As with any political campaign, there is a certain amount of insider bickering, pettiness and backstabbing.
Before Hillary Clinton‘s communications director Jennifer Palmieri officially signed on, she nearly signed off because she thought longtime aide Philippe Reines was accusing her of being a leaker.
The nugget emerged from the latest WikiLeaks dump in an email chain that included Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
This was what she told Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook in March of 2015:
JENNIFER PALMIERI: I am telling you right now that if there is any hint of trust issues with me, I am not taking this job. See below email from Philippe saying the leaks are creating ‘trust issues’ for HRC.
ROBBY MOOK: I bet it’s not aimed at you–honestly. There are a lot of people looped into this project at this point. I’m so much more worried right now about just executing SOME plan… He can worry about leakers if he wants…I just want to start screwing on the lid.
So what was supposedly not being aimed at Palmieri?
The shitstorm involved a few mentions on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” in which co-host Mika Brzezinski said she heard Clinton would address a connection to foreign money in her emails. In another instance, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said Clinton would “address her emails” that week.
The pandora’s box opened when CNN’s Brianna Keilar wrote the campaign with a subject line entitled: “Guidance please.”
She wrote, “I understand Sec. Clinton will not address emails today. Can you help me with managing my network’s expectations? They have me live at 11a, though I was not initially expecting to be…”
NICK MERRILL (Clinton’s traveling press secretary) forwarded Keilar’s email to the group of communications aides as well as Podesta and remarked, “Someone is also telling Mika she’ll address this week. …This is the second time in a week someone has told CNN what she will or won’t do.”
PHILIPPE REINES: I’m sure this isn’t news, but this is creating trust problems on her end.
Palmieri heard this as an accusation and unleashed a defensive response, insisting that she was not spilling any intel.
JENNIFER PALMIERI: If you are asking if I talked to any press or anyone outside of our internal team about our plans, I have not. l have a 20 year reputation of not leaking and not starting now. I have not even spoken to anyone at the White House about this. In fact, I have removed myself from WH discussions about emails. Think that is cleaner for both sides. Told Eric he should call Philippe to help with prepping Josh.