Controversial Clinton ally trashed 'alcoholic' John Boehner in emails to Hillary

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State Dept. To Release Biggest Batch of Clinton Emails Yet

A new batch of messages from Hillary Clinton's private email account that was released on Monday evening shows she received advice about political strategy from her controversial confidante Sidney Blumenthal in the leadup to the 2010 midterm elections. Blumenthal's suggestions focused on attacking Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Boehner became speaker of the House of Representatives after the GOP's spate of victories in the 2010 race. In the weeks surrounding the election Blumenthal sent multiple messages to Clinton about Boehner. Among other things, Blumenthal called Boehner an "old scandal ridden hack Republican" and described him as "louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle."

Boehner's office did not respond to a request for comment on this story Monday evening.

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Controversial Clinton ally trashed 'alcoholic' John Boehner in emails to Hillary
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2016 file photo, Democratic presidential hopeful former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in San Gabriel, Calif. The State Department released Friday another 3,000 pages of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email account, missing a court-ordered goal for their production by a week. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
Representative Susan Brooks, a Republican from Indiana, questions Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, not pictured, during a House Select Committee on Benghazi hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015. Under scrutiny for her handling of the Benghazi attacks and her use of a private e-mail server, Clinton plans to invoke the memory of slain U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens to defend her approach to diplomacy, saying they shared a common belief in the need for America to lead. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
In this photo taken Aug. 27, 2015, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in Cleveland. The State Department is expected to release roughly 7,000 pages of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails later Monday, including about 150 that have been censored because they contain information that has now been deemed classified. (AP Photo/David Richard)
This portion of an email from Hillary Rodham Clinton's private email account when she was secretary of state and released by the State Department on Sept. 30, 2015, shows an email Clinton received early in the morning on Aug. 3, 2011. The newly released emails show Russia-linked hackers tried at least five times to pry into Clinton's private email account while she was secretary of state. It is unclear if she clicked on any attachment and exposed her account. Clinton received the infected emails, disguised as speeding tickets, over four hours early the morning of Aug. 3, 2011. The emails instructed recipients to print the attached tickets, which would have allowed hackers to take control of their computers. Security researchers who analyzed the malicious software have said that infected computers would transmit information from victims to at least three server computers overseas, including one in Russia. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)
FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. The State Department review of Clinton's emails so far has found as many as 305 messages that could contain classified information and require further review by federal agencies, the department said Monday. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2015 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton listens as she meets with voters during a campaign stop at River Valley Community College in Claremont, N.H. Clinton has relented to months of demands that she relinquish the personal email server she used while secretary of state, directing the device be given to the Justice Department. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks before the National Urban League, Friday, July 31, 2015, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
FILE - In this July 7, 2015, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a campaign stop at the Iowa City Public Library in Iowa City, Iowa. A special House committee on the 2012 Benghazi attacks has devolved from an investigation into the deaths of four Americans in Libya into a political fight over Clinton’s emails and private computer servers, in a battle that is likely to stretch into the 2016 presidential election year. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks, Friday, July 24, 2015, at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York. Federal investigators have alerted the Justice Department to a "potential compromise of classified information" arising from the private email server used by Clinton in her home, a department official said Friday. Clinton commented briefly on the issue saying, "We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right, and I will do my part but I'm also going to stay focused on the issues." (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an event at the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business in New York on July 24, 2015. The Justice Department said it had received a request to probe whether Hillary Clinton mishandled sensitive government information by using her private email for State Department business. 'The Department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information,' a department official said in a brief statement that confirmed in part a story that first appeared in The New York Times. AFP PHOTO/ KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this April 29, 2015, file photo, Huma Abedin, attends the David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum in New York. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has given the State Department a few months to provide The Associated Press with thousands of documents it sought in a federal lawsuit. The Aug. 7, order means the documents, including schedules and calendars from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will be released months ahead of the spring presidential primary elections. Leon ordered the department to produce within 30 days records related to Abedin, a former top Clinton aide, during her time as secretary of state. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to the media after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Huma Abedin (R), aide to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a news conference following Clinton's keynote speech at a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as secretary of state. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and other members of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Peter Roskam (R-IL), Susan Brooks (R-IN) and Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speak to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton answers questions from reporters March 10, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. Clinton admitted Tuesday that she made a mistake in choosing for convenience not to use an official email account when she was secretary of state. But, in remarks to reporters after attending a United Nations event, she insisted that her email set-up had been properly secure and that she had turned over all professional communications to the State Department. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT (Photo credit should read DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) of the House Select Committee on Benghazi speaks to reporters at a press conference on the findings of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal emails at the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. The New York Times reported that Clinton may have violated the law by using a personal email account for official business at the State Department. (Photo by Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2013 file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Congressional aides say the special House committee investigating the 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, will issue subpoenas for Clinton's personal emails. The aides say that possible as early as Wednesday, the committee will seek the additional material from the potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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The messages were part of the fourth batch of emails from Clinton's private account that was released by the State Department on Monday. In May, a federal judge ordered the agency to release Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of state on a rolling basis at the end of each month. Clinton's use of a private email address for official business while she led the State Department from 2009 through 2013 has led to an ongoing scandal as she embarks on her presidential campaign. Critics argue Clinton's private email server may have violated regulations and compromised sensitive information. Clinton and her team have steadfastly maintained her email practices were safe and in compliance with all rules and regulations.

