WikiLeaks releases alleged Podesta emails

WikiLeaks releases alleged Podesta emails
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WikiLeaks on Friday afternoon published a database of 2,060 documents it claims are emails from Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPapadopoulos's wife wants him to scrap plea deal with Mueller: report FBI chief: I'm trying to bring 'normalcy' in 'turbulent times' Senate Intel chief slams ex-CIA director for timing of claims about Trump-Russia ties MORE's campaign chairman John Podesta.

According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the emails — which are labeled as “Part I of the Podesta emails” — focus on Podesta’s “communications relating to nuclear energy, and media handling over donations to the Clinton Foundation from mining and nuclear interests.”

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Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL players stand in tunnel during anthem, extending protests 12 former top intel officials blast Trump's move to revoke Brennan's security clearance NYT: Omarosa believed to have as many as 200 tapes MORE and others have accused Clinton of tying the State Department’s 2010 approval of a gradual Russian takeover of the U.S. company Uranium One to $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The company was made up of land equal to about 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium capacity, according to Oilprice.com — although experts note that the U.S. doesn’t actually produce a significant amount of the world’s uranium stock.

The State Department did not take unilateral action, but instead was one of a nine-agency review board, known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Clinton campaign has maintained that the then-secretary of State was not directly involved in the process.

The State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, Jose Fernandez, handled the deal, according to the campaign.

Fernandez has attested that “Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter.”

But shortly before The New York Times reported links between the donations and the sale of Uranium One, Fernandez wrote an email to Podesta, according to the WikiLeaks emails.

"John, It was good to talk to you this afternoon, and I appreciate your taking the time to call. As I mentioned, I would like to do all I can to support Secretary Clinton, and would welcome your advice and help in steering me to the right persons in the campaign,” he reportedly wrote.

In pushing back on allegations in the Times story, Assange wrote, the campaign “failed to mention that Fernandez was hardly a neutral witness in this case, considering that he had agreed with John Podesta to play a role in the Clinton campaign.”

The $145 million in donations came from nine separate donors to the Clinton Foundation, only some of whom were linked by The New York Times to Uranium One.

According to a timeline put together by the fact-checking organization Politifact, the bulk of donations occurred more than two years before the 2010 approval of the deal.

Assange has said repeatedly that his organization will release “thousands” of documents pertaining to Clinton that could have a “significant” impact on Clinton’s bid for the White House.

The controversial WikiLeaks leader — who is currently avoiding a rape charge by living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London — is a vocal critic of the former secretary of State.

WikiLeaks, which published the stolen Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails earlier this year, has a policy to not disclose where it obtains the information that it makes public.

Earlier on Friday, the Intelligence Community confirmed that Russia was behind the theft of the DNC emails. 

Although it remains unclear exactly who provided the documents to WikiLeaks, security experts have long warned that Russian intelligence is capable of selectively doctoring emails that it disseminates. Some have raised concerns that WikiLeaks is acting as a bullhorn for Russian intelligence.

The DNC has not denied the authenticity of any of the emails published in that leak.

- This story was updated at 6:02 p.m.