Senior Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin pitched the idea to top staffers that Hillary Clinton should not take questions from the press at campaign events because it would overshadow the campaign’s message, according to emails released by WikiLeaks, The Hill reported.
“Can we survive not answering questions from press at message events[?]” Abedin, who serves as Clinton’s campaign vice chairwoman, asked in a May 2015 email, according to Politico. “Her [David Dinkins Forum] speech and immigration message broke through because we didn’t take questions.”
Abedin wrote in the emails that the desired narrative of the campaign got lost when she took questions after speeches that focused on off-topic matters, such as the Clinton email scandal and the Clinton Foundation.
“Her community banks message got lost because she answered questions about the foundation and emails,” she wrote.
“In the fall, starting to do avails at message events, interviews, and q and a with press but having had a series of policy proposals already announced and reported on that she could point to.”
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta shot down Abedin’s idea.
“If she thinks we can get to Labor Day without taking press questions, I think that’s suicidal,” he wrote back. “We have to find some mechanism to let the stream [sic] out of the pressure cooker.”
Clinton went 275 days without holding a press conference, finally holding one in September.
WikiLeaks has released more than 6,500 emails from Podesta’s private email account during the past few days. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claims to have at least 50,000, according to The Hill.