Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Jake Sullivan likened supporters of a $15 minimum wage to Soviet-era communists in an email released by WikiLeaks on Monday.
Sullivan mocked supporters of the “Fight for 15” movement — which was a staple of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign — as members of the “Red Army” in an email to campaign chair John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook, communications director Jennifer Palmieri and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden.
Sullivan was replying to an email from Tanden about a list of proposed policies dubbed the “Progressive Agenda” put together by left-wing politicos. The agenda includes a proposed $15 minimum wage.
“Substantively, we have not supported $15 – you will get a fair number of liberal economists who will say it will lose jobs,” Tanden wrote to senior campaign staffers. “Most of rest seems fine (obviously trade sticks out). Politically, we are not getting any pressure to join this from our end. I leave it to you guys to judge what that means for you. But I’m not sweating it.”
“John Podesta (and the Red Army) want to support $15!” Sullivan wrote back. The Red Army was the name given to the Russian military under communist leadership in the early twentieth century.
“And when you say Red Army, you mean the base of the Democratic party, right?” Tanden retorted. “Just want to be clear here.” (RELATED: Politifact Bernie Has No Evidence A $15 Minimum Wage Reduces Welfare)
The Clinton campaign did not return an email seeking comment on Sullivan’s comments.
“Calling the ‘Fight for $15’ minimum wage campaign a modern-day communist ‘Red Army,’ these emails reflect how Clinton and her liberal allies at CAP really feel about the disastrous economic consequences of these policies,” said Jeremy Adler, communications director for America Rising Squared, a non-profit research firm that promotes conservative policies.
“As she famously noted, Clinton will say one thing in public and another in private — unfortunately in this case she’s willing to put millions of family-supporting jobs at risk to help herself politically.”