Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign went to great lengths in July 2015 to carefully release her health and tax records.
An email exchange between Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and Clinton aides Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, Dan Schwerin, Huma Abedin and Brian Fallon show, according to WikiLeaks, the step-by-step process through which records were released. The health records were released to the media after Clinton gave a policy speech on U.S. relations with Cuba and the tax release aimed to be more transparent than that of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
It was done through three successive rounds as planned by Fallon. Round one got underway with “At 1 PM: Pitch the first round of stories to the travelling press corps (AP, Politico, WSJ, WaPo, etc) with a 2 pm embargo.”
Clinton’s campaign made it a priority to “Provide the full text of HRC’s physician’s letter, summarizing that she is in excellent health and is medically fit to perform the duties of President.” Next up, the campaign wanted media to latch on to the fact that, “We will push that she is the FIRST presidential candidate to release this info.”
When it came to the matter of tax returns, back in July 2015, the Clinton campaign made a point of contrasting the records with those of Bush “in three key ways.” One section comparing Clinton to Bush on the issue of taxes is titled “SPEECH INCOME.” The email goes on to state that, “In addition to her returns, Hillary Clinton is releasing itemized income amounts for each speech delivered by her and President in 2013. (She has already done it for 2014 and the early part of 2015). Jeb did not do this.”
Despite the cautious and planned release of health and tax records, the Clinton campaign still faced many uncomfortable questions from opponents and the media. Sen. Bernie Sanders frequently brought up Clinton’s speeches to banks and demanded she release the transcripts. When it came to her health, concerns were raised when she stumbled into a car and left the Sept. 11 memorial service. Clinton later stated she was powering through pneumonia.
U.S. officials have stated that there is increasing evidence that Podesta’s hacked emails were acquired by the Russian government, which in turn handed them over to WikiLeaks for release.
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