Exclusive: Who Generated the Clinton “Salvage Program” Document?

CLINTON CHIEF STRATEGIST DENIES OWNERSHIP

by Sharon Rondeau

Snip from “Clinton Salvage Program” online document which the Benenson Group says it did not produce

(Oct. 24, 2016) — On Monday JB Williams wrote about an electronic document purportedly generated by Clinton campaign chief strategist and pollster Joel Benenson of the Benenson Strategy Group.

The “report” was also a topic of discussion on Andrea Shea King’s show on Monday night and appears to have surfaced several days ago.

Benenson is a co-founder of the company, whose clients include The Hearst Group, Walmart, Barack Hussein Obama, and a number of left-leaning media outlets.

The “document” appears to say that despite publicly-released polling results which generally continue to indicate that Clinton is leading over Trump in the 2016 presidential contest, Clinton’s support has dropped significantly while Trump is surging.

Each page of its seven pages is marked in the lower left corner with “Do not distribute / Do not copy.”

The heading in Section II reads, “Trump Voters Are Virtually Unstoppable.”  In other sections, the electorate is polled on various aspects of the race and reported as largely skeptical of poll results and having little faith in media coverage of the election.

Benenson’s name and email address appear frequently in WikiLeaks’ releases of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, and, as would be expected, in discussions of messaging strategy over more than a year.

While the “document” contains a logo for The Clinton Foundation, The Post & Email could find no evidence that Benenson is a retained strategist for the Clinton family charity, which has faced harsh criticism for allegedly taking quid pro quo donations providing the donors access to Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.

Benenson’s biography reads, in part:

Joel Benenson, founder and CEO of Benenson Strategy Group, is the only Democratic pollster in history to have played a leading role in three winning presidential campaigns — making him the “go-to guy for any politico wanting to take the public’s temperature,” according to GQ.

Joel has been the chief pollster and a senior strategist for President Barack Obama since the beginning of his 2008 campaign, and worked on President Bill Clinton’s polling team during the 1996 race.

At 9:36 p.m., after reading extensively from the document at the opening of her radio show, King said she was not sure if it is authentic.

Earlier on Monday, The Post & Email called the Benenson Strategy Group and, after speaking with the receptionist, was transferred to a woman identifying herself as “Monique” whose position at the company was said to be “an analyst.”

We asked Monique if the document on the internet were produced by Benenson, to which she responded, “No, we didn’t.”  It was obvious that the company had been receiving a large number of phone calls about the matter which Monique confirmed when we asked, “How do you know to which document I am referring?”

“Because we’re getting a lot of calls about it,” she had said.

We asked if Benenson were considering taking legal action against the creator of the “report” given that Benenson’s name had apparently been put to a false document, to which Monique replied, “I don’t know…but thank you for calling.”

It was clear that she wanted to discontinue the phone call. We thanked her and hung up.

The logo for Benenson appearing on the document is different from that which is now used on the company’s website.  To the right of the Benenson graphic at the top of page 1 of the document is a graphic which resembles that of the Clinton Foundation, although in a different color scheme.

“Is this a hoax?” King asked her audience rhetorically at 9:42 p.m., then responded,  “I don’t know.”

In a discussion on Reddit, a commenter observed that the address on the document for Benenson’s Washington, DC office does not match that on Benenson’s website.  The phone number, however, was used successfully by The Post & Email on Monday morning to reach the company.

Another Reddit user farther down on the page states that the “document” bears an outdated Benenson logo and provides links to online documents purportedly generated by Benenson bearing the old and new logos, respectively.

A third Reddit conversationalist concluded of the document, “Someone is messing around for fun.”

After hanging up with Monique, The Post & Email sent a message through Benenson’s contact portal asking if the company planned to make an announcement on its website confirming that the document bearing its name is not authentic.  We received no response.

However, a message indicating that it was posted on October 20, 2016 on Benenson’s Facebook page states:

Please be advised, a fake memo purported to be from BSG containing phony polling results and preposterous recommendations is circulating around the web. This document is of course a complete fabrication. Back to the election…

During our telephone call, Monique did not mention the Facebook post.

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