Emails: Clinton Campaign Calls New York Times ‘Our Press’

Clinton was ‘upset’ over profile where campaign got veto approval over quotes

Hillary Clinton
October 19, 2016

Hillary Clinton was not happy with a profile written about her by the New York Times, even though her team got to approve what quotes made it into the piece.

The latest batch of hacked emails released by WikiLeaks revealed that Clinton confided in aides that she was "upset" by a "continued bad relationship" with what the campaign described as "our press."

Campaign chairman John Podesta emailed members of the campaign in July 2015 to ask about the reaction to a New York Times profile on Clinton written by Mark Leibovich, entitled "Re-Re-Re-Reintroducing Hillary Clinton."

"[W]hat’s been the reaction?" Podesta asked in an email with the subject line "Liebovitch" [sic]. "I kind of felt like he wasted the effort. Kind of a reporter’s sketch rather than interesting observation."

Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri replied that there was "not a lot of reaction."

"Reaction has been positive–that it is a sympathetic portrait of how hard it is for her," she said.

Palmieri said that she, along with aides Huma Abedin and Kristina Schake, spoke with Clinton and said that the candidate was "upset" about the article.

"She is unhappy with it," Palmieri said. "Huma, Kristina, and I did a call with her. She is upset about our continued bad relationship with our press."

"I told her that even though she can’t see it, we were making improvements and to give it some more time," she added. "She is doing her part and we will do our’s. Told her that you and I were also doing some critical thinking about this."

In his profile, Leibovich described Clinton as "private and guarded by nature," and having "resided at the center of so many scandals, psychodramas, and culture wars that it’s hard to even keep track of them all."

An earlier batch of hacked emails revealed that the New York Times gave veto power to the campaign for what Hillary Clinton quotes could be used in the profile.

Leibovich said he had an off-the-record arrangement with the campaign, and negotiated on what quotes he could use. However, Leibovich changed quotes mid-sentence to accommodate Clinton’s team.

Leibovich emailed Palmieri with a series of quotes he said he "wanted [the] option to use."

In the interview Clinton had said, "I’ve eaten moose, too. I’ve had moose stew. So that’s why I always got a big kick out of Sarah Palin with all of her, ‘We’re cooking up some moose stew here.’"

Palmieri said it was "Fine to use the moose, but appreciate leaving the mention of Sarah Palin out." She also instructed Leibovich to change another quote Clinton made about gay rights.

"Pleasure doing business!" Palmieri said to Leibovich.