What the WikiLeaks dump reveals about Clinton's campaign

This is a rush transcript from "Special Report with Bret Baier," October 12, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


DONALD TRUMP, REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: The press is hardly even talking about WikiLeaks. You know that. Wikileaks is amazing. The stuff that's coming out, it shows she's a real liar. She said, well, you have to say to the public and you have to say to your donors different things, OK. The press doesn't even pick this stuff up.

JOHN PODESTA, CLINTON CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN: The Russian interference in this election and their apparent attempt to influence it on behalf of Mr. Trump is I think -- should be of utmost concern to all Americans, whether a Democrat, an independent, or a Republican.


BRET BAIER, ANCHOT: It's tough to hear him there. John Podesta talking about the hack on his e-mail, saying it's a Russian operation and the FBI is looking into it. There are a lot of things. There's another e-mail dump this morning, 1,200 more. A couple of them raised some eyebrows. This is one March, 2015, an e-mail chain from three Clinton staffers discussing a House subpoena of Secretary Clinton's e-mails. And this takes place roughly three weeks before a Clinton I.T. person uses that BleachBit to wipe her server clean.

This is Philippe Reines, a longtime aide of Hillary Clinton. "Rather than going around and around on how to release the 55,000 emails there, let's just be for what's happening and use this as the excuse, because we can say even if State has equities, not providing them would put her in legal jeopardy. Or we can say happy for them to have it, happy for the public to read them as soon as State is comfortable. But let's somehow take advantage of this." Robby Mook, now the campaign manager, responds "Just for clarity, this House subpoena is just for Libya, right? We were discussing releasing everything, no? Cheryl Mills, longtime aide, former chief of staff, writes to both, "We'll start there, but there are a lot of emails to go through."

Let's bring in our panel tonight: Steve Hayes, senior writer for The Weekly Standard; Susan Page, Washington bureau chief at USA Today and Tucker Carlson, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend."

OK, Susan, you look at these e-mails. Obviously everything the Democrats and the Clinton campaign are saying is to point to the Russia part of this. But on the substance of the e-mails, this is three weeks, this one -- before we learn that the server is wiped clean. But it's after the House issues the subpoena.

SUSAN PAGE, USA TODAY: My husband, also a journalist, said this is like reading one of those post-campaign books but during campaign of all the stuff you do reporting about to try get a hold of -- this is -- it's very interesting to get inside their heads as they are trying to strategize how to handle this very difficult issue over and over again. And we were talking before, it has gotten less attention than you might think it ought to get given how interesting it is. I don't see a huge bombshell here. But I agree that this is something that is like reading a novel. You need the kind of annotation, though, that you were just providing.

BAIER: Yes. Part of the problem is you have to invest time to go through these things. And news organizations have to get off what's easy and go into what's hard. And that was actually part of the problem with the Benghazi story, too, Steve. You had to tell the story every time you told it.

Here is another one. The second one is from -- this is about the efforts to FOIA, Congress, on the -- to get e-mails in response to the calls for Hillary Clinton's e-mails, this again from Philippe Reines, "I told HRC," Hillary Clinton, "yesterday I was going to submit FOIA, Freedom of Information Act request to the Republicans on the committee, and Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz," who is the chairman of the committee," to just trigger their offices sending me replies that Congress is exempt from FOIA and therefore they are rejecting my request." From Philippe Reines. He goes on to say that "She loved the idea, just preferred it not come from me."

They ended up -- and I don't know think it was Philippe who filed the FOIA, but they ended up filing it, and these e-mails about Jason Chaffetz came out.

STEVE HAYES, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: It was a story for a couple days saying isn't this ironic, Jason Chaffetz is going through Hillary's e-mails and wants more of them and his own emails aren't subject to FOIA.

I think the big takeaway on the e-mail question is this. Hillary Clinton said all along she was eager to have her e-mails out. She wanted people to read these emails. There was no -- nothing nefarious. She wasn't hiding anything. In fact, if she had her way, she would have put more e-mails out than what she was required to put out.

This obviously shows day by day, e-mail by e-mail, that that was not true. For those of us who cover this on a day to day basis, we knew that wasn't true when she was saying it. But it is something a little different to be reading it this way and look at the lengths to which they went to set up obstacles to releasing new e-mails, to framing the release of new e-mails, to downplaying the thing. It's like you are seeing the inside of the campaign as the campaign itself is being created.

BAIER: All right, this one is about Catholics and evangelicals. This is John Halperin to John Podesta and Jennifer Palmieri, "Conservative Catholicism. Ken Auletta's latest piece on Rupert Murdoch in "The New Yorker" starts off with the aside that both Murdoch and Robert Thompson, managing editor of the "Wall Street Journal" are raising their kids Catholic. Frigging Murdoch baptized his kids in Jordan where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. Many of the most powerful elements of the conservative are all Catholic, many converts. It's amazing bastardization of the faith. They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations. They must be totally unaware of Christian democracy." Jennifer Palmieri responds, "I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable, politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn't understand if they became evangelicals." Tucker?

TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: This is infuriating on a whole bunch of different levels. For one thing, here you have two people, one of whom is the communications direction for Hillary Clinton maligning world's largest religion. And nobody is covering it. And by the way, I would say on the merits, Catholicism is backward in its view of gender relations compared to what? You can think of a couple other world religions that are more retrograde on that question than anything the Catholic Church had ever come out with. And by the way, if the subject were Islam, the president would have a primetime press conference right now urging all of us to quell our anti-Islamophobia.

BAIER: Add a Republican's e-mails --

CARLSON: Of course. What's amazing, like Steve, probably like Susa, I spend most of the day reading this stuff. And some of it kind of rocks you a little bit like this. Some of it doesn't. All of it is interesting. And none of it is being covered.

BAIER: First of all I want to play some response from Father John Morris and Raymond Arroyo, and then I want to Jen Palmieri's response.


FATHER JOHN MORRIS, CATHOLIC PRIEST: To suggest that somebody is becoming Catholic or becoming a Christian and raising their children in the faith, why, for political purposes? That's not -- that's not smart. That's not American. This isn't just anti-Catholicism. This is anti- American talk.

RAYMOND ARROYO, ETERNAL WORLD TV NETWORK: I think Catholics will get more enraged, and question marks will hover above this campaign. What do they intend and how do they think Catholics and evangelicals fit into America?

JENNIFER PALMIERI, CLINTON COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: I'm a Catholic. I don't recognize that e-mail that we saw. And this whole effort is led by the Russians. The Russians want to orchestrate an attack, we believe, as noted by the statement from the director of national intelligence that they are behind the timing and manner of the leaks. And we are not going to do any more to comment on aid their efforts.


BAIER: OK, Susan, I mean, how big a problem -- let's imagine it was getting covered everyplace. How big a problem is this potentially for a campaign?

PAGE: This particular --

BAIER: The Catholic one.

PAGE: Being respectful of other people's religion, it's a fundamental American tenant. It's an important thing. And there is a snarky tone to the exchange. And absolutely that's inappropriate. I would say the most inappropriate language came not from Jennifer Palmieri who is with the campaign but a guy who is with the Center for American Progress, the think tank. And also I think it's interesting she says she doesn't recognize this e-mail because the Clinton campaign has refused to either confirm or deny the legitimacy of these emails.

BAIER: At all. They wouldn't go -- this is real, this one is not real.

PAGE: Right. But in this case she's saying she didn't recognize it. That's not exactly a denial.

BAIER: Is that good enough? Shouldn't we be saying, wait a second, you don't raise that?

PAGE: I think that they -- in the interest of transparency, they ought to say, yes, these are e-mails and we will discuss what was right and wrong about them, or say these are fabricated and we didn't write them.

CARLSON: But they are lying. It's just that clear. First of all, there's no proof the Russians are behind them. And even if they are --

BAIER: The U.S. intelligence community does say that, and they put that --

CARLSON: They might be, but they don't have proof of it. But even if they are, there's no proof and no one is even alleging these are forgeries. That's the question, is the data real? That's the first question you ask in journalism. Is it true? They're not even denying that and they're getting a pass. Go to the front page of the "Washington Post" or "The New York Times" right now, I couldn't find a single story about this. That's called suppression of the news. This is relevant.

BAIER: I do want to follow up on something we brought up last night, and that was the e-mail that involved Donna Brazile, then vice-chair of the DNC. She was a CNN analyst. We showed you the e-mail and what she said she got a question early, and she denied it, said she never provided a question to Hillary Clinton's campaign. CNN denied it. Today, "Politico" actually got ahold of another e-mail that is exactly verbatim the question that was asked in the town hall. And CNN is now pointing to their partner, Roland Martin with TV-1. Bottom line is this is exactly the e-mail we were talking about last night, and it's the exact question asked.

HAYES: If the e-mail is real and if that happened, that's not how journalism is supposed to work. And that's an understatement. You can't provide questions to politicians before they come on air to be tested by answering questions for the voters. So it would be sort of breaking of the cardinal rule of journalism if that was the case.

I mean, you can see that there's a distinction between somebody like Donna Brazile who is a contributor at CNN and is fundamentally a political person. I don't think she would deny that if she were sitting here with us. She wants her side to win. What journalists do, in my mind, that's no excuse if she provided the questions to Hillary Clinton so that she could prep for them, create an answer for them, rehearse them and present herself as if this is the first time she's hearing it.

BAIER: I mean, in fact, said in the answer, that's such a difficult question. It's not actually if you have the question the day before.

We will go back and try to get a different follow-up on this with the additional "Politico" e-mail.

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