Emails from previous State Department releases of Clinton's correspondence show Blumenthal advised Clinton on an extensive array of foreign policy issues. Among other things, Blumenthal provided Clinton with unofficial intelligence about the situation in Libya. Blumenthal's communications with Clinton about Libya have caused controversy though she has maintained his advice was unsolicited.

The new emails show Blumenthal sent Clinton lengthy memos ahead of the November 2010 elections and the majority of this correspondence targeted Boehner. Blumenthal did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Clinton's replies indicate she read Blumenthal's messages and that she was communicating with others who were attempting to influence the Democratic Party's strategy for the 2010 campaign.

In a message dated September 1, 2010, Blumenthal forwarded Clinton a Huffington Post article written by political analyst Drew Westen with that contained suggestions for how Democrats should approach the election. Blumenthal's subject line for that message described it as "more on mid-term strategy."

"I'll write you another memo very soon," he wrote.

Blumenthal clearly believed it was imperative that Democrats focus on Boehner. On September 3, 2010 he sent Clinton an article about an USA Today/Gallup poll that he said "underscores need to elevate Boehner." Blumenthal included a note counting down the days to the election and suggested it was urgent for Democrats to adopt his Boehner-centric plan of attack.

"58 days left. Whether the Democrats have the ability and will to execute is a separate subject: "If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly..." Making Boehner the GOP poster child should be systematic and relentless. Tick, tock, another day gone," Blumenthal wrote.

Three days later, on September 6, Blumenthal sent Clinton a lengthy strategy memo that he indicated was the third one he crafted for her on the 2010 election. The memo included intelligence Blumenthal claimed he gathered from pollsters and other sources. Blumenthal argued it was clear installing Boehner as the speaker was the GOP's "stealth agenda" for the midterm races.

"Everything, but everything, is about making John Boehner, that old scandal ridden hack Republican, the Speaker. No matter what the Republicans say, the ultimate issue is the Boehner power-grab," Blumenthal wrote.

Clinton forwarded this memo to an aide, Lauren Jiloty, and requested a copy.

"Can you print the memo w/out any identifiers?" Clinton asked.

On September 8, 2010, Blumenthal forwarded Clinton an excerpt of another poll that he said provided "more evidence on why focusing on Boehner is important."

Three days later, he sent Clinton a New York Times article that highlighted Boehner's connections with lobbyists. Blumenthal seemingly begged Clinton to get Democrats to launch a television blitz based on Boehner's lobbying ties.

"Paid TV ads, please," he wrote.

Blumenthal is a former writer and senior adviser to Clinton's husband, President Bill Clinton. In addition to his work in her husband's administration, Blumenthal also advised Clinton's failed 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, Clinton unsuccessfully pushed to get Blumenthal a position at the State Department. That same year, Blumenthal became a full time employee of the Clinton family's charity foundation and was reportedly paid $10,000 a month. During this time he also received money from the liberal watchdog group Media Matters and the progressive Super PAC American Bridge.

On October 6, 2010, Blumenthal sent Clinton a Media Matters memo written by Westen that called for liberals to push a series of poll-tested "narratives" that would "put Boehner front and center."

"Our new message testingi shows that progressives should not only talk about Boehner but define him and his agenda," Westen wrote.

Blumenthal's message to Clinton suggested he worked on the polling.

"Got this poll done with Brock; Begala helped," Blumenthal wrote.

This was almost certainly a reference to David Brock, who founded both Media Matters and American Bridge, and Democratic political consultant Paul Begala.

On October 8, 2010, Blumenthal forwarded Clinton another Huffington Post article by Westen that highlighted Media Matters' polling on Boehner. This time, Clinton replied.

"Are you reachable by phone tonight?" she asked.

Blumenthal responded with his availability. The next day, he sent along an article about a House candidate who participated in World War II re-enactments in a Nazi uniform. Blumenthal suggested this could be ammunition for another attack on Boehner.

"Dems should demand Boehner remove this GOP Nazi reenactor. Put Boehner in this blitzkrieg," he wrote.

This got another response from Clinton.

"I gave to Bill who is trying to influence strategy," she said.

Clinton's campaign team did not respond to an from Business Insider on Monday evening asking whether this was a reference to President Bill Clinton. The Clinton campaign also did not respond to multiple requests for comment asking if Clinton had a role crafting Democrats's strategy in the 2010 elections and whether she solicited advice on this from Blumenthal.

In some of his messages to Clinton on various topics, Blumenthal has taken credit for planting various stories in the media. He also did this in the leadup to the 2010 election. Blumenthal indicated he "briefed" the writer of a Financial Times piece that praised President Clinton's performance on the campaign trail. In another message, he also claimed to have a role in a New Yorker piece by Sean Wilentz that criticized the Tea Party.

"Did this with Sean," Blumenthal wrote.

Blumenthal's most intense attack on Boehner came in what he described as a "post mid-terms strategy" memo that he sent Clinton on election day, November 2, 2010. Blumenthal described the lengthy missive as "what I hear from Republican sources and elsewhere and what it means for Republican strategy." He claimed there was extensive internal tension in the GOP. Blumenthal, who was charged with driving under the influence in New Hampshire while he was working on Clinton's 2008 campaign, also dismissed Boehner as "alcoholic."

"Boehner is despised by the younger, more conservative members of the House Republican Conference. They are repelled by his personal behavior. He is louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle," Blumenthal wrote. "Boehner has already tried to buy the members with campaign contributions and committee assignments, which he has already promised to potentially difficult members. His hold is insecure."

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