Emails: CNN Reporter Coordinated With Hillary Aide To Smear Rand Paul During 2013 Benghazi Hearing

A CNN reporter who was recently suspended for two weeks for violating the network’s editorial guidelines showed up in a new trove of State Department emails released on Tuesday in which she appears to have coordinated social media posts with a top Hillary Clinton State Department aide during the former secretary of state’s Jan. 23, 2013 Senate testimony about the Benghazi attacks.

The emails, which were released to the website Gawker, show that Elise Labott, a foreign affairs reporter at CNN, took