Wikileaks: Top Aide to Hillary Clinton Urges her to Recruit Two ‘Needy Latinos’

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Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta wrote an email in August 2015 urging her to recruit two “Needy Latinos” who were waiting for her call, according to the Wikileaks site.

The email was sent by Podesta to Clinton and her top aide, Huma Abedin, and the subject line was “Needy Latinos and 1 easy call,”

Podesta urged Clinton to call three likely recruits for her campaign: Federico Pena, a former cabinet member for President Bill Clinton, plus former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, and former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges.

In notes about calling Pena, Podesta mentions former Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado, who Podesta calls “an absolute trooper” and who wants to get Pena “on board.” The August 21 date of the email is notable as a Denver Post article from just five days before, August 16, recorded that Clinton appointed Salazar as chairman of her White House transition team, should she be elected.

Podesta makes a reference to “Clinton World” and relays a report from a recent meeting between Salazar and Pena, “he’s close to committing but carrying some baggage. Fed never said this to me but he confided to Ken that his Cabinet stints ripped up his family, he gave everything to the cause and no time to his family, he went through a messy divorce in the late 90’s and was left really down and felt like no one reached out to him then so he felt pretty cut off from Clinton World.”

The message continued;

In 07, the only candidate that asked for his support was Obama, so he endorsed. (by the way, not sure any of this is factually accurate, but this is how he is feeling). His life now revolves around his new wife, Cindy, who is a supporter of yours and came to the fundraiser at the Chambers house. He kind of wants to be with you, but this stuff is still grinding on him.

The email from Podesta goes on to urge a call to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who describes himself as a Latino. Podesta noted:

I had heard that you were upset that I encouraged a call between WJC and Richardson to bury the hatchet. I did that at the request of Jose Villarreal who pushed me and made the point that Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and not withstanding the fact that he can be a dick, it was worth getting him in a good place.

He continues, “He had a good conversation with the President and has been good in his interviews since. I have pressed Bill, but I think it will take a call from you to get a formal endorsement. He’s on Meet the Press on Sunday. Probably worth a quick call to ask him to stay stout and publicly endorse, but if it’s too galling, don’t bother.”

The final call Podesta urged was to former South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges, who is not a Latino. Podesta included some notes about a recent event with Hodges and Steve Benjamin, mayor of Columbia, South Carolina.

In a separate July 3, 2015 email thread, Podesta wrote, “Haim thinks we are under reacting to Trump/Hispanics. Thinks we can get something by standing up for Latinos or attacking R’s for not condemning.”

Haim refers to Haim Saban, the billionaire entertainment investor and co-owner and chairman of Univision. The email thread shows communication between Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, Saban and Podesta. As of February, Saban had contributed $6.4 million between Clinton’s campaign, a pro-Clinton SuperPAC and some smaller Democratic  Party committees.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote in a later response, “Haim is right – we should be jamming this all the time.”

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 


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