Wikileaks: Washington Post’s Anne Gearan Privately Praised Hillary Clinton

Jake Sullivan, a top adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said that Washington Post reporter Anne Gearan privately “professed to be a big fan” of the former Secretary of State, according to the latest Wikileaks release of emails from John Podesta’s purported accounts.

In December 2014, Sullivan wrote to now-campaign chairman Podesta and Philippe Reines about an off-the-record conversation with Gearan, who reportedly praised Clinton as a candidate while trying to gather information on the 2016 campaign.

Funny — I just met with Anne Gearan. She didn’t even mention she was working on a piece. We talked about a bunch of things off the record, mostly me b.s.’ing about great HRC is in a thousand different ways. She was very focused on who is getting hired for what, which I pled (accurate) ignorance on. She was also very focused on timing for the campaign, which I also pled ignorance on. She believes Benghazi is a bigger liability than others think. You all know my views on this — though I made a strong case to the contrary. She professed to be a big fan — someone who believes that HRC grew at State and is better, warmer, and more formidable as a candidate now.

Months later, Huma Abedin reported that Gearan joined a chorus of journalists who commended Clinton for a display of humility at the 2015 Toner Prize award ceremony:

Andrea mitchell, laura meckler, jon allen, anne gearan, phil rucker, karen tumulty in unison agreed that she did the right thing and appreciated that she “acknowledged” that she has a problematic relationship with the press.

 

Other email threads show a chummy relationship between Gearan and Podesta. She apparently RSVPed “yes” to an off-the-record dinner at Podesta’s house three days before the campaign’s launch — joining dozens of reporters who would become part of Clinton’s travelling press pool.

In June 2015, she profiled the campaign’s early days, framing Hillary for America as disciplined, “tightwad,” and distinct from “Washington powerbrokers.” The illustration of this message was that Podesta and other staffers rode commercial buses from New York to DC. The article hyped Clinton “running as a warrior for the middle class.” Campaign press secretary Brian Fallon told Podesta that Gearan would angle her questions on that very thesis: “[she will be] asking you to articulate how the bus is a symbol of the campaign’s disciplined approach,” he wrote.

When the Post published Gearan’s article, she emailed a link to Podesta with the subject line: “Thanks again for the company and conversation.”

A new email thread published Wednesday shows Gearan reminiscing about the bus story and pitching another soft-focus campaign profile — centered on Podesta’s cooking skills. In February 2016, she wrote to Podesta and campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri:

Hi John and Jennifer,

In Iowa, John had suggested that since I now know how he behaves on a bus I should see how he does in the kitchen at one of your cooking fundraisers. Assuming you were serious I really want to do this. It would be a fun feature amid the chaos.

How about the one below? [“a Campaign Briefing and Brunch with John Podesta, Campaign Chair and Special Guest Chef, Carla Hall Co-Host of ABC’s The Chew” on February 21st] With Melina [Mara] for photos of you slinging a whisk?

Ground rules could be a few ways, but I would need to be able to quote both you and Ms. Hall and to ask guests for comment.

Let me know, and cheers.

Gearan said Wednesday afternoon that, per her recollection two years later, Sullivan’s contemporaneous description of their conversation was inaccurate — objecting to Twitter accounts using the email to ridicule her. She insisted that she has covered Clinton impartially.


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