WikiLeaks Emails Reveal Cozy Relationship Between John Harwood and Clinton Campaign

Moderator John Harwood speaks during the CNBC Republican presidential debate, Oct. 28, 2015 / AP
October 11, 2016

Leaked emails released Tuesday by WikiLeaks show a cozy relationship between CNBC anchor and New York Times writer John Harwood and members of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The messages are part of a third WikiLeaks document dump over the past few days of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s account. The latest batch came four days after the U.S. formally accused Russia of hacking and leaking emails to influence the 2016 election.

The newly published emails show that Harwood exchanged gushing messages with Podesta during the 2016 primary campaign.

In one December 2015 email with the subject line "I imagine..." Harwood writes to Podesta how he believes "that Obama feels some (sad) vindication at this demonstration of his years-long point about the opposition party veering off the rails." Harwood then gloated in the email that he was proud of how he questioned Donald Trump during CNBC’s Republican primary debate in October 2015.

Harwood also emailed Podesta last year in May alerting him to watch out for Ben Carson’s campaign.

"Ben Carson could give you real trouble in a general," Harwood wrote in the email, included links to interviews that he had done with Carson.

Podesta passed the email along to Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director. "Fascinating stuff," she replied. 

Harwood also emailed Podesta praising a video from the Clinton campaign. The email, dated July 26, 2015, with the subject line "Strong video," could be referring to a video put out that day by the Clinton campaign titled "Stand for Reality." Days later, Clinton gave a speech in Iowa laying out her plan to combat climate and energy issues. Palmieri responded to the message by crediting two other Clinton staffers for the video.

During the summer of 2015 when Vice President Joe Biden was exploring another potential presidential run, Harwood emailed Podesta, "Cannot believe Biden story is leading the paper."

"Correct me if I am wrong, since you would know better," Harwood continued in the email, "but it strikes me that ‘Biden is actively exploring’ is the new ‘criminal referral of Hillary Clinton’ if you know what I mean."

It is unclear if Podesta responded to the email.

Harwood faced criticism for his role as a moderator in a Republican debate hosted by CNBC in October 2015. His questions were perceived as biased, and he repeatedly got into back-and-forth interactions with the Republican candidates.