Christian groups struck at Hillary Clinton’s campaign Thursday for a new purported email showing “troubling rhetoric” among her campaign aides. Catholic and evangelical leaders said they were outraged over “demeaning” words allegedly used in messages by communications director Jennifer Palmieri and John Halpin, a senior fellow at Center for American Progress, and circulated to campaign chief John Podesta. In the 2011 emails claimed to be obtained by WikiLeaks, Halpin said 21st-Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch and News Corp Chairman Robert Thomson are attracted to the Catholic Church because of its “systemic thought and severely backward gender relations.” Palmieri allegedly wrote back: “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable, politically conservative religion—their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelical.” It’s unclear if Podesta wrote back or raised any objection to the exchange, but the religious leaders said in the statement: “Podesta’s refusal to raise any objection makes him equally party to this bigotry. It is inexcusable. It is shameful. It is un-American.” WikiLeaks has only released a portion of the emails it has obtained, and news operations, including CNN, have been unable to verify their legitimacy. Palmieri herself is Catholic, said Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon. He added: “We are not going to fact-check each of the emails that were stolen, hacked by Russian-led efforts in an effort to hurt our campaign."
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