An email released as part of the Wikileaks data dump shows Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta saying that while former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson “can be a dick,” he still was worth talking to for a possible endorsement.
“I had heard that you were upset that I encouraged a call between WJC and Richardson to bury the hatchet,” Podesta wrote to a Clinton staffer and what appears to be Clinton herself in August 2015. “I did that at the request of Jose Villarreal who pushed me and made the point that Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and not withstanding [sic] the fact that he can be a dick, it was worth getting him in a good place.”
Villareal is Clinton’s campaign treasurer.
The hacked email was titled, “Needy Latinos and 1 easy call.”
It’s not clear whether or not Hillary Clinton made the phone call, but two weeks after the date on the email, Richardson publicly endorsed Clinton.
Thursday, Richardson responded, first on his Twitter account, then in a statement.
“I strongly support Hillary Clinton for President. I do not care about any characterization of me made in an email. I have worked with John Podesta for many years and am neither concerned nor unhappy about this email repartee,” Richardson said in an emailed statement. “I fully respect John and recognize the difficult job he has. I say this as someone who is neither seeking nor expecting any appointment or role in a Clinton White House, as evidenced by the emails.”
Richardson was a member of Bill Clinton’s (or WJC in the email, for William Jefferson Clinton) cabinet, as the Department of Energy secretary. Richardson also served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under Bill Clinton.
But Richardson had a falling out with the Clintons after he supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election. Last November, Bill Richardson and Bill Clinton posed for a photo together.
On the day Richardson endorsed Hillary Clinton, an email showed Podesta asking Milia Fisher, a special assistant to Hillary Clinton, to send out a tweet thanking Richardson for his support. Podesta’s account sent that tweet later that day. The @hillaryclinton Twitter account did not tweet about Richardson’s endorsement.
Clinton allies have largely refused to comment on the leaked emails, and noted that similarly leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee appear to have been hacked by those with ties to the Russian government.
They have also said that Wikileaks is a Russian front that hopes to aid Donald Trump’s election hopes and that not all the emails could be authenticated.
Below is the full section of the email regarding Richardson from Podesta to Hillary Clinton staffers, omitting Richardson’s cell phone number:
2) Bill Richardson. I had heard that you were upset that I encouraged a call between WJC and Richardson to bury the hatchet. I did that at the request of Jose Villarreal who pushed me and made the point that Richardson is still on TV a lot, especially on Univision and Telemundo and not withstanding the fact that he can be a dick, it was worth getting him in a good place. He had a good conversation with the President and has been good in his interviews since. I have pressed Bill, but I think it will take a call from you to get a formal endorsement. He’s on Meet the Press on Sunday. Probably worth a quick call to ask him to stay stout and publicly endorse, but if it’s too galling, don’t bother.
Update: Added Richardson’s Twitter response.