"There is no getting around it: Donald Trump is cheering on a Russian attempt to influence our election through a crime reminiscent of Watergate but on a more massive scale. We're witnessing another effort to steal private campaign documents in order to influence an election. Only this time, instead of filing cabinets, it's people's emails they're breaking into and a foreign government is behind it. Oddly, Trump continues to defend Putin and deflect blame. It's time for Donald Trump to condemn this intrusion by the Kremlin and tell voters what did his campaign know and when did they know it."

If the emails are authentic, they provide insight into the private conversations happening at the highest levels of the Clinton campaign. So far, those conversations have included how to defend Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and potential problematic excerpts from her Wall Street speeches.

And this latest batch claims to reveals yet more of those Wall Street appearances: as NPR's Tamara Keith has reported, full transcripts of three speeches given to Goldman Sachs appear to be included.

Here are some other notable takeaways from the latest batch, so far:

Hillary Clinton Criticized "Poll-Tested" Lines

In an email from June 2015, titled "HRC reactions," speechwriter Dan Schwerin appeared to relay feedback on speeches from Clinton herself, saying the Democratic nominee had expressed "a fair amount of frustration with how things are going."

Schwerin goes on to say that although Clinton had been happy with her policy speeches, the campaign has also been giving her "poll-tested lines that don't work."

She emphatically wanted to keep a line in her speeches about "four fights" which, Schwerin writes, she had to come up with herself because "we didn't give her anything better."

As Clinton is often criticized for giving speeches with carefully chosen words, the fact that she criticized her staff's use of poll-tested lines is noteworthy.

Questioning Juanita Broaddrick's Rape Accusation

On Jan. 7 of this year, Clinton lawyer David Kendall appeared to email Podesta documents that the attorney said added doubt to Broaddrick's claim that Bill Clinton raped her in the late 1970s. It's an indication that the campaign may have been worried about the effect Broaddrick's accusation might have on Hillary Clinton's bid for the White House.

The day before the email, Broaddrick had tweeted, "I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73 ... it never goes away."

Broaddrick told the Washington Post in 1999 that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1978. But Broaddrick also signed a sworn affidavit in 1998 saying "there were unfounded rumors and stories circulated that Mr. Clinton had made unwelcome sexual advances toward me in the late seventies"

Shortly after the Post interview, Broaddrick told The Drudge Report that Hillary Clinton approached her after the assault at a rally. "She caught me and took my hand and said 'I am so happy to meet you. I want you to know that we appreciate everything you do for Bill,'" Broaddrick claimed.

In the January email to Podesta, Kendall began by saying "pursuant to our call last night," indicating that the two had been talking after Broaddrick's tweet. Kendall apparently attached documents to the email that he said would help cast doubt on Broaddrick's accusation, including the affidavit Broaddrick signed denying the assault.

At the end of the email, Kendall wrote, "Please let me know if there's anything else I can provide about this slimefest."

Michael Bloomberg As Secretary Of State

In June 2015, Neera Tanden, CEO of the Center for America Progress and a Clinton supporter, appears to have emailed a tweet to Howard Wolfson, an aide to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. The tweet linked to an article titled, "NY Dems push Bloomberg to run for president."

Wolfson confirmed to Tanden that Bloomberg was not running, saying the idea was "laughable." Tanden replied, "Is there something Mike Bloomberg would want to do in his life in an Admin? Is like Ambassador to China way too small?"

Wolfson wrote back: "Secty of state Which ain't gonna happen."

Tanden then forwarded the exchange to Podesta — which is why it's included in the batch of hacked emails — telling him it was "something to know for down the road."

Although Bloomberg began his mayoral tenure as a Republican and is now an independent, he has supported Clinton in her 2016 bid for president.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Meg Anderson is an editor on NPR's Investigations team, where she shapes the team's groundbreaking work for radio, digital and social platforms. She served as a producer on the Peabody Award-winning series Lost Mothers, which investigated the high rate of maternal mortality in the United States. She also does her own original reporting for the team, including the series Heat and Health in American Cities, which won multiple awards, and the story of a COVID-19 outbreak in a Black community and the systemic factors at play. She also completed a fellowship as a local reporter for WAMU, the public radio station for Washington, D.C. Before joining the Investigations team, she worked on NPR's politics desk, education desk and on Morning Edition. Her roots are in the Midwest, where she graduated with a Master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.