Elections

Clinton Staffer On Priorities USA Story: ‘I’m So Afraid’

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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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The New York Times planned to write a story in May of 2015 that had Clinton staffers running scared all about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton going to meetings for her SuperPAC, Priorities USA,  according to an email released by Wikileaks Friday.

“FYI – the New York Times will soon report that HRC is doing meetings for Priorities USA. We have NOT confirmed the meeting and will not be confirming these types of meetings,” campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in an email.

“So afraid that NYT is going with this story on Priorities whether we like or not. They have sources about the meetings. Honestly, it sounds like Priorities staff was yapping. We are not confirming meetings on this trip but commenting on why we are participating with Priorities,” campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri wrote in May of 2015.

Campaign leadership then created a series of talking points regarding the story, “With some Republican candidates reportedly setting up and outsourcing their entire campaign to SuperPAC’s and the Koch Brothers pledging $1 billion alone for the 2016 campaign, Democrats have to have the resources to fight back,” Ferguson wrote.

“There is too much at stake for our future for Democrats to unilaterally disarm. Hillary Clinton and her campaign team will be encouraging of Priorities USA because they have the proven record of a successful national campaign that drove home a critical message in 2012.”

The key question for campaign finance chair Dennis Cheng was whether or not the Times planned to report any specific donor names.

SuperPACs are classified as “independent expenditure-only committees” by the Federal Election Commision. “These expenditures may not be made in concert or cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, the candidate’s campaign or a political party,” according to FEC regulations.

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