Email: Dingell angry about exclusion from Clinton group

Chad Livengood
Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing — U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell privately vented to a top Hillary Clinton aide about being initially excluded in the formation of a “Michigan Women for Hillary” group with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, according to an email disclosed by WikiLeaks.

“Observation....I am pissed,” Dingell wrote in the June 20 email to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department.

The email by the Dearborn Democrat hinted at animosity toward fellow Democrats Stabenow of Lansing and Lawrence of Southfield being included in the group.

“I am the third senior women in the state ... not included,” she wrote.

Both Lawrence and Dingell are first-term members of Congress, although Dingell was a longtime Democratic National Committee member. Stabenow is Michigan’s current longest-serving U.S. senator and the congressional delegation’s senior woman.

Dingell then referenced Clinton’s 2008 failed campaign for the White House in her scathing critique.

“Too many feelings were hurt last time, too much back stabbing, no team building.....looks like same old machinations returning and gives me 0 confidence,” she wrote.

The email was among the thousands of pages of records WikiLeaks obtained from hackers who stole the emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email accounts.

Dingell called her exclusion from the group organized by Democratic consultant Jill Alper and former Michigan first lady Janet Blanchard a “slap in (the) face.”

“I am not circulating anything that doesn’t treat me with respect,” Dingell wrote. “It just reminds me of mistakes of past.”

Mills is a longtime Clinton associate who was granted immunity in the FBI’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server in her home while she was secretary of state.

The emails released by WikiLeaks show Mills forwarded Dingell’s email to other campaign staffers, labeling it “confidential.”

“Not sure how congressional folks / women / friends are being engaged but this would be a nice one to fix if we can,” Mills wrote using her Gmail account.

Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, responded in the email thread that the Michigan Women for Hillary group was organized by Blanchard and Alper.

“And there’s so politics with the dingells, I’m told,” Mook wrote.

Mook said another campaign aide would be calling Dingell “and getting her folded in.”

“Excellent,” Mills replied. “Thanks, Robby.”

The June 19, 2015, email inviting women to join the group was forwarded to Dingell by Rachel Koresky, who works with Alper at the Dewey Square Group, a political consulting firm.

The email invited women to attend an inaugural event on June 25, 2015, at the Skyline Club in Southfield.

“Southfield’s very own Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence and our United States Senator Debbie Stabenow will be on hand,” the email said. “We will also be joined by many friends and other elected officials to discuss the important challenge ahead.”

The email was sent about a month before Alper hosted a Clinton fundraiser at her Grosse Pointe home.

Dingell and Alper both declined to comment Wednesday evening.

clivengood@detroitnews.com

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Twitter: @ChadLivengood