A trove of hacked emails provides a glimpse at how panicked Hillary Clinton’s campaign staff was in the days leading up to the release of Clinton Cash, which was the first work of its kind to expose how then-Secretary of State Clinton gave special access to Clinton Foundation donors.
In one email exchange on May 1, 2015, Jennifer Palmieri, director of communications of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, explained how she had a “difficult conversation” with Clinton on the topic of Clinton Cash.
In an email sent from Huma Abedin, Clinton’s closets confidant, Clinton believed she needed to make a video “because her integrity is being attacked and she is the only one who can say she didnt make a decision as [Secretary of State] based on a donor.”
Clinton, Abedin continued, “doesn’t want to continue to have to have press yell these questions at her in Nevada and CA and if she doesn’t do the video, that is the situation she will be in.”
Clinton campaign chief strategist Joel Benenson apparently wanted to torpedo the video, explaining in one email that “the press will eviscerate her for hiding behind a video instead of answering their questions.”
A video from Clinton, Benenson wrote, “won’t stop questions from being shouted at her the first time the press can. She is going to have to take and answer the question from the press herself at some point whether she does the video today or not.”
The emails came two months after Clinton’s March 10 press conference at the United Nations, where she dodged questions about allegations of a pay-to-play scheme involving speaking fees to Bill Clinton and favorable government actions to longtime Clinton cronies and Clinton Foundation donors.
The Democratic White House hopeful never made the video she wanted, but was still excoriated for dodging the press and allowing Bill Clinton to field media inquires instead.