Leaked emails show Clinton, Dems split on linking Trump to GOP
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Senior Democratic Party officials balked at plans by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMatt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' What to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch MORE’s presidential campaign to distinguish GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUS-Saudi Arabia policy needs a dose of 'realpolitik' Trump talks to Swedish leader about rapper A$AP Rocky, offers to vouch for his bail Matt Gaetz ahead of Mueller hearing: 'We are going to reelect the president' MORE from Speaker of the House Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump quietly rolled back programs to detect, combat weapons of mass destruction: report Ocasio-Cortez top aide emerges as lightning rod amid Democratic feud Juan Williams: GOP in a panic over Mueller MORE (R-Wis.) and other Republicans, according to emails released by WikiLeaks. 

The Clinton camp’s quick-response arm “basically want to make the case that you either stand with Ryan or with Trump, that Trump is much worse than regular Republicans,” then-communications director Luis Miranda told CEO Amy Dacey in May. “[T]hey don't want us to tie Trump to other Republicans because they think it makes him look normal.”

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“That's a problem,” he added in the email, which had a subject line “Problem with HFA," using an acronym for Hillary for America.

“We would basically have to throw out our entire frame that the GOP made Trump through years of divisive and ugly politics,” he wrote. “It just doesn't work from the Party side.”

Adopting the Clinton campaign’s line, he insisted, would “hold up Paul Ryan as a good example” and "give down ballot Republicans such an easy out.”

It “would ALSO put us at odds with … basically all of our Congressional Democrats who have embraced our talking points … to point out that GOPers in Congress have been pushing these ugly policies for years,” he claimed.

“Let me see what I can find out,” responded Dacey.

The email exchange, which had been previously highlighted by the New York Post and NBC News, offers a peek into the internal frictions between Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) efforts to elect Democrats in the House, Senate and state offices.

The exchange was among a cache of emails stolen from the DNC and released by WikiLeaks last month, directly ahead of the Democratic National Convention.

Both Dacey and Miranda resigned from their posts following the hack, which appeared to show efforts to quell Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall Sanders unveils plan to guarantee the 'right to a secure retirement' MORE’s (I-Vt.) presidential campaign and boost Clinton’s. Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz also stepped down following release of the emails, whose hacking has been linked to Russia.

The dispute has new meaning this week, following a speech Clinton gave on Thursday tying Trump to the so-called “alt-right” brand of conservatism, which has been linked to white nationalism and other extreme positions.

Her speech suggests that the Clinton campaign’s strategy ultimately won out over efforts to link Trump to the rest of the Republican Party. The Democratic nominee on Thursday suggested that Trump and his followers were an aberration from the GOP as a whole, but they had not taken it captive.

“A fringe element has effectively taken over the Republican Party,” she claimed.