Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign has not confirmed or denied the authenticity of the emails but accused Russia of being behind the hack in an effort to tilt the election in favor of Republican nominee Donald Trump
Washington (AFP) - Since October 7, WikiLeaks has released thousands of emails hacked from the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta.
The Democratic White House hopeful's campaign has not confirmed or denied the authenticity of the messages but accused Russia of being behind the hacking attack in an effort to tilt the presidential election in favor of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The emails don't contain any explosive revelations, but some have put Clinton on the defensive and are likely to come up during Wednesday night's debate in Las Vegas.
- Wall Street speeches -
The biggest revelations came out of paid speeches Clinton gave to investment banks and other financial institutions from 2013 to 2015.
The former secretary of state had refused to release the transcripts, a move that caused significant problems in her primary battle against Bernie Sanders, who accused her of being too cozy with Wall Street.
The WikiLeaks releases contained excerpts of several speeches, as well as full transcripts of three speeches that Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs, which showed how apparently at-ease the Democrat is in front of bankers.
She displayed pragmatism and called for compromise, a stance that's less antagonistic than her public positions toward Wall Street.
In another address to a real estate group in April 2013, she said "politics is like sausage being made" and "you need both a public and a private position." She compared it to Abraham Lincoln's political maneuvering in trying to pass the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery.
- Free trade -
In October last year, Clinton came out in opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal negotiated by President Barack Obama with 11 Asia-Pacific countries.
Internal messages revealed the dilemma of the candidate who had in the past defended the controversial agreement.
"This is indeed a hard balance to strike," wrote Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin, "since we don't want to invite mockery for being too enthusiastically opposed to a deal she once championed, or over-claiming how bad it is, since it's a very close call on the merits."
According to the transcript of a speech to Banco Itau, Clinton said in 2013, "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders" -- a view that has raised eyebrows in the protectionist wing of the Democratic party.
- Chelsea -
The messages detailed clashes between Clinton's daughter Chelsea and longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band over operations at the Clinton Global Initiative, an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation.
Chelsea Clinton had emailed Podesta several times alleging improper behavior by Band, who was on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative, and questioned the ties between the organization and Band's consulting firm Teneo.
In a November 2013 message, Band called Chelsea Clinton a "spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues."
- Lobbyists -
In April 2015, the Clinton team had to decide whether to accept campaign donations from US lobbyists representing foreign states -- noting they could run into issues accepting money from those representing countries like Iraq, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Libya and the United Arab Emirates.
After a great deal of back and forth, Clinton's campaign manager Robby Mook said he decided they should just accept the donations while "dealing with any attacks."
Communications director Jennifer Palmieri said simply, "Take the money!!"
- Contempt for Catholics? -
Trump has jumped on a 2011 exchange from the WikiLeaks emails to attack Clinton as anti-Catholic.
In an informal email to a fellow at a liberal think-thank, Palmieri said she thought News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch and Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson are Catholic because it's "the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion."
"Their rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals," she wrote.