Wikileaks: Hillary aide Podesta concerned with brother’s lobbying for Qatar Petroleum

Personal emails of top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta unearthed by Wikileaks show he fretted over reports that his brother, Tony Podesta, lobbied for a Qatar Petroleum-backed, pro-fracking investment group at the same time he advised President Barack Obama on climate issues.

Obama and Clinton have been consistent public opponents of fracking and fossil fuel development.

Tony Podesta’s lobbying firm is called the Podesta Group.

On April 30, 2015, John Podesta received a Google Alert on his brother’s name that linked to a story published by Desmog, a Vancouver, Canada-based pro-Global Warming blog.

Podesta’s assistant, Eryn Sepp, highlighted a passage from the story:

"On March 26, 2014, a week after John Podesta made his remarks about the environmental movement and fracking, Tony had a meeting with the White House. On April 4 and August 4, the logs show, Tony Podesta met with John Podesta in the White House."

“John, let me know if I need to pull the logs from April 4 and August 4,” Sepp wrote. “Ironically, I am currently waiting for the gas company to come turn on my gas.”

Podesta responded to Sepp, cc’ing his brother:

“Yes see what was up then.”

Tony Podesta responded that he would be “doing same.” His lobbying associate, Gregory McGowan, sent an email four days later expressing concern that the Desmog post was getting broader traction.

“Numerous blogs are continuing to repost last week’s Desmog Blog article,” he wrote.

Podesta’s partner, Missi Tessier, counseled against responding:

“All of us agree that it is not in anyone’s interest to engage with or respond to purposefully inaccurate right wing bloggers as it will only result in will only result in additional rounds of stories that will do nothing to correct the record,” she wrote. “Our internal digital analysis has shown that this story line has flatlined over the last several days and we do not believe that inducing another spike in the online discussion will be beneficial.

Tony Podesta forwarded the chain of discussion to John, who sent it to Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Jennifer Palmieri, and Research Director Tony Carrk.

“You guys tuned into any of this?” he asked. “One stream is that I’m pro-fracking because Tony and I went to (the) Greek Independence Day together where he must have convinced me to be anti-environment.”

Organizations in this story

Qatar Petroleum Doha, Doha

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