Earlier today, Politico’s Glenn Thrush dismissed a series of emails between then-Hillary Clinton aide Philippe Reines and Politico White House correspondent Mike Allen as “tradecraft” and nothing more. For those who missed the story, Gawker had uncovered emails between Reines and Allen negotiating an interview with Chelsea Clinton, with Allen appearing to guarantee Reines that he would produce “totally positive coverage” of his subject in exchange for her availability.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza then appeared to back up Thrush, citing a piece by Callum Borchers in the Post today dismissing Gawker’s interpretation of the emails:

One interpretation of Allen’s e-mail to Philippe Reines, the Clinton aide, goes something like this: Hey, I’m looking for just a few minutes with Chelsea during an important time for her mom. This isn’t a probing, “60 Minutes”-style sit-down, so don’t worry about fielding anything out of left field.

Not so bad, right?

But the Republican translation will likely go more like this: What can I do to make Chelsea look good because, as we all know, I and my Web site (and most of the media) live to serve the royal family of the Democratic Party.

That indeed is an alternative interpretation; however, it completely ignores the very cozy relationship between Reines and CNN’s Elisa Labott, documented in detail last night by American Commitment president Phil Kerpen. Emails show Reines “suggesting” pro-Hillary tweets which then appeared nearly verbatim on Labott’s Twitter feed as news items. This coordination happened more than a few times. Just a conspiracy theory?


“Republican White House hopefuls sometimes go looking for bias where it’s not obvious, or nonexistent,” Borchers concludes.”But, in this case, they won’t have to look very hard. This time, Politico made their job easy.”