More questions about Clinton emails to Obama

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Today brought the eighteenth Wikileaks release of emails from a top aide to Hillary Clinton, as the internet group continues to post communications from inside the Clinton campaign, with new questions being raised today about whether President Obama knew that Hillary Clinton was using a private email server during her time as Secretary of State.

Here’s an update on what we’re learning:

1. Clinton emails to President Obama. As we have seen in earlier emails, a news story from the New York Times which suggested that President Obama didn’t know that Clinton was using a private email server caused some concern among Clinton aides. An email released today shows Cheryl Mills saying, “we need to clean this up.”

2. Clinton team fighting it out over her emails. One thing these emails have shown is that there was an intense discussion within the Clinton team on how to handle her emails on the private server. Some aides wanted to release them all immediately. “Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy,” said aide Neera Tanden to Podesta in March of 2015.

3. Trump latches on to 2008 polling email. Donald Trump this week has used a 2008 email of the Clinton team about polling “oversamples” to make his case that the Democrats and the media are capable of rigging the polling against his bid for the White House. The problem for that argument is the email itself, which talks about “oversamples” by an internal Democratic pollster to hone the Clinton campaign’s message to minority voters. Pollsters from both parties have said Trump was wrong to conflate the issues of ‘oversamples’ with rigged polls. It’s a reminder that I have seen way too much stuff from Wikileaks get taken out of context

4. Still nothing from after March 21. While Wikileaks tweeted at me last Friday, and teased the possibility of Podesta emails dated after March 21, they still haven’t showed any on line. That seems to corroborate stories that say Podesta was the victim of a phishing hack on March 19, in which he unwittingly gave away his email password, and allowed hackers to get his emails. Also, Wikileaks has not released the actual phishing email – one would think that has too many clues in it on who was doing the phishing – many believe that group was tied to Russian intelligence.

5. What about Russian intelligence? Every time that I post something about the Podesta documents, someone writes to chide me for doing it, raising the question of Russian disinformation. It is a difficult question to deal with as a reporter. The Podesta emails are chock full of interesting, behind the scenes stuff on the Clinton campaign. And yet, it doesn’t take a rocket scientists to see how much it’s being reported by RT.com, the Russian government backed news organization. In fact, several times, RT.com has announced the latest release of Podesta emails before Wikileaks has done so. This tweet is from a former US ambassador to Russia.


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