TEL AVIV – CNN’s global affairs correspondent Elise Labott makes a cameo appearance in the latest batch of 130-pages of Hillary Clinton emails released last week as the result of a Judicial Watch lawsuit and reviewed in full by this reporter.
The email shows that on April 16, 2009, Labott contacted then-Clinton Senior Adviser Philippe I. Reines and other top Clinton aides to offer Clinton the opportunity to feature her “top priorities” as secretary of state as part of a CNN.com series titled, “First 100 days.” The series is about the Obama administration’s first 100 days in office.
Such an email ordinarily would not stand out. However, Labott’s case is exceptional due to her history of consulting Clinton aides. Previously released Clinton correspondence showed Labott worked directly with Reines to craft two tweets that she eventually published. One tweet criticized Rand Paul for asking Clinton tough questions during a Benghazi hearing. A second tweet was favourable of Clinton’s Benghazi testimony.
Those disclosures, first reported by the Daily Caller last November, were made public while Labott was in the middle of serving a two-week suspension from CNN for allegedly violating the news agency’s editorial guidelines by tweeting criticism of a House bill seeking to block Syrian refugees from entering the United States.
Now the 2009 email released last week by Judicial Watch may shed light on the genesis of Labott’s relationship with Reines and other Clinton deputies. The email was also sent to top Clinton aides Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin.
As part of our “First 100 days coverage, CNN is asking all Cabinet members to write an op-ed for our commentary page. We are hoping for one from Secretary Clinton. and are also asking for one from President Obama.
Specifically from Secretary Clinton, we would like to know: Now that she is 100 days into office, what are her top priorities as Secretary of Stale? What will be the biggest challenge? How will she address that and her other priorities?
Labott made clear she is offering to Clinton CNN.com’s large platform of “15 million daily visitors”:
Our commentary pieces routinely get more than 1 million clicks, but we are expecting many more for this series. The piece would also be linked from CNN.com’s main page, which averages around 15 million daily visitors.
Regarding Labott’s coordinating her pro-Clinton tweets with Reines, The Daily Mail summarized the Daily Caller’s November scoop thusly:
In one email exchange from that day, Reines seems to offer Labott, a CNN foreign affairs correspondent, suggestions for tweets critical of the Republican senator who was especially harsh on Clinton during the hearing.
After conferring with Reines, Labott sent out a message to her followers that read: ‘Sen Paul most critical on committee of Clinton, but a little late to the #Benghazi game.Not sure he was at many of the 30 previous briefings.’
Labott then checked in with Reines again, asking him whether he was sure Senator Paul was not ‘at any hearings.’
Based on their subsequent written exchange, Ms Labott also may have sent another tweet at Reines’ urging later that day that contained a favorable quote from Clinton.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.