The newest batch of John Podesta’s hacked emails released by Wikileaks shows Obama’s transition team kept lists of Muslim and Asian candidates for jobs in the administration. According to an email chain from 2008, John Podesta received lists of exclusively Muslims and Asians to be considered for jobs in the Obama administration. The email chain revealed that in this process, Middle Eastern Christians were purposefully excluded, or set aside in a separate list, with an aide writing,
In the candidates for top jobs, I excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian. In the last list (of outside boards/commissions), most who are listed appear to be Muslim American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian).
Also notable, there was concern that some of the Muslims suggested would not survive media scrutiny, with one aide writing, “High-profile Muslim Americans tend to be the subject of a fair amount of blogger criticism, and so the individuals on this list would need to be ESPECIALLY carefully vetted.” She continues, “I suspect some of the people I list would not survive such a vet — but I do personally know, at least in part, virtually all of the candidates in the 1st two categories (but I know very few of those listed for outside boards/commissions).” Within the lists themselves, candidates were further broken down, with every candidate labeled by their nationality and sometimes race. This follows a pattern of the Obama Administration using race and religion to determine hiring, with other leaked emails showing potential political appointees being labeled with an F for female, B for black, H for Hispanic, and M for Muslim. Another Wikileaks release showed the Obama transition team keeping extensive lists of non-white candidates for administration posts.