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WikiLeaks Shines Light on Obama’s 2008 Staffing Choices, G20 Dodge

© AFP 2023 / JIM WATSON US President Barack Obama speaks to reporters following a National Security Council meeting on the counter-ISIL at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, December 14, 2015
US President Barack Obama speaks to reporters following a National Security Council meeting on the counter-ISIL at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, December 14, 2015 - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks has published a bunch of then US president-elect Barack Obama’s email exchanges, which revealed how his transition team planned to head off an invitation to the G20’s 2008 crisis summit.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Thursday publication includes seven files with emails, most of them sent by John Podesta, who is chairing the election campaign of US Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The dump revealed Obama’s email address in 2008 to be bobama@ameritech.com.

​That is the first time Wikileaks published Obama’s email correspondence. The whistleblower website has released 13 batches of emails on Clinton’s campaign from Podesta’s hacked account.

'Awkward' Summit

The email leak revealed that the day Obama was elected president of the United States on November 4, 2008 his advisers were already scratching heads on how best to head off an invitation to the G20 financial crisis summit a fortnight later.

"On the chance that President [George W.] Bush would raise this with you tonight, I wanted you to be aware that it is the unanimous recommendation for your advisors that you NOT attend," Podesta wrote.

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Podesta said advisers believed that risks associated with Obama’s attendance "substantially outweigh" any benefits, while his appearance alongside President Bush would create an "extremely awkward situation" during the transition period.

The email detailed several tactics of how to possibly deflect an invitation to the G20 meeting without the risk of a negative news story, including getting help from journalists.

"There would likely be a question about your potential attendance at the G20 meeting, something we could make more likely by quietly suggesting to someone that such a question would elicit an interesting answer if asked," the instruction read.

The general advice was to avoid being identified with the Bush administration and the outcomes of the crisis meeting, which Obama’s staff believed was called under pressure from France and other EU leaders.

Minority Lists

The dump of Clinton campaign head Podesta’s emails also brought to light the fact that Obama campaign's 2008 transition team made lists of candidates to senior government jobs based on their sex, religion, race and nationality.

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The email from Michael Froman, a member of team’s advisory board eight years ago, mentioned lists of potential candidates that were sent to Obama in an attachment.

In them, candidates of African American, Latino and Asian American origin were allegedly divided between cabinet/deputy and under/assistant/deputy assistant secretary levels.

"We have longer lists, but these are candidates whose names have been recommended by a number of sources for senior level jobs in a potential Administration," the email read.

There were also shortlists of senior Native Americans, Arab or Muslim Americans and disabled Americans, as well as a list of women similarly divided between candidates for cabinet, deputy and other senior-level positions.

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