Hillary Clinton

Leaked Clinton Campaign Email Cites Kirk Quote on Iran Deal

A leaked email from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign Chairman John Podesta referenced a 2015 BuzzFeed article in which Sen. Mark Kirk predicted nuclear war in the Middle East in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal.

Podesta's email, which was released Friday by WikiLeaks along with a cache of documents from the Clinton campaign chair, was in response to a message from John Anzalone of Anzalone Liszt Grove Research that bore the subject line, "you call it." In his email, Anzalone included a link to the BuzzFeed article and a quote from Kirk.

“This agreement condemns the next generation to cleaning up a nuclear war in the Persian Gulf,” Kirk told BuzzFeed at the time. “This is the greatest appeasement since Chamberlain gave Czechoslovakia to Hitler.”

“Yup,” Podesta said in response to the email.

What exactly that means is unclear, although Kirk’s campaign is taking it as “recognition from leaders of both parties that the Iran Deal is tragic and dangerous.”

The former secretary of state has backed the Iran nuclear deal, which was reached in 2015. However, according to a 2015 New York Times report, Clinton said the deal would only work “as part of a larger strategy toward Iran” that contained capital Tehran’s power in the region as sanctions are lifted. Kirk’s opponent in November, Rep. Tammy Duckworth, also has backed the plan.

The Clinton campaign has not confirmed the authenticity of the emails, nor has NBC News independently authenticated the emails. On Wednesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the Russian government is suspected in the recent hack.

The Clinton campaign would not directly address the Kirk email, but Podesta issued a statement Wednesday blaming the Russians for allegedly boosting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's candidacy.

"It is now clear that the illegal hack of my personal acount was -- just like the other recent election-related hacks -- the work of the Russian government," Podesta said. "This level of meddling by a foreign power can only be aimed at boosting Donald Trump and should send chills down the spine of all Americans, regardless of political party. Despite receiving an intelligence briefing on the Russians' role in masterminding these hacks, Donald Trump continues to side with the Russians by publicly denying their involvement and even cheering on further intrusions."

"Worst of all, the growing number of links between Trump's associates, WikiLeaks and the Russian government raises troubling questions about the possibility that Trump's allies had advance knowledge of the release of these illegally obtained emails," he added.

Podesta suggested Tuesday that former Trump adviser and confidante Roger Stone was in collusion with WikiLeaks. According to NBC News, Stone called that claim "categorically false" Wednesday. 

"I have a back-channel communications with WikiLeaks," Stone said. "But they certainly don't clear or tell me in advance what they're going to do."

During the interview, Stone confirmed to NBC News that he and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange have "a mutual friend" and cast doubt on U.S. agencies investigating the cyber attacks.

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