Emails from former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd are amongst those released this month by WikiLeaks who claim they are hacked from the Google account of John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
If the emails are genuine – the Democratic Party has been obscure as to their authenticity without flatly denying so – they suggest Rudd was seeking council from the US political powerbroker around the same time as his bid for the position of United Nations general secretary, to succeed Ban Ki-Moon.
“I’m in DC tomorrow if by any chance you are there for a quick catch up,” Rudd apparently wrote to Podesta on 14 December 2015,
“Alternatively in NYC (New York City) Wednesday or Thursday,” it continued.
“I would appreciate a short chat before Christmas.
The communication, if genuine, came just nine days prior to the former prime minister’s meeting with current prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss support for his bid for the top job at the UN, which ultimately failed.
According to WikiLeaks, Rudd’s senior executive associate at the Asia Society Policy Institute, Sarah Marten, then emailed Podesta on 26 February 2016 to request a meeting.
“Mr Rudd will be in DC next week and was hoping to find some time to meet with you,” she reportedly wrote.
According to AAP, the WikiLeaks emails contain no reply to either outreach.
The WikiLeaks email dump is part of an ongoing campaign by the group headed by Australian Julian Assange of releasing hacked communications between senior Democratic party members, in an apparent attempt to disrupt the US presidential election.
Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State when WikiLeaks’ most famous releases occured. It is said that the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has a personal vendetta against her and is at war with the now presidential candidate.
According to US authorities, the emails were obtained by Russian hackers with the implication that the Russian government is directly responsible for the hacks. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has sought to cast her presidential rival Donald Trump as a “puppet” of Russian president Vladimir Putin as a result of the Republican candidate being the apparent benificiary of the controversial leaks.
Following the leaks, the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up for several years avoiding extradition to Sweden, cut off his access to the Internet saying they did not condone his meddling in foreign elections.