Hacked emails published on Thursday (27 October) by WikiLeaks reveal two officials in charge of Hillary Clinton's campaign were surprised by the March 2015 revelations about her use of a private server as Secretary of State.
The exchange between campaign manager Robby Mook and campaign chairman John Podesta show the two were initially unprepared for the gravity of the news.
Hours later, the New York Times reported that Clinton had used a private email account that could have broken records rules, Podesta reached out to Mook, Reuters reported.
"Did you have any idea of the depth of this story?" Podesta asked at 10.27pm EST.
Mook replied at 1.32am EST, saying: "Nope. We brought up the existence of emails in research this summer but were told that everything was taken care of." Reuters noted that hours later the Associated Press reported Clinton's emails were run off a private serve kept in the basement of Clinton's Chappaqua, New York home.
According to the New York Daily News, months after the revelations came to light, Clinton's allies remained upset at how her inner circle had handled the situation.
"Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use a private email? And has that person been drawn and quartered?" Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden asked. Tanden, a longtime Clinton ally who is close to Podesta, added the "whole thing is f***ing insane."
The emails are part of a trove of exchanges stolen from Podesta's account. Neither the Clinton campaign nor Podesta have authenticated the emails' authenticity. The campaign has suggested the emails may have been altered and has blamed Russian hackers for targeting the Democratic Party.
National security experts agree that the Podesta emails, and the internal emails at the Democratic National Committee, were almost certainly stolen by Russian-aligned hackers and given to WikiLeaks. The campaign claims the hackings occurred in order to swing the election in Donald Trump's favour.
Despite sowing intense distrust among voters, the leaked emails have not managed to completely derail Clinton's campaign. With less than two weeks before Election Day, the Democratic nominee leads Trump in public opinion polls.