On Bernie Sanders, Podesta Asked Lobbyist: ‘Where Would You Stick the Knife In?’
On Bernie Sanders, Podesta Asked Lobbyist: ‘Where Would You Stick the Knife In?’

Another batch of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails has been leaked to the public, by way of WikiLeaks.

In one exchange, Joel Johnson, an influential lobbyist and a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, told Podesta: “Bernie [Sanders] needs to be ground to a pulp. We can’t start believing our own primary [expletive]. This is no time to run the general. Crush him as hard as you can.”

The email, dated in February 2016 and titled “Friendly advice. No mercy,” ends on a lighter note. “Other than that, hope all is well and congrats on Nevada!” he wrote.

Podesta, the former White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton, replied to Johnson’s email, saying: “I agree with that in principle. Where would you stick the knife in?”

“Obama betrayer (Wh will affirm). Hapless legislator (Senators/members will affirm). False promiser (policy elites will affirm). Can’t win (black people will affirm),” Johnson responds.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's Campaign Chairman John Podesta (L) looks on prior to the start of the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Sept. 26, 2016.   (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chairman John Podesta (L) looks on prior to the start of the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York on Sept. 26, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Several months ago, WikiLeaks released Democratic National Committee emails, showing there was a discussion among DNC staffers to push Sen. Bernie Sanders out of the nomination in favor of Clinton. As a result of the leak, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned.

Donna Brazile took Wasserman Schultz’s spot as DNC chair.

Sanders, in a statement in July, said the situation was an “outrage.” He added: “The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.”

Johnson is a political operative who has a long history in the Democratic party, including serving as policy and communications under former president Bill Clinton between 1999 and 2001. He also served under John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

As Salon noted, Johnson communicated with Podesta and other Clinton campaign officials on numerous occasions. In another email from February of this year, Johnson wrote: “I know you can’t look past Bernie.” 

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