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 ClintonHillicon Valley: China implicated in Microsoft breach | White House adds Big Tech critic | QAnon unfazed after false prediction Jill Biden redefines role of first lady QAnon supporters unfazed after another false prediction MORE’s presidential campaign to distinguish GOP nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE from Speaker of the House Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan to host fundraiser for Cheney amid GOP tensions Boehner book jacket teases slams against Cruz, Trump CPAC, all-in for Trump, is not what it used to be 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 SandersSinema pushes back on criticism of her vote against minimum wage, implying that it's sexist Biden takes victory lap after Senate passes coronavirus relief package Schumer insists Democrats unified after chaotic coronavirus debate 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.