Hillary Clinton’s campaign would not confirm or deny the authenticity of a trove of new emails released on Friday by WikiLeaks, including what appeared to be transcripts of her paid speeches to Wall Street firms and other companies.
The news of the release of the emails was obscured by what was happening with Donald Trump’s campaign, which is grappling with the fallout of the release of “Access Hollywood” footage from 2005 in which he is heard making lewd comments about women.
Clinton campaign manager John Podesta — whose emails were hacked — said on Twitter that “I’m not happy about being hacked by the Russians in their quest to throw the election to Donald Trump.” He added that he doesn’t “have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked.” But he noted that WikiLeaks assertion that he co-owns the lobbying firm The Podesta Group was “completely false.”
BuzzFeed first reported that the WikiLeaks emails included portions of speech transcripts, which had been sent to Podesta in January to flag as potentially problematic for her campaign.
In one speech transcript to a Brazilian bank, Clinton is quoted as saying that her “dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Clinton’s speech transcripts became an issue in her primary campaign against Bernie Sanders. He criticized her for her speeches to Wall Street firms and called on her to release the transcripts. He also made his opposition to free trade deals a central issue of his campaign. He noted that Clinton supported the Trans Pacific Partnership before the campaign but then announced her opposition.
On Friday, the Obama administration accused the Russian government of being behind the recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee as well as of notable individuals. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was hacked and his emails were published last month.
Clinton campaign spokesman Glen Caplin released a statement about the WikiLeaks releasing, noting that “earlier today the U.S. government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy. We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton. Guccifer 2.0 has already proven the warnings of top national security officials that documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign.”
Also on Friday, a group of national security officials warned the news media to be “cautious” about reporting on the contents of hacked material, as Russian intelligence agents have been known to doctor information to look real.