Hillary Clinton's News Alliance: 'Don’t Say You Were Blackmailed'

Justin Streight

Hillary Clinton's emails have gotten in her way before the FBI investigation. In one message from 2009, an aide to the former secretary of State dictated terms to the political editor at the Atlantic. When Gawker revealed the exchange, the Atlantic admitted that the article went against their editorial standards, but still has done nothing to delete or edit it.

Back in February this year, Gawker broke the news about collusion between the Atlantic's political editor Marc Ambinder and Philippe Reines, who was Hillary Clinton's senior advisor in the State Department and a fierce critic of the media's coverage of the Benghazi incident.

Ambinder sent an email to Reines asking for a transcript of Clinton's upcoming speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. Reines replied that he would send it over, but only on three conditions.

1) You in your own voice describe them as "muscular"

2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something

3) You don't say you were blackmailed!

2) You note that a look at the CFR seating plan shows that all the envoys — from Holbrooke to Mitchell to Ross — will be arrayed in front of her, which in your own clever way you can say certainly not a coincidence and meant to convey something

3) You don't say you were blackmailed!

"When you think of President Obama's foreign policy, think of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That's the message behind a muscular speech that Clinton is set to deliver today to the Council on Foreign Relations. The staging gives a clue to its purpose: seated in front of Clinton, subordinate to Clinton, in the first row, will be three potentially rival power centers: envoys Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, and National Security Council senior director Dennis Ross."

Later on, Ambinder, who is now editor-at-large of The Week, said that the Atlantic never made him engage in that form of journalism, and admitted that the exchange made him uncomfortable at the time. He said any journalist who finds him or herself in that position "should listen to their gut feeling and push away from that."

Gawker documented two exchanges between reporter Mike Allen and Reines as well, one for the Hillary Clinton aide to ghostwrite a piece for the Politico "Playbook" series and another offering a "no-risk" interview with Chelsea Clinton.

[Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images]

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