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Latest Clinton email dump: highlights and perspectives

The weekend brought another batch of emails hacked from the personal account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

Highlights cited by CBS News include:

In April a high-ranking campaign staffer emailed that the campaign had to make a decision about whether to allow parties lobbying on behalf of foreign governments to raise money for Clinton. Campaign manager Robby Mook eventually wrote that he was “OK just taking the money and dealing with any attacks.” Another staffer wrote, “Take the money!!”

A staffer expressed fears Clinton’s character would be damaged for not expressing genuine remorse for using a private email server for official correspondence while she was Secretary of State. The staffer, referring to October of 2015, wrote that Clinton “always sees herself bending to ‘their’ will when she hands over information….But the way she has to bend here is in the remorse. Not the ‘if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t do it.’ A real feeling of — this decision I made created a mess and I’m sorry I did that … No one thinks she doesn’t have the judgment to be president — she’s not reaffirming a negative characteristic in saying sorry. She needs to do that. I see no way of moving on until October otherwise.”

In a blog post on Monday the Wall Street Journal highlighted “four takeaways” from the email releases so far:

1. Clinton loyalists “dearly wanted her to apologize” for using a private email account for State Department correspondence.

2. The campaign struggled in coming up with ways to make Clinton more likable.

3. She was critical of the press, as reflected by the transcript of a 2013 speech, in which she said “Our political press has just been captured by trivia. I mean, to me.”

4. The Clinton campaign took offense to comments by David Axlerod, the longtime Barack Obama advisor, for offering unenthusiastic views during the lead up to the announcement of her candidacy, with a Clinton advisor calling him a potential “headache.”

The Chicago Tribune focused on worries within the Clinton campaign about ramifications of a comment concerning former first lady Nancy Reagan and AIDS. The Tribune wrote “Hillary Clinton’s aides fretted over how to respond to backlash from the LGBT community after Clinton lauded Nancy Reagan for starting a ‘national conversation’ about AIDS in the 1980s,” emails released Sunday show.

In sizing up the latest leak, columnist Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times wrote “The Hillary Clinton depicted in these many, many pages is the same Hillary Clinton you already know — and either love, tolerate or loathe. If you were paying attention before last week, WikiLeaks won’t change your mind.”

He further wrote, “What’s most remarkable about this megaleak is that it’s yielded no real smoking gun. Even the most newsworthy quotes from her closed-door speeches to Wall Street firms often aren’t as damning in context as they may seem at first.”

WikiLeaks has posted thousand of emails hacked from the personal account of Podesta. Thousand more are expected to be released between now and the election.

U.S. intelligence officials have said they believe the hacking was done by someone working for the Russian government.

If that turns out to be the case, and Clinton wins, McManus says “we’ll be on a frigid Cold War footing from the start. In the increasingly unlikely scenario that Trump wins, the consequence could be worse: Putin will believe the president of the United States owes him one.”

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