It’s hard to hear the name of presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton without someone mentioning her email scandal. While fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders mentioned at the first Democratic debate that the country was tired of hearing about her “d**n emails,” it seems there’s even more to discover about Clinton’s emails.
According to the Associated Press, a new batch of private Hillary Clinton emails have been released, and they have exposed the surprising amount of connections the candidate has to a-list celebrities and other powerful individuals. Everything from personal compliments to personal favors, the new emails depict Hillary Clinton as a political celebrity with friends in a lot of high places.
Among the famous folks in her friends list are pop star Lady Gaga, actor Ben Affleck, and former President Jimmy Carter. While none of the correspondence exposes any criminal activity between Hillary Clinton and her rich and famous friends, it does reveal an unsettling safety net of upper class support that the candidate has. In a country where voters strive to elect politicians who represent working citizens and everyday people, Hillary Clinton’s celebrity posse may come as a shock to her Democratic fan base.
While some emails to Hillary Clinton were brief words of encouragement, such as the compliment Lady Gaga sent to the former Secretary of State, others involved political collaboration between Hillary Clinton and her celebrity pals. In 2012, Ben Affleck emailed Hillary Clinton asking her to look over a draft of a report discussing security issues in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hillary Clinton emailed one of her aides shortly after receiving Affleck’s message saying, “I’d like to respond to Ben Affleck. Pls advise. Thx”
However, most of Hillary Clinton’s cooperation instigated over email wasn’t with people from the entertainment industry. For example, emails from Jimmy Carter reveal that the former president helped Hillary Clinton with negotiations between the United States and North Korea. Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi communicated with Hillary Clinton asking for help with new technology. Emails from Jesse Jackson show the civil rights leader offering to help represent Hillary Clinton and help her with new ideas.
It appears that Hillary Clinton was more than willing to help the famous people who reached out to her when she could. According to Politico, after Lady Gaga defended the candidate’s fashion choices from Project Runway “bully” Tim Gunn, Hillary Clinton asked her aides to track down the singer’s address so she could write her a note of thanks.
Another celebrity, Olivia Wilde, also recently defended Hillary Clinton, claiming that people who attack her are sexist. Read more about that here.
As if the the newly released emails weren’t embarrassing enough for Hillary Clinton, they also exposed a moment of technological illiteracy. In 2012, Clinton sent an email to her aide asking about her new Blackberry device.
“Here’s my question: on this new berry can I get smiley faces?”
The aide responded with some helpful self-deprecation, telling her she’d have to “type them out manually, like :) for happy, or :-I I if you want to express anger at my tardiness.”
The State Department is working to make the rest of Clinton’s emails public by the end of 2016. While a few of the exchanges between celebrities and other powerful individuals are entertaining, most of the emails are reportedly dull, everyday interactions between government workers.
However, two committees in the Senate are still working to investigate the Hillary Clinton email scandal and requesting more of her messages.
What do you think about Hillary Clinton’s newly released emails? Do they change your perception of the presidential candidate? Or do you think most of the messages are harmless?
[Photos by Mark Wilson, D Dipasupil/Getty Images]