Top ally on Clinton's use of private email server: 'Whole thing is f---ing insane'

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A top ally of Hillary Clinton characterized the situation surrounding the Democratic presidential nominee's decision to use a private email server as "f---ing insane," a hacked email published by Wikileaks revealed on Thursday.

Neera Tanden, a political activist and the president of the Center for American Progress, emailed Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta in July 2015 ahead of an appearance she was making on CNN. She later switched from talking about a CNN poll to questioning Podesta on Clinton's emails.

Related: Cities that donate the most money to Clinton's campaign

17 PHOTOS
Hillary Clinton campaign contributions by city
See Gallery
Hillary Clinton campaign contributions by city
Hillary Clinton (Reuters)

15. Denver, Colorado - $2.4M

14. Arlington, Virginia - $2.41M

13. Boston, Massachusetts - $2.72M

11. Bethesda, Maryland - $2.97M

11. Austin, Texas - $2.97M

10. Atlanta, Georgia - $3M

9. Dallas, Texas - $3.08M

8. Houston, Texas - $3.97M

7. Seattle, Washington - $4.36M

6. Brooklyn, New York - $5.36M

5. Chicago, Illinois - $6.4M

4. San Francisco, California - $9.96M

3. Los Angeles, California - $10.2M

2. Washington, D.C. - $14.3M

1. New York, New York - $30.8M

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"Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use private email?" Tanden asked in the hacked emails. "And has that person been drawn and quartered? Like whole thing is f---ing insane."

The FBI investigated Clinton's use of a private email server while she served as secretary of state, but ultimately declined to recommend the Justice Department move forward with charges against her.

Newly-released hacked emails suggest the scandal took the campaign somewhat by surprise.

In March 2015, after The New York Times published a story outlining how Clinton used private email while secretary of state, Podesta wrote Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and asked if he had "any idea the depth" of the story.

"Nope," Mook responded. "We brought up the existence of emails in reserach [sic] this summer but were told that everything was taken care of."

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