WikiLeaks Emails Show Clinton Camp Was Worried Warren Might Endorse Sanders

Warren made her long-awaited endorsement in June.

Elizabeth Warren, Hillary Clinton

Photo via AP

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign grew increasingly worried that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a powerful voice in the left-wing of the Democratic Party, might endorse her primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, according to leaked emails published by WikiLeaks.

The emails, hacked from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s private account, show Clinton aides making an effort to open the lines of communication with the Massachusetts senator, who remained on the sidelines for the duration of the contentious Democratic primary, even as it passed through her home state.

Much of Sanders’ rhetoric railing against Wall Street excess was in line with the positions Warren has also staked her political career on. For example, Sanders repeatedly called for a reinstatement of Glass-Steagal banking regulations, which were repealed by President Bill Clinton during his last year in office and are often blamed for the financial meltdown of 2008.

“I am still worried that we will antagonize and activate Elizabeth Warren by opposing a new Glass-Steagall,” Clinton consultant Mandy Grunwald wrote in October 2015, right around when Sanders packed the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for a rally. “I worry about defending the banks in the debate.”’

Though Clinton leaned toward endorsing Glass-Steagal—a move that top policy advisor Jake Sullivan called a “political decision”—her campaign never did.

“I understand that we face phoniness charges if we ‘change’ our position now—but we face political risks this way too,” Grunwald wrote. “I worry about Elizabeth deciding to endorse Bernie.”

The emails also show how the Clinton camp prepared for December 2014 meeting between Warren and the former Secretary of State, which was later reported by the New York Times. “It would just be such a big deal for this meeting to go well and have EW walk out feeling positive and on board,” campaign manager Robby Mook said.