Shocking new emails released from the latest Wikileaks dump of John Podesta’s hacked account reveal that President Barack Obama was fully aware that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private server. They also unmasked Obama’s one-time private email address, along with evidence that he might have compromised his own emails back in 2008.
Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images
Wikileaks published Part 13 of the Podesta dump today, and contained within was a correspondence from Jennifer Palmieri, who serves as the Director of Communications for Clinton’s presidential campaign. The email, dated March 8, 2015, provides damning evidence of Obama’s awareness of the illicit email address:
“Suggest Philippe talk to Josh or Eric. They know POTUS and HRC emailed. Josh has been asked about that. Standard practice is not to confirm anything about his email, so his answer to press was that he would not comment/confirm. I recollect that Josh was also asked if POTUS ever noticed her personal email account and he said something like POTUS likely had better things to do than focus on his Cabinet’s email addresses,” the message reads.
During an October 2015 appearance on “60 Minutes” – a full seven months after the above exchange took place – Obama was asked whether he knew that Clinton was using a private email server. His answer was an emphatic “no.” The president then went on to defend Clinton, insisting that she had owned up to her mistake and blaming the charged political climate for overblowing the issue.
Speculation began to mount last month that Obama was aware of Clinton’s private server when FBI documents revealed that “Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by email, and at least one of those emails ended up on Clinton’s private email server.”
As for Obama’s emails prior to his presidency, the latest leak uncovered that he used the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Five emails dating back to 2008 have shown up in the Podesta dump, some of which suggested that Obama was already getting ready to assume the Oval Office before the votes had even been cast on Election Day.
One of the emails from email@example.com contains a signature line showing that it was sent from Obama’s personal Blackberry device. At the time, White House security officials demanded that the new president stick to a safer method of communication, warning that foreign actors would be able to more easily gain access to classified information via the wireless device.
Obama was so insistent on sticking to his Blackberry that intelligence officials were forced to come up with alternative security solutions.
Another questionable email comes from Michael Froman, the current U.S. Trade Representative. The email, titled “Diversity” and dated October 6, 2008, contains “A list of African American, Latino and Asian American candidates… whose names have been recommended by a number of sources for senior level jobs in a potential Administration.”
At the time, Froman worked for Citigroup, where he took home $7.4 million in the year of 2008 alone. Several of the people recommended by the Wall Street bigwig were eventually granted positions with Obama’s cabinet, and Froman himself went on to rise through the ranks in the White House until eventually landing his high-powered gig.
While the Podesta leaks have mostly proved damaging to Clinton’s presidential ambitions and to the Democratic party mechanism as a whole, the latest wave of revelations could spell trouble for the outgoing president’s legacy.