WikiLeaks Reveals Who in Hollywood Is Really on Hillary Clinton's Call List

6:15 AM 10/19/2016

by Pamela McClintock

Days after leaving the Obama White House, John Podesta set to work on courting Hollywood for his new boss. The leaked emails reveal some in Hollywood were just as keen to court the eventual Democratic nominee.

While the hack of Hillary Clinton's private email account posted earlier this year on WikiLeaks didn't serve up a lot of Hollywood dish — save for effusive emails from Harvey Weinstein when she was secretary of state and a 2011 email from "H" asking staff to put studio chief Alan Horn on her call sheet days after Warner Bros. ousted him — the same can't be said for the recent hack of 2016 Clinton presidential campaign chairman John Podesta. As soon he resigned as an Obama White House adviser in February 2015 to work for Clinton's not-yet-announced bid, a priority was to court Hollywood, including Jeffrey Katzenberg (who backed Barack Obama in 2008's primaries), according to the database posted on WikiLeaks. Podesta likewise was courted by the town.

  • A Cable Chief's UFO Chat

    Podesta, as he was leaving the Obama White House, tweeted that a big regret was not declassifying UFO files. NBCUniversal Cable's Bonnie Hammer emailed on Feb. 20, 2015, that she "had to chuckle when I read your comment — brought back fun SciFi memories. … look forward to hopefully seeing you again, perhaps, this time, during Hillary's run!"

  • Katzenberg Reconnects

    "Really enjoyed the time together," Katzenberg wrote March 12, 2015, to Podesta of a joint L.A. meeting with political consultant Andy Spahn. Spahn later wrote to campaign manager Huma Abedin and Podesta, saying Katzenberg would like to meet with Clinton in NYC. "She … probably should. She hasn't engaged with him in a while," Abedin replied to Podesta on March 25.

  • Behind 'Between Two Ferns'

    On April 20, 2015, nearly 18 months before Clinton's Between Two Ferns appearance with Zach Galifianakis, Funny or Die producer Ben Sheehan wrote to Podesta to say that their "Climate Change Denial Disorder" video had gone "immortal" (100,000 views): "Congrats! I also wanted to introduce myself because … I believe you've known my dad, Michael Sheehan, for many years! I look forward to more projects together."

  • A Trust Issue With Bill?

    "HRC has just reluctantly cleared it," wrote Abedin on May 13, 2015, to staff about Katzenberg's request to meet with Bill Clinton in NYC, adding, "but [HRC] wants one of us to be present for the meeting."

  • Haim Saban and the Hispanic Vote

    "[Univision chair] Haim thinks we are underreacting to Trump/Hispanics," Podesta emailed his team on July 3, 2015. Abedin: "He says he's only heard her talk about immigration. And … it means he's hearing it from his Univision colleagues."

  • Why Hillary Met Q-Tip

    Reps for the hip-hop artist asked for a Clinton meeting. "Q-tip? Seriously? I am so old," Abedin said in an Aug. 29, 2015, email. On Sept. 3, Podesta weighed in: "I think we should do this. Could use a lift in this space."

  • A Dinner to Soothe a David Brock Offense

    On Sept. 15, Spahn decried an ad from David Brock's super PAC comparing Bernie Sanders to Hugo Chavez. "Ad is offensive. … You should denounce it," he wrote to Podesta, who was in L.A. two days later. Spahn: "Nides and I having dinner at Katzenbergs in BH at 8 pm. You avail to join?" Podesta: "Yes, may be a little late … Address?"

  • Ben Sherwood Is Bummed

    On Sept. 24, 2015 — the same day NBC News announced it would host a town hall meeting with Clinton — Katzenberg informed Podesta that ABC was also game, per a conversation that day with Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney-ABC Television Group. "FYI. I spoke to Ben [Sherwood] about town hall concept and he's offered any and all ABC News platforms." Katzenberg included an email Sherwood sent him following the NBC announcement. "Ta-da! You work fast! Only wish she were doing ABC instead of NBC," wrote Sherwood.

  • A Big Mouth (But Not Larry David's)

    In October 2015, Podesta asked his chief of staff Sara Latham to find out who Larry David was supporting after seeing his Bernie Sanders impression on SNL. Latham replied she was asking Kristina Schake, who has done political work for Rob Reiner, a friend of David's, instead of CAA agent and Clinton go-between Michael Kives, "who has a big mouth." The verdict: "Rob spoke to Larry … Bernie's campaign contacted him … to endorse and he declined," informed Latham.

  • Steve Bing Name-Drops Bob Iger

    On Nov. 12, 2015, Steve Bing emailed Podesta about introducing Clinton to developer Rick Caruso. "Also, saw Bob Iger on Sat., who said he's had good talks with you. Miss seeing you."

  • 'Hamilton' for a Song

    By fall 2015, scalpers were selling tickets for $1,000 for the sold-out show. Podesta secured four for Dec. 23, 2015. "All set! Under J. Podesta. $167/ticket," wrote Hannah Richert, a director at the Clinton Presidential Center, on Dec. 10. "Grazie! Grazie!" replied Podesta.

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