Hillary Clinton's closest aides hid the private email scandal from her campaign team in the months before the official launch of her presidential campaign, emails made public by WikiLeaks show.
Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair, and Neera Tanden, co-chair of Clinton's transition team, each expressed shock at the revelations about her private server as they emerged in early March 2015.
Although Clinton's team had performed research on her in 2014 as staff prepared for her campaign, Clinton's inner circle apparently steered Mook and others away from the issue until it was too late.
When Podesta asked Mook if he had "any idea of the depth of this story," Mook answered simply, "Nope."
"We brought up the existence of emails in reserach [sic] this summer but were told that everything was taken care of," Mook added in his email reply.
Although how Mook approached the emails with researchers in 2014 is not entirely clear, the exchange provides more evidence that Clinton's team set up her server with the intent to conceal emails from the Freedom of Information Act given their expectation that she would run again for president.
In an email to Podesta in July 2015, Tanden hinted that the results of an upcoming CNN poll would likely show Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton's primary opponent, ahead among Democratic voters.
"Do we actually know who told Hillary she could use a private email? And has that person been drawn and quartered?" Tanden joked. "Like whole thing is f——-g insane."
Podesta said their party would have to be "suicidal" to consider nominating Sanders over Clinton.
A number of the emails obtained illegally form Podesta's inbox and published in 20 batches by WikiLeaks have exposed the Clinton campaign's struggle to confront the controversy over Clinton's private server.
A few days after stories about Clinton's personal email use broke for the first time, Philippe Reines, a longtime Clinton aide, admitted "there is just no good answer" to questions about her server.
Later, Tanden pressed Podesta on why Clinton's team did not disclose their private emails months earlier in order to avoid such a massive distraction around the time of her campaign kickoff.
"[I] guess I know the answer," Tanden said. "[T]hey wanted to get away with it."