Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Armageddon elections to come Poll: Trump leads 2024 Republican field with DeSantis in distant second The politics of 'mind control' MORE's campaign chairman on Wednesday did not deny calling Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFiscal conservatives should support postal reform  Gallego went to New York to meet Sinema donors amid talk of primary challenge: report Five Democrats the left plans to target MORE a "doofus" in an email sent last year.

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John Podesta evaded the question during a CNN interview but noted he was "frustrated" with Sanders at the time for criticizing December's Paris climate deal, which Clinton and President Obama supported. 

"I have great respect for Bernie Sanders," Podesta said when asked whether the email was legitimate.

"There was a moment where he opposed the Paris deal where, without confirming the accuracy of the email, I was frustrated with him," Podesta continued. "But he and I have a very good relationship."

In an email allegedly stolen from his account and released by WikiLeaks, Podesta criticizes Sanders for his position on the Paris climate change agreement.

“Can you believe that doofus Bernie attacked it?” Podesta wrote to Neera Tanden, president of Center for American Progress. The message is dated Dec. 13, 2015, when Sanders and Clinton were competing for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Podesta on Wednesday said he has a "great affection" for the Vermont senator but noted he didn't agree with Sanders's opinion on the issue.

"I do think when he criticized the Paris agreement I didn't think he was taking the right position," Podesta said.

"I'm very proud of President Obama for delivering such an important climate agreement."

CNN's Wolf Blitzer responded, "I'll take that as a yes."

Podesta shot back, "I'll take that as a statement that I have great admiration for Sen. Sanders."