Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta never wants to end up like longtime Clinton friend Sidney Blumenthal, he wrote in an email last year.
“It always amazes me that people like Sid either completely lack self awareness or self respect. Maybe both,” Podesta wrote to Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden in a May 28, 2015 email.
“Will you promise to shoot me if I ever end up like that?”
The email is part of a trove of documents hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account. Wikileaks has released the stolen emails in four different batches so far, including on Wednesday.
On the day of the email exchange, Politico reported that Blumenthal was paid $10,000 per month by the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.
Tanden appears to have been referring to that story when she told Podesta: “Sidney sure is the gift that keeps giving!”
Blumenthal, a former journalist who is a dogmatic Clinton supporter, frequently emailed Clinton intelligence reports and political gossip when she was in office. Some of the information he shared with Clinton contained sensitive insights from former government officials. He was also working with a former CIA officer to drum up business in Libya during the lead-up to the U.S.’s intervention there in 2011.
It is unclear what Blumenthal’s role in the Clinton orbit will be if she is elected president.
Blumenthal, who served as an aide in the Bill Clinton White House at the same time that Podesta was chief of staff, is said to be an informal adviser to the Democratic nominee.
In July he refused to say, when asked in an interview, if he would accept a role in a Clinton White House. So far, there has been no indication that Blumenthal would be hired by the administration. But Clinton attempted to bring him to the State Department in 2009. But the Obama White House blocked the move because of Blumenthal’s dirty tricks during the 2008 Democratic primaries.