Hillary Campaign E-Mails Singled Out NYT’s Haberman for ‘A Very Good Relationship’ for Spin Help

October 9th, 2016 8:20 PM

Buried within the latest batch of e-mails from the hacker Guccifer 2.0, the Clinton campaign specifically singled out then-Politico and current New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman as someone they “have...a very good relationship with” and thus could assist them in the spin “achiev[ing] our objective and do the most shaping.” 

The Glenn Greenwald-led site The Intercept pulled together the damning e-mails that, in the words of Greenwald and Lee Fang, prove that “a central component of the Clinton campaign strategy is ensuring that journalists they believe are favorable to Clinton are tasked to report the stories the campaign wants circulated.”

“At times, Clinton’s campaign staff not only internally drafted the stories they wanted published but even specified what should be quoted ‘on background’ and what should be described as ‘on the record,’” they added.

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In a story that goes onto describe and illustrate (via graphics) the lengths the Clinton campaign went “to use glitzy, intimate, completely off-the-record parties between top campaign aides and leading media personalities” featuring cocktails, drinks, and food, the portion concerning Haberman dated back to January 2015 when they were laying the groundwork for the April launch of Hillary’s second presidential bid. 

The campaign was discussing who in the media would be best suited to break key elements of their announcement and groundwork when Haberman came up because she’s a “friendly journalist” who, naturally, previously had “teed up” pieces for them with a record of “never” letting them down.

Greenwald and Fang then explained the results of such a discussion:

That strategy document plotted how Clinton aides could induce Haberman to write a story on the thoroughness and profound introspection involved in Clinton’s decision-making process. The following month, when she was at the Times, Haberman published two stories on Clinton’s vetting process; in this instance, Haberman’s stories were more sophisticated, nuanced, and even somewhat more critical than what the Clinton memo envisioned.

But they nonetheless accomplished the goal Clinton campaign aides wanted to fulfill of casting the appearance of transparency on Clinton’s vetting process in a way that made clear she was moving carefully but inexorably toward a presidential run.

Of course, the campaign aide responsible for the memo didn’t respond to The Intercept’s questions while Haberman declined comment.