Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz privately complained that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was "stale" and that the Democratic candidate lacked authenticity, according to recently released hacked emails.
Schultz is now publicly saying Clinton will win the election easily, but last year he confided in Clinton’s top aides that he worried about her campaign.
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"From the outside looking in, I see an old style start to the campaign that feels stale with very few signs of the kind of freshness and transparency that the American people (especially millennials) will need to trust and ultimately elect HRC as President," Schultz wrote Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department. "It's also becoming very apparent and concerning that the media is not on her side. This will get only worse and not bode well for her as time goes on."
"She desperately needs the people on her side," he said. "And, although it's early, the imprinting process has begun… And, I don't like how it feels."
Schultz sent his note in July 2015, warning that Clinton’s "inner circle and the powers to be" were not rejecting the "status quo."
"The campaign feels ‘yesterday,’" he said. "It's too packaged and prescribed. The American people are longing for truth and someone to believe in."
"Reboot the look of it all and the overriding message before its to late [sic]," Schultz said. "The answer is not in the polls, it's in her heart and her conscience. When she begins to truly trust herself and find her inner voice, and has the courage and conviction to share it with the world, things will change and change rapidly."
"Encourage her to be herself. And, to embrace her core purpose and reason for being," he said.
Schultz added that he is "not a politician" but "just one person with one vote" who believes the country is in "dire need for authentic leadership." Clinton has long suffered from an authenticity problem.
Mills relayed Schultz’s email to Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton's communications director and another close aide, Huma Abedin, who said Clinton was very close to the Starbucks CEO.
"If this went to you, assume it went to her too," Abedin said. "Because it is Howard, and he has so much regular contact with her, and we see him in August, I think someone should talk to him."
Schultz went on to endorse Clinton this September, and now says he is "confident" Clinton will win.
Schultz’s email was revealed in the latest document dump by Wikileaks. The U.S. director of national intelligence and the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security have accused "Russia’s senior-most officials" of hacking and leaking emails to Wikileaks and other sites in order to influence the 2016 election.