In a 2008 email, Barack Obama’s senior foreign policy adviser Denis McDonough described a “dust up” between President-elect Obama and Polish President Lech Kaczynski about missile defense.
“The Polish tried to jam us,” McDonough told Democratic operative John Podesta, whose emails were published by WikiLeaks.
Obama and Kaczynski spoke over the phone on Nov. 8, 2008 about continuing military and political support between the two nations and about meeting in person, CNN reported at the time.
Obama “had a good conversation with the Polish president and the Polish prime minister about the important U.S.-Poland alliance,” McDonough, who now serves as White House chief of staff, told CNN.
However, Kaczynski’s office told CNN that during the same conversation, Obama told the Polish president that he wanted to continue plans for a missile defense in eastern Europe.
Obama’s adviser McDonough denied the report of the incident.
Podesta and McDonough followed up with each other in an email conversation the same day the CNN report came out with Podesta writing, “Guidance for the show tomorrow.”
McDonough replied, “John – I think the answer is to just repeat our policy on missile defense system: that we support deploying it when the technology is proven workable. Do you want more than that?”
Podesta, who presently serves as Clinton campaign chair, answered back, “What if its more of a coordination q was transition walking back what obama actually said?”
McDonough replied, “No. Senator Obama did not address the issue of the missile defense system on the call and has been clear about his policy on it throughout the campaign. Fact is, John, that the Polish tried to jam us. See what I mean?”
Podesta responded, “Yup. Want me to say that subject didn’t come up. Have you put it out?”
McDonough answered, “This is what we put out:
FROM DENIS MCDONOUGH, SENIOR FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR
President-elect had a good conversation with the Polish President and the Polish Prime Minister about the important US-Poland alliance. President Kaczynski raised missile defense but President-elect Obama made no commitment on it.
His position is as it was throughout the campaign, that he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable.
So, it did come up – from Kaczynski – but BO did not engage it. Their best excuse is they interpreted silence as acquiescence. I believe they were deliberately fu**ing with us, so I thought it made sense to release the statement (WITH Mark and Ben and Jim and Phil guidance). Let me know if this is a complete enough picture for you.”