John Podesta: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hillary Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta is in the spotlight after Wikileaks released 2060 of his emails and promised to publish more.

The emails dating back to 2007 include parts of Clinton’s talks to Wall Street firms. Campaign staff had flagged excerpts that they deemed problematic if made public. The Podesta Emails support accusations that the former Secretary of State had a cozy relationship with bankers.

Podesta has experience managing crises from Bill Clinton’s TravelGate nightmare to Whitewater to the Monica Lewinsky affair. Wikileaks, however, may be holding on to a bag of scandals though, saying Friday’s leak was the first batch of 50,000 emails. Here’s five fast facts on the man at the center of The Podesta Emails.

1. Podesta Slams Email Leak as a Russian Attempt to “Throw the Election to Donald Trump”

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The Podesta Emails Come During the Last Leg of the Presidential Race (Getty)

Podesta had some choice words for the hackers who published his emails on the Russian-affiliated site Wikileaks. The leak came on the same day the US officially blamed Russia for recent cyberattacks on election systems and officials. Looking on the bright side though, Podesta said on Twitter that he’s officially on the who’s who list of email leak targets. Though the Clinton campaign has not publicly disputed the email content, Podesta cast doubt on their authenticity.

Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange also implicated Podesta in the sale of a stake in a nuclear energy company to Russia. An April 2015 New York Times article suggested that then-Secretary of State Clinton exerted influence in signing off on a deal that would give Russia one-fifth of the US’s uranium production capacity. Uranium One’s chairman had donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Wikileaks revealed an email where Clinton’s spokesperson said the person responsible for the deal was Jose Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs. Fernandez confirmed this, but one of Podesta’s emails reveal communication between them that calls into question Fernandez’s neutrality. In response, Podesta has denied he co-owns the Podesta Group.

2. Podesta Grew Up in Chicago, the Son of an Italian-American Dad and Greek-American Mom

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Podesta Grew Up in Chicago (Getty)

Growing up in the Northwest side of Chicago, John Podesta and his older brother, Tony, went to Lane Tech High School. His mother was a Greek-American who worked on Election Day. Their Italian-American father wasn’t interested in politics and failed to graduate from the Lane Tech, the same school his sons enrolled in; he worked at a factory that made display advertising signs.

After graduating from Lane Tech, John Podesta enrolled in Knox College in 1971 where he had volunteered for Eugene McCarthy’s presidential candidacy. In 1972, he volunteered again for George McGovern’s presidential campaign, which suffered a landslide loss that year.

3. Podesta Knows All About the Scandals of the Clinton Administrations

As staff secretary for Bill Clinton’s first administration in 1933, Podesta was given the unsavory task of containing scandals so the administration could focus on making policies. He found himself outside the scope of a staff secretary’s job duties of managing paper flow to the president. Podesta’s involvement in handling crises grew so much that he called himself the, “Secretary of [expletive]” reports the Washington Post.

Podesta had to wait no sooner to grow into this role than when the Clintons moved into the White House. When they tried to replace seven longtime employees in the White House Travel Office a public uproar followed. According to Time, Podesta wrote a report that was critical of Hillary Clinton’s role, which did not sit well with the First Lady.

When the Monica Lewinsky affair blew up, Podesta admitted Clinton had lied to him about his relationship with the White House intern. However, Podesta said he didn’t consider quitting and defended the president because Clinton was “a decent man”.

4. Podesta Said His Biggest Failure in 2014 Was Not Solving a UFO Case

A unique highlight of Podesta’s career may be his efforts to bring greater transparency to the search for aliens. He publicly supported a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit in 2002 regarding a 1965 UFO incident. As an advisor to President Obama, Podesta apparently failed to uncover those UFO files of the Kecksburg, Pennsylvania sighting. He bemoaned the fact on Twitter:

1. Finally, my biggest failure of 2014: Once again not securing the #disclosure of the UFO files. #thetruthisstilloutthere cc: @NYTimesDowd

In 1998, the Washington Post got Press Secretary Mike McCurry’s take on Podesta’s alien obsession. The former chief of staff said he expects Clinton to disclose more alien records if she gets elected. When asked about his personal beliefs on alien life, Podesta said he would leave the question to the public once the government releases evidence of aliens. He said somewhat forebodingly in a CNN interview: “The American people can handle the truth”.

“John can get totally maniacal and phobic on certain subjects,” McCurry said. “He’s been known to pick up the phone to call the Air Force and ask them what’s going on in Area 51.”

5. As Campaign Chair Podesta Uses Lessons from Obama-Hillary Presidential Race to Broaden Her Appeal

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Podesta has Compared the 2008 Obama-Hillary Race to Apple v. Microsoft (Getty)

Podesta played a limited role in Hillary Clinton’s first campaign for president. However, he did compare the Clinton and Obama race for Democratic nominee to two tech giants, Microsoft and Apple. He argued that Clinton’s pitch to voters as the more experienced candidate wouldn’t resonate with voters inclined towards Obama’s fresh take on politics.

Podesta overhauled Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as Chair of Hillary for America. He invested more resources in her field and technology teams, areas he felt Hillary were lacking in during the 2008 presidential race. He has also encouraged the Democratic nominee to talk about issues she cares about like equal pay and childcare.

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  1. yes; extraterrestrial life does exist. deal with it. prob the only ‘good’ thing they’re trying to get accomplished. just remember not everything that shines is gold, and not everyone that says ‘i come in peace’, actually does… so spinning and damage control is his forte, by obv force. but i wonder; why this isnt being pinned atop the hp… giving the importance that her recent email scandal reveals unequivocally that hellary lies. that she’s part of the rich elite. that she’s being out of touch with commonfolk since like, forever. that she favors unfavorable ‘free trade’deals. caters to the banks, wealthy, and special interest groups. and knew fully well what she was doing setting up her own private email server; which was the whole point. ie circumvent strict regulations about them from the start. and when it comes to politics there’s a private and a public position; shocker1 you dont say11 so you haven’t being telling the truth all this time111 no way jose1111 u still <3 tpp & open borders, and always will; wtf11111 but i believed you hitlary; you always seemed to care too much:roll-eyes:sarcasm: oh, the hypocrisy111111 yet the saddest part is that most likely all of the above will make no dif in the bitter end. that being white with moral values is a crime; race and spirit wise. and the realization that this country no longer belongs to you; despite tech&stat still being the majority. sorry for the crumbling of your nation, but you've no-one to blame but yourselves… you've giving away that power to crappy politicians for a long time, and it's just too late to take it back. the idiotic takeover and pitiful dumping attempt by the repz of dt also epitomizes it all. i found ironic his m$ and crapple analogy also, because they're both equally despicable. so enjoy your going back to a weak, lacking, deficient and poor state, by placing reason over silly emotional bs; you very well deserve it…

  2. Not once has the authenticity nor accuracy of these emails have been contested or denied as this article has published “Though the Clinton campaign has not publicly disputed the email content, Podesta cast doubt on their authenticity.” What bothers me is how all our government has to do is blame the Russians. WHO CARES WHO RELEASED THE INFO! What matters is the content published and the unscrupulous activities our government is has been engaged in, that’s what matters to me. I could care less who released these emails. Also, if the emails weren’t accurate why did anyone resign from the DNC when the last batch was released. Additionally, each email lines up with what we all know to be true in regards to dates, times and activities. ALL I NEED TO SAY IS THANK YOU!!! Thank you to whomever let the cat out of the bag and I couldn’t care less where you come from either.