It may look as if Donald Trump’s renegade presidential campaign is run primarily by inexperienced loose cannons who could at any moment help torpedo the candidate’s chances at securing the most unlikely election victory in modern American history, and a new report this afternoon from The Politico seems to confirm that.
The story goes like this: Earlier today, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks—who was suddenly appointed to that position last year despite having no political experience—received an email from a campaign advisor named Michael Caputo. The email, which was sent to a Republican National Committee researcher with Hicks CC’d, asked for a plan of attack against Hillary Clinton focusing on the so-called Whitewater scandal that has dogged the Clintons for decades. The Politico story explains:
Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo on Wednesday morning emailed a researcher at the Republican National Committee asking him to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible. This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.”
But things went awry when Hicks replied not to Michael Caputo, but to Marc Caputo, a Politico reporter of no relation:
The email was obtained by POLITICO when Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who Caputo copied on his request to the RNC, accidentally responded instead to Marc Caputo, a POLITICO reporter who is not related to the Republican consultant.
Ack! There is, of course, plenty of reason to believe that this was just equally good and bad luck for Politico and Hicks, respectively. But isn’t it also possible that the Trump campaign decided to leak the email on purpose?
How did Hicks, in attempting to respond to an email someone forwarded to her, end up sending an email to a person not even on the thread in the first place? Why, if she meant to respond to Michael Caputo, did she have to retype his name in the reply field, thus accidentally sending the email to Marc Caputo?
The answer, I suppose, would be that Hope Hicks was extremely busy sending emails and got her wires crossed, or that she’s more or less incompetent. Again, either of those two things are well within the realm of possibility. But if the Trump campaign did have a goal of resurfacing the Whitewater scandal in a manner that separates it from the ongoing “Donald Trump said some crazy shit again” news cycle, then it could not have gone more smoothly.
“Whitewater” has been trending on Twitter since Politico published its scoop, and websites such as this one have picked up the story, too. Did Bill and Hillary Clinton kill a guy? Donald Trump would be happy to know we’re talking about it.