Elections

Clinton Camp Joked About Lack Of Diversity, ‘1/16 Apache’ Staffer

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Blake Neff Reporter
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Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign joked about its lack of diversity in early 2015, saying it was filled with a “lotta white guys” except for a staffer who was “1/16 Apache.”

The emails, leaked Thursday as part of WikiLeaks’ massive dump of emails in Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s inbox, were sent in January 2015, when Clinton’s campaign was still preparing for its official launch. Members of her campaign were discussing how to plant a positive story in the press that profiled Clinton’s campaign and the top-flight people who were already on-board. (RELATED: Leaked Docs Show What Journalists Are Cozy With Hillary)

But Clinton’s team noted that the list of people signing on were missing a key component: diversity.

“If we are going to share names or themes, we should strive for some diversity (beyond gender) in the line up or focus,” said longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, herself a black woman.

“Lotta white guys,” added (white male) Robby Mook, later the campaign’s manager.

Nick Merrill, another white male, joked that they could concoct dubious Indian heritage for Mook to up the diversity quotient.

“Robby claims he’s 1/16th Apache, so we should be all set,” Merrill said. “Kidding aside, do we have any diversity we can point to at this stage?”

Joel Benenson, also a white male and Clinton’s campaign strategist, said diversity would simply have to wait until after the most important positions were filled.

“We are all focused on getting diversity and we have to get there,” Benenson said. “But we also have a lot of big jobs to fill in the next few months and I think we have to try to slow down our process … I actually think we have to shut down the process now to the 1-2 essential posts that need filling soon and build the diverse team we need from there.”

A month later, Mills sent another email to Podesta detailing the campaign’s progress in meeting diversity quotas. In the email, Mills noted that if they hired a Hispanic woman as political director and another woman as COO, the campaign would hit thresholds of being 1/3 “diverse” and 1/3 female in top posts.

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