New York Times reporter Amy Chozick privately praised Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail performance, according to a message from a Clinton staffer in the latest WikiLeaks release of John Podesta’s purported emails.
Patrick Burgwinkle, Iowa Press Secretary for Clinton’s campaign, wrote in a thread summarizing a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, that Chozick left the event impressed by the candidate’s “connection” with attendees. “Amy Chozick told me it was one of her best events,” Burgwinkle reported. “[She said] that Bernie likes to pretend the rank and file don’t like her but this showed she has a real connection to them and that she thinks the media forget the strong connection she has with working class voters.”
Several other WikiLeaks email threads show Chozick trying to establish a strong rapport with Clinton and her inner circle. On March 23, 2015, before the campaign’s official launch, she reached out directly to Podesta for an informal meeting:
“I wanted to say hello via email and propose that we grab coffee and sit down in person some time soon, either when you’re in NYC or when I’m in DC,” she wrote after apparently seeing him at a public event. “Peter Baker and other colleagues speak highly of you, and I am really looking forward to hopefully working with you over the next couple of years.”
That same night, Huma Abedin implied that Chozick got way too close for comfort after Clinton delivered remarks at the year’s Toner Prize award ceremony. “[Hillary] was audio taped the entire mix and mingle by amy chozick who may as well have been sitting in her lap,” she wrote.
The next month, Chozick and other reporters dined at an off-the-record dinner at Podesta’s New York home three days before Clinton officially announced her campaign.
Days later, Chozick alerted the Clinton campaign that she was working on an article about the upcoming investigative book Clinton Cash from Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer. Press secretary Brian Fallon felt that Chozick’s angle would help the campaign fight the book’s allegations of pay-for-play arrangements coordinated between the Clinton State Department and Clinton Foundation:
Amy Chozick from the NYT called us to indicate she had obtained a copy of the book on her own and intends to file a separate story tomorrow.
We think this story, though it was not originated by us, could end up being somewhat helpful in casting the book’s author as having a conservative agenda. Moreover, we think Amy is suspicious of the arrangements that the book’s publisher has reached with the various media outlets (including her own paper). In fact, Jo Becker is apparently trying to get this story killed because she thinks it will undermine her investigative piece later this month. But so far it is running in tomorrow’s paper.
Chozick’s own coverage of revelations from WikiLeaks’ “Podesta Emails” omits Clinton’s tortuous, bureaucratic flip-flop on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, her “dream” of “open trade and open borders,” and the internal audit of the Clinton Foundation which rated the charity organization 4/10 and warned it may have provided false statements to the IRS.
Her latest article on the topic describes a “genial” paid speech to Goldman Sachs as humanizing: “for Mrs. Clinton, who is often criticized as overly scripted, her relaxed, off-the-cuff exchanges at these private events also revealed a side that she has struggled to show voters under the intense glare of a presidential race.”