Candidates make all sorts of promises in a presidential election. But in 2016, Hillary Clinton has boldly gone where no front-running White House wannabe has gone before.
The former secretary of state is promising to investigate and declassify government files on UFOs and make them available to the public.
Tapper: Tell us what you're going to do when it comes to Area 51 [a Nevada Air Force base where top secret aircraft have been developed, and where alleged alien spacecraft are studied], and whether or not the U.S. government knows of aliens, should Secretary Clinton be elected president.
Podesta: What I've talked to the secretary about, and what she's said now, in public, is that if she's elected president and she gets into office, she'll ask for as many [UFO] records as the United States federal government has, to be declassified. I think that's a commitment that she intends to keep and that I intend to hold her to.
Tapper: Have you seen any of these documents? You were a White House chief of staff years ago.
Podesta: President Clinton asked for some information about some of these things, and in particular, information about what was going on at Area 51. But I think that the U.S. government could do a much better job in answering the quite legitimate questions that people have about what's going on with unidentified aerial phenomena, and the American people can handle the truth. So, they should just do a thorough search and open it up.
Tapper: What is the truth? Is there evidence of alien life?
Podesta: That's for the public to judge, once they've seen all the evidence that the U.S. government has.
Tapper: What do you think, personally?
Podesta: What do I think? I think there's a lot of planets out there.
Podesta didn't directly answer the question put to him of whether he had ever seen any of the UFO or so-called alien-related documents. But he has a history of claiming the U.S. government has classified important UFO-related documents, as seen in the following video from a 2002 Washington, D.C., press conference.
Last week's CNN exchange followed Clinton's March 24 appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" where she told the voting public that she would be more successful than her husband had been in his attempts to find and release UFO files.
"I would like to go into those files and, hopefully, make as much of that public as possible," Clinton added. "If there's nothing there, let's tell people there's nothing there. If there is something there, unless it's a threat to national security, I think we ought to share it with the public."
And those Clinton quotes were offered just a few weeks after Podesta stated on KLAS-TV News in Las Vegas, "I've talked to Hillary about that. There are still classified files that could be declassified. I think I've convinced her that we need an effort to kind of go look at that and declassify as much as we can, so that people have their legitimate questions answered."
Is all of this back-and-forth rhetoric just the tip of a Clinton-Podesta-UFO-iceberg?
In early January, during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, the Conway Daily Sun asked Clinton about her husband's previous comments on national television where he stated: "If we were visited [by aliens] someday, I wouldn't be surprised."
Hillary Clinton told the newspaper, "I think we may have been [visited already]. We don't know for sure." She also said that Podesta had urged her to pursue the subject of government UFO files.
"He has made me personally pledge we are going to get the information out. One way or another."
It appears, three months further into the race for the presidency, both Clinton and Podesta aren't joking about the UFO subject because it keeps coming up in conversations.
As the New York primary rapidly approaches and the remaining candidates of both parties travel around the state soliciting large numbers of delegates, will the Clinton camp continue raising the UFO issue?
It will be just as interesting if any of Clinton's rivals try to put a negative spin on the UFO question in an attempt to lessen her credibility with voters.