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by Micah J. Fleck

UPDATE: It has been pointed out that the original headline of this article read as if literal money-exhanging was involved – this is not at all what the author intended, and as such the article has been updated and rephrased to better reflect the actual content and intent.



A new email uncovered by WikiLeaks heavily suggests that Brent Budowsky, an ex-legislative director to Congressman Bill Alexander and oddly short-lived political blogger, was involved in an initiative to manipulate the Sanders campaign to support Hillary Clinton.

In the email, written to Clinton 2016 campaign chair John Podesta, Budowsky states the following strategy for defeating Sanders:

Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 3.40.30 PM

(scan courtesy of WikiLeaks)

In other words, Budowsky suggested the HRC campaign and the DNC ingratiate Bernie and his supporters by speaking and writing positively about him until the right time… Then get him to back Clinton officially so the game can go according to plan. Or at least, that is what is being alleged by those who have read the email.

Libertarian Party chair Nicholas Sarwark called it a “double-cross” on his official Twitter upon reading it:

Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 3.46.05 PM

And mainstream news sources have picked up the leak of Podesta’s gmail account and pulled other gems from it, as well.

The most interesting thing about this email is that it corresponds directly with Budowski’s evidenced behavior regarding the Sanders campaign – he did precsicely what he promised he would do in the email. He wrote and spoke publicly about Sanders until it was the right time to stop doing so. His blog posts on show as much, where we can see Budowski posting pro-Bernie content until May, and then suddenly ceasing his output never to write again during the election cycle.

If the emails are in fact pointing to a “double-cross” or ingratiation like it appears, this is by far some of the most compelling evidence yet of the Clinton campaign’s string-pulling and underhanded campaign tactics.

About The Author

Micah J. Fleck
Associate Editor

Micah J. Fleck has spent the past few years eviscerating right- and left-wing propaganda as an independent researcher and blogger, where he subsequently found his voice as a political commentator and prospective historical scholar. Mr. Fleck's words and interviews have since been featured in various publications including the National Review, Being Libertarian, and The College Fix. In his spare time, he is also a world traveler, musician, and photographer. Mr. Fleck currently studies the classics in New York City and hopes to one day become a professional academic - without the elitist baggage of academic inertia, of course. To support this author's work, visit his website.

23 Responses

    • petergrenader

      Oh please give me a break. Do you expect ‘The Libertarian Press’ to not paint things politically three weeks before an election? Do you? To assert that if money was exchanged the fault rests solely on the person who maybe handed it out and not on the person who maybe took it… it doesn’t work that way.

      Poor Bernie was bought off, maybe. How about Bernie Sanders took the money maybe and sold out his supporters, maybe.

  1. GFresh

    Writing positive pieces about Bernie when he’s a HRC supporter.
    He says being nice will be like money in the bank to Bernie AND “his people”.
    Money in the bank is a saying, a phrase. I highly doubt he literally meant putting actual money in Bernie and his people’s bank accounts because they need Bernie supporters votes.
    The context should show that and the lack of specifically saying Bernie’s bank account or his people’s (voters?) bank accounts.
    I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and say maybe, that phrase isn’t used anymore? and therefore you’re too young to understand what that phrase means?
    If this is a satire site, I’m going to feel stupid.

    • jphillies08

      I’m in my 20’s and I recognized “money in the bank” as a symbolic phrase for clout or persuasive credibility. Not an actual dollar amount going into Bernie’s pocket. I don’t think age is a valid excuse for that mistake

      • petergrenader

        Honestly – you don’t know that and to assert anything is speculation and in this instance possibly speculation to secure your own political compass and fit the narritive you need to see.

        Do you expect ‘The Libertarian Press’ to not paint things politically three weeks before an election? Do you? To assert that if money was exchanged the fault rests solely on the person who maybe handed it out and not on the person who maybe took it…no, it doesn’t work that way.

        Poor Bernie was bought off, maybe. Of course poor Bernie didn’t take money. it must be a metaphor for Clinton’s influence.

        How about Bernie Sanders took the money maybe and sold out his supporters, maybe.

    • Micah J. Fleck
      Micah J. Fleck

      The headline was not meant to be literal – the “payoff” being referenced, as The Federalist Papers’ citation of me in their article was able to deduce, was a virtual one – one of empty promises and faux support. Support that stopped after Sanders became a threat.

      The headline and conclusion of the article have been rephrased since the initial miscommunication, and a clarification has been posted to the top of the article. The intent was not ti confuse or even appear underhanded. So things have been clarified.

      • petergrenader

        Clarified? Really? How about swayed to point the finger of blame to the person who might want it pointed to. To sugarcoat this as only speculation of a bribe and not speculation of exchange of $ puts the blame on Clinton and not on Bernie for potentially excepting it. Of Course, Bernie isn’t a candidate…so why bring him in on it, right? This is nonsense

  2. megcnut1985

    Okay, one of two things is happening her: either you want to turn people away from Sanders completely, so they will not vote democratic down tickets, so the Republicans keep the house and the senate, or you have no concept of reading comprehension and critical thinking whatsoever, and should be doing ANY writing, based on how stupid and ignorant this article is. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and go with stupidity over corruption.

    The email in question states that this reporter was writing good things about Sanders, so that when it was needed, he would have some clout with Sanders supporters, because HRC was going to need them in the general.


    • Micah J. Fleck
      Micah J. Fleck

      The article itself actually isn’t making any accusations of literal money exchanging. The headline was not meant to be literal. Read The Federalist Papers’ piece that cites my article; they completely get that a virtual pay-off is what was being referenced – empty promises, ingratiation, etc., until Sanders wasn’t useful anymore. Then the insider support stopped and it all shifted to Hillary. I find that despicable behavior.

      So, it’s actually neither of the two things you are accusing me of – I actually quite like Bernie, and am registered Democrat. This is not an attempt at a conspiracy piece to make Bernie or the DNC look bad unjustly. i’ve written pro-Bernie and pro-Dem pieces in the past (seriously). This was simply a case of the headline not working very well to convey the actual content of the article itself. It has since been changed and a clarification has since been posted to the top of the article.

      Thank you for the comment, all the same. I appreciate the fact that our readers want to keep us honest.

      • Micah J. Fleck
        Micah J. Fleck

        No. The article itself makes no libel statements. The headline was poorly phrased and since has been corrected, disclaimer added.

  3. Poojipoo

    The revised headline still doesn’t save this article from being manipulative and misleading. The email in question does nothing to suggest wrongdoing on anyone’s part. It essentially recommends avoiding a negative campaign to win voters and unify the party after Bernie loses the nomination. SHOCKING! If Bernie had won the nomination, he would have needed HRC’s supporters to vote for him as well, and a strategy to win them over. I don’t think “be nice to them” is exactly what I’d call a “manipulative” strategy.

    • Micah J. Fleck
      Micah J. Fleck

      You don’t think it’s a double-cross to ingratiate Sanders, pretend to be his ally, write articles in favor of him, etc., and then roll on him and expect him to shift support to the DNC’s handpicked nominee once he became too much of a threat?

      I do.

      • Bstevens

        So you revise it and it is STILL misleading. Dude just admit that you were wrong . There is no “manipulation” here,

  4. petergrenader

    Bstevens – you nailed it. Completely and succinctly

  5. Mark Choi

    What a complete and utter load of nonsense. This was nothing more than routine campaign strategizing.