- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2016

A new thread from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s leaked emails show one of her former top aides discussing work with “very friendly” reporters in the early days of the Democrat hopeful’s secret email server scandal.

WikiLeaks documents that U.S. intelligence agencies said were stolen from Russian state actors show a March 8, 2015, email from Philippe Reines, a previous Senate and State Department aide, to Mr. Podesta. An document titled “New Ways” detailed successful efforts to mold news narratives using “malleable” journalists.

“This might sound a little out there but I think you ought to consider this gesture to the new team given their legitimate misgivings: We put out on background to one or two VERY friendly and maleable [sic] reporters that what HRC decided to do in the end in terms of what will be a tremendous disclosure was in large part because of the new team’s strong advice and feeling that she tell it all, for better or for worse,” Mr. Reines said.

“That after several initial days of not having our footing, they injected refreshing advice that HRC wholeheartedly agreed with,” the confidante continued. “A sign that while the campaign team is still coming together and gelling, they already are having an impact on the way we do business, showing that even if it’s a little bumpy to start, things WILL be different this time. Good for them, good for her, bad for Cheryl & me but in the scheme of things it’s a minor indignity as compared to others coming our way. I’m happy to take one for the new team, it really is in her best interest which is all that really matters.”

The latest WikiLeaks revelations mirror similar emails by Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, who called former Politico reporter Maggie Haberman (now with The New York Times) “safe.”

“As discussed on our call, we are all in agreement that the time is right place a story with a friendly journalist in the coming days that positions us a little more transparently while achieving the above goals,” Mr. Merrill said in a Jan. 13, 2015, email to Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and others. “For something like this, especially in the absence of us teasing things out to others, we feel that it’s important to go with what is safe and what has worked in the past, and to a publication that will reach industry people for recruitment purposes. We have had a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed.

SEE ALSO: WikiLeaks spotlights Hillary Clinton campaign’s ability to have pliant reporter ‘tee up’ stories

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has vowed to release roughly 50,000 of Mr. Podesta’s stolen emails.

Approximately 25,000 documents have already been leaked.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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