(CN) — Emails leaked Thursday show that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's aides began discussing ways to lobby states to adjust their primary election dates to give their Clinton an advantage as early as April 2014.
In an email released Thursday by Wikileaks, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook suggests pushing back the primary election dates in Massachusetts and Vermont while working to get Louisiana and West Virginia to join Super Tuesday.
"We agree that if she gets a significant primary challenger, we need to consider changing course and getting NY, NJ, and maybe others to move their dates earlier to give her hefty early wins," Mook wrote.
He added, "We may need allies to help this process but we're going to look at each state one step at a time, limiting as much as possible the perception of direct intervention by the principals."
It's unclear whether these discussions led to direct action, although no primary dates were ever changed.
The emails indicate efforts by the Clinton campaign to pursue avenues in political and ethical gray areas, something they were accused of multiple times by challenger Bernie Sanders during the primaries and by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump during the General Election.
In the Wikileaks revelations, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and strategist Joel Johnson debate how to deal with Sanders after Clinton won the Nevada caucus with 52.6 percent of the vote and collected 24 delegates while Sanders earned 16 with 47 percent of the vote
"Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp. We can't start believing our own primary bullshit," Johnson wrote on Feb. 21, 2016, one day after the Nevada caucus. "This is no time to run the general. Crush him as hard as you can. Other than that, hope all is well and congrats on Nevada!"
Podesta responded "I agree with that in principle. Where would you stick the fork in?"
"Obama betrayer ([White House] will affirm). Hapless legislator (senators/members will affirm). False promiser (policy elites will affirm). Can't win (black people will affirm)," Johnson answered.
In a second batch of emails, Clinton staffers seek out information on Democratic super delegates following a Sanders primary victory in New Hampshire.
"Can you get a breakdown of the super delegates? Race/gender etc.," Bill Clinton's assistant Tina Flournoy wrote on Feb. 12, 2016.
Mook replied, "Just so I'm clear — we're looking for a press strategy on this? Or a strategy to retain our people?"
Flournoy answered: "Both."
Longtime Hillary adviser Huma Abedin then weighed in, asking, "Did somebody send this to HRC?"
Many of the leaked emails reference "HRC," the campaign's code for Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The second, unexpected batch of emails brings the total released by Wikileaks to over 45,000.
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