State Department Wanted to 'Crush' Hillary Email Questions During CBS Interview

According to a recently released batch of emails, White House and State Department Staff had conspired to pressure CBS to not ask Kerry anything about Clinton’s email scandal during a Face the Nation interview on March 15, 2015. Jennifer Palmieri, the former White House communications director sent an email about this very interview asking "[t]hink we can get this done so he is not asked about email.”

State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki responded, “[a]gree completely and working to crush on my end,” adding a smiling face emoticon as a flourish.

The Daily Caller notes that Benjamin Rhodes, President Obamas deputy national security advisor for strategic communications and the brother of David Rhodes, president of CBS News, was included on the email thread. The full details of the email exchange can be read at The Washington Examiner

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It’s not known what specific request the State Department made of CBS News, but a review of the broadcast shows that there wasn’t even a passing reference to the emails during the interview. Instead, interviewer Margaret Brennan invited Kerry to bash a then-recent open letter to Iran by Senate Republicans which stated that any nuclear deal with Iran had to be approved by Congress. Brennan asked, “so how do you clear the air? Are you going to apologize for this letter?”

Maybe this time it’s CBS News that should apologize and clear the air.

Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella
Mike Ciandella is a research analyst for the MRC's News Analysis Division