- john podesta
Several days after The Washington Post published an article last year about how top Hillary Clinton staffers were cutting costs by taking buses between New York and Washington, DC, her campaign chair found himself stuck on a broken-down Megabus in Maryland.
In an email sent in July 2015 and published by WikiLeaks, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta complained to an assistant that he may have to rearrange his schedule because he was stuck on the bus.
“The $17 bus is broken down and sitting on the side of the road in Maryland. Thanks for sending me on this one,” Podesta said in an email.
Podesta’s assistant, Milia Fisher, apologized, telling him that they would “avoid the bus from here on out.”
The campaign chair’s emails showed Podesta’s bus trips between Washington, DC, and New York on Bolt Bus, Vamoose, and Megabus occasionally caused headaches.
Less than two weeks before Podesta’s bus breakdown, Fisher sent Podesta an email apologizing for different “bus failures,” after there was confusion internally about the campaign’s bus and train policies.
The Washington Post’s 2015 piece about the Clinton campaign’s cost-cutting noted that top staffers, including Podesta, considered taking the bus to be a good example of necessary frugality and a badge of honor.
“The Washington powerbrokers don’t seem to be riding this bus,” Podesta told the Post, who accompanied Podesta on one bus trip.
Fisher sent an email to Podesta shortly after the Washington Post article with favorable tweets from reporters about Podesta’s willingness to forgo the exponentially more expensive train for the bus, and several days later the campaign sent out a fundraising email off the bus story.
The emails were dropped as part of a days-long release by WikiLeaks, which has been highly critical of the former secretary of state. The Clinton campaign has accused Russian hackers of stealing the chair’s emails and leaking them to WikiLeaks.