The whistleblowing website Wikileaks has released a new batch of emails from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief shedding light on why her team has been focusing so heavily on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The batch of emails includes a conversation between campaign leader John Podesta, and columnist and Clinton ally Brent Budowski.
In it, they discuss Clinton’s policy on fighting Islamic State and Budowski suggests that focusing on Putin’s alleged links to Donald Trump are a useful way of drawing attention away from that issue.
The writer warned that Clinton could be seen as not sufficiently tough when it comes to her views on the Middle East and that any deterioration in the situation there could cause her political setback.
RT: In one of the emails, columnist Brent Budowski writes: “Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin, but not go too far betting on Putin regarding Syria.” What do you make of this?
Daniel Patrick Welch: I thought that was a little cryptic. I don’t know if he is warning her not to go too far against Putin. If that was the advice, she certainly hasn’t taken it. This has not only been a part of her campaign, it has basically been the center focus of her campaign, this horrible red-baiting that we haven’t seen since the days of Joe McCarthy. This kind of outflanking Trump on the right, kind of saying he is soft on the Russians and calling Putin a dictator.
The thing that is so cynical about this is that she knows she is lying. She is completely lying and she doesn’t care. And that’s what shows up in these emails is that this is a pure cynical, manipulative, political calculus; an attempt to gain favor with the electorate. And they could care less where the truth lies, which is why so many people despise her as a candidate, frankly.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) 22 октября 2016 г.
RT: Do you think the heavy emphasis on Putin during the campaign and in the debates has actually helped Clinton? Or could it have backfired?
DW: There was a live-time tweeting of second-by-second popularity during the campaign and it showed a huge drop in people thinking that she was trustworthy (…) while she was in that diatribe, that horrific rant against Russia. I don’t know, I think she perceives that it is going to help her win the campaign. It is two-fold. She wants it to help win the campaign because she is such a bad candidate and she can’t be the buffoon like Trump except by red-baiting him. And she is also preparing, softening up her own population for her next war, which she has clearly decided has to be to keep the Russians in line. It is a very scary and dangerous tactic.
RT: Referring to a Clinton speech, Budowski writes: “walk back and escape from her statement that finally we are where we need to be against ISIS”. He goes on to say that if a terrorist attack happens, this could destroy her campaign. Do you think he’s right here? Is Clinton vulnerable on this point?
DW: I don’t see how. This is a woman who has overseen the destruction of Libya, she’s been Obama’s right hand in overthrowing government in Honduras, in Brazil, proxy war in Syria and Yemen, and who still has the gall to say that we need a more muscular foreign policy, apparently droning women and children in Pakistan isn’t muscular enough for these people. So, for some reason I don’t think it is a political favor, I think these are the warmongers and the weapons death-merchants who have financed her campaign. She needs to pay them back by giving them what they want, which is a never-ending perpetual war to keep US hegemony alive.