The Hillary Clinton campaign on Sunday suggested the new batch of damaging WikiLeaks documents are bogus — in an apparent attempt to defend what appears to be the Democratic candidate’s candid views on such issues as Wall Street and the middle class.
“They’ve put out documents that are purported to be from my account,” Clinton campaign manager John Podesta told “Fox News Sunday.”
Podesta also attempted to explain Clinton’s comments in the trove of campaign-related emails by arguing they were acquired by “Russians” hacking into the Democratic Party computer files to try to influence the November election.
The WikiLeaks organization on Friday posted what it said were thousands of emails obtained in a hack of Podesta’s personal email account.
Among the documents posted online was an internal review of Clinton’s private Wall Street speeches to survey the political damage her remarks could cause if they ever became public.
In what aides calculated were the most damaging passages, Clinton reflected on the necessity of “unsavory” political dealing, telling real estate investors that “you need both a public and private position.”
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To investment bankers from Goldman Sachs and BlackRock, Clinton admits that she’s “kind of far removed” from the middle-class upbringing that she frequently touts on the campaign trail.
Podesta on Sunday dismissed the argument that Clinton indeed tailors her message to her audience.
“She said all throughout this campaign she will crack down on Wall Street,” Podesta said. “There’s nothing that she said that she hasn’t said in private that she doesn’t say in public; she’s put forward the most aggressive Wall Street plan of any candidate.”
He also said that people on Wall Street know how to “game the system” and that Clinton wants to crack down on that culture to ensure there is no institution “too big to fail and there’s no person that’s too big to jail.”
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine on Sunday also questioned the veracity of the roughly 2,000 WikiLeaks documents.
“I don’t think we can dig in documents dumped by WikiLeaks and just assume they’re all accurate and true,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Some of the other hacked documents put Clinton squarely in the free-trade camp, a position she has struggled with repeatedly during the 2016 election. During the first general election debate, Clinton said she supports “smart and fair trade.”
In another speech that year, Clinton conceded that presidential candidates need the financial backing of Wall Street to mount a competitive national campaign.
That’s a position that plays right into political attacks leveled by Trump, who has accused Clinton of being bought and paid for by Wall Street.
Clinton’s top primary challenger, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, repeatedly during their race called for Clinton to release transcripts of the speeches, for which she was paid millions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.