While Hillary Clinton has little to worry about in terms of a mass audience reaction to the ongoing leaks from the Podesta emails, conveniently overshadowed by the relentless media furore over the Trump Tapes at a 15 to 1 ratio in terms of non-stop media exposure. Overnight the man in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal, Hillary’s campaign manager John Podesta slammed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday for helping Republican rival Donald Trump in the White House race, while accusing Moscow of being behind the hack.
While so far there have been no major damaging revelations, aside from Hillary’s admissions in her Wall Street speech transcripts that she had one “persona” for public appearances, and a vastly different one for well-paid private ones, the massive leak does lift the veil on Team Clinton’s inner workings.
Cited by AFP, Podesta described the timing of the leak, which came late on Friday, as a “curious coincidence”, coming shortly after The Washington Post published a shock video of Donald Trump making lewd boasts about groping women in 2005. Alternatively, one can say that the release of the Trump tapes came as a “curious coincidence” just as Wikileaks would reveal what much of the right of center audience was so interested in.
The veteran political aide, who served in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, suggested that the release “was their countermove to try to take the public’s attention off the despicable things that Donald Trump said on that video.” Again, one can counter with precisely the opposite, and judging by the amount of media time dedicated to each, it appears Wikileaks lost.
Pressed on why Clinton has had a “softer” attitude in her private remarks to Wall Street about the need for regulations after the 2008 financial crash than she did as a candidate, Podesta disagreed. “What she says in private and what she says in public is that she will crack down on Wall Street abuses,” he said. “She said you know your industry best. That doesn’t mean regulators can’t crack down on them.”
Podesta declined to answer most questions about those e-mails, saying, “I’m not confirming the validity of the e-mails.”
“Whether that was Mr Assange’s decision to try to help Mr Trump or whether there was some coordination involved, I have no way of knowing. I’m just saying, it’s an awfully curious coincidence that it happened virtually as soon as the water temperature was moving to a boil,” Podesta told journalists aboard a campaign plane traveling from Miami to New York. Padesta added: “We can’t confirm the accuracy of those leaks, we know that the Russians might have passed on doctored documents.”
“I would say that the Russian interference in this election and their apparent attempt to influence it on behalf of Mr Trump should be of utmost concern to all Americans.”
Translation: the leaks were correct, and while we have no idea who is behind them, we will just blame the Russians – after all, how can they possibly retaliate with diplomatic conditions already dreadful.
Podesta also accused longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone of receiving “advance warning” about WikiLeaks’s plan to publish the hacked emails. He slammed Trump for taking positions “more consistent with Russian foreign policy than US foreign policy”, pointing the Republican nominee’s hostility toward the NATO transatlantic alliance and his indulgence toward Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
“I think there is definitely circumstantial evidence that Mr. Stone must have been witting about what was to come” Podesta said. “It’s a reasonable assumption or at least a reasonable conclusion that Mr. Stone had advance warning” and that, through him, Trump was warned “about what Assange was going to do,” Podesta said.
Meanwhile, the infamous FBI is now also involved: according to Bloomberg, the FBI told Podesta on Sunday that it is investigating a hack of his Gmail account in connection with the broader hacking probe.
Trump, who continues to question Russia’s role in the high-profile leaks of e-mails, is “either willfully ignoring the information that’s coming from the highest reaches of the U.S. intelligence community” or is “an unwitting agent of the Russian federation,” Podesta said.
Meanwhile, Trump pounced on the hack, saying the leaked emails “make more clear than ever just how much is at stake in this election.”
“This election will determine whether we remain a free country, or we become a corrupt Banana Republic controlled by large donors and foreign governments,” he told supporters.
He added: “The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.”
In other words, no matter who wins on November 8, that “evil hacking mastermind” Vladimit Putin appears to face a win-win situation.
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