Secretary of State Bloomberg? Leak Shows It’s in the Making

Secretary of State Bloomberg? Leak Shows It’s in the Making

According to e-mails newly released by WikiLeaks, Michael Bloomberg submitted a top Hillary Clinton aide the proposal to pick him as Secretary of State if the candidate won the elections. The former mayor of New York City advanced the idea following a lengthy e-mail thread discussing the possibility of him running for president.

According to an e-mail exchange released Saturday, Clinton adviser Neera Tanden asked one of the businessman’s consultants Howard Wolfson whether his boss was considering to launch a presidential bid. Tanden had learned that Bloomberg planned to remain involved in politics from a tweet linking to a news piece. According to the article, city Democrats asked Bloomberg to race against Clinton in early June.

The E-mail Exchange

Tanden e-mailed Wolfson less than 10 minutes after having learned about the tweet. Wolfson had helped Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign as campaign spokesman. Plus, he had hosted a fundraiser for the Democrat nominee in May. So, he told Tanden that Bloomberg had no plans to race against the former secretary of state.

“I find the whole thing laughable,”

he said.

In response, the Clinton aide expressed her relief. She told Wolfson that she had been concerned he was “losing it.” Next, she asked Wolfson what position his boss would want in a Clinton administration. Tanden initially thought about a role as the country’s ambassador to China. But she quickly realized it was “way too small” for the billionaire.

Wolfson replied a secretary of state position would be a better idea, but added it “ain’t gonna happen.”

Even though some may think this was just an e-mail exchange between two old friends, one detail shows otherwise. Tanden forwarded the entire e-mail exchange to the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

The hacktivist website WikiLeaks obtained the leaks in the wake of a hack on Podesta’s e-mail account. In the forwarded e-mail, Tanden told the campaign chairman she had some information which was good to know “for down the road.”

On Saturday, Wolfson declined to confirm the authenticity of the leaked exchange. He told the press Bloomberg had only eyed the “top job,” i.e. the U.S. presidency. In Bloomberg’s opinion, Henry Kissinger would make a more likely option for the country’s top diplomat, said Wolfson.

Other Leaks

The media magnate first attempt to join the presidential race was in January 2006. Back then, he asked his aides to see whether an independent run would be a good idea. In March, however, he renounced the plan. He explained in an interview that his chances to win the election were very slim. Shortly after, Clinton contacted him, as an e-mail exchange forwarded to Podesta shows.

But the leaked e-mail chain shows something contrary to Clinton’s public rhetoric. In speeches, she didn’t disclose who would fill her Cabinet. She only said half of officials would be women, while tech leaders would also make an option.

The new batch of e-mails, WikiLeaks publicized Saturday, include thousands of details on how to fend off the private e-mail scandal, excerpts from the candidate’s paid speeches to Wall Street bankers, and early plans for her presidential run.

In one e-mail Tanden told Podesta that everyone in the media pressed Clinton to at least apologize for mishandling the e-mails.

“Everyone wants her to apologize. And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles heel,”

Tanden wrote in a Sept. 2015 e-mail exchange.

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