Emails Show Clinton Staffers Worried About Bill’s History With Women

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Young Bill Clinton.Photo: Cynthia Johnson/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

So far, Donald Trump’s key strategy to counter accusations of sexism, misogyny, and — more recently — sexual assault has been Bill Clinton. Early in the race, the Trump campaign released a horror-movie-style ad depicting Clinton as a rapist. And since Trump’s 2005 comments on Access Hollywood were made public, Trump’s allies have been even more aggressive in defending him by thrusting Clinton’s accusers into the spotlight.

So far Trump has confined his commentary on Bill Clinton to rallies and tweets, and Hillary Clinton hasn’t been asked to answer directly for her husband’s sketchy history with women. But emails between Clinton staffers published by WikiLeaks show Clinton’s campaign has struggled with how best to address her husband’s alleged misdeeds.

In January, Clinton adviser Ron Klain, a former aide to Joe Biden, sent around an email with four questions he thought ought to be addressed. “We need to set aside some time — it can be tomorrow, it can be Thursday — to do Q-and-A on the political questions, which now seem to be really owning the coverage,” he wrote. The fourth question was titled “WJC [William Jefferson Clinton] issues.”

WikiLeaks

Another aide replied, “I think we should go through 1-3 tomorrow. John, how to handle 4?” Based on the documents from WikiLeaks, John never responded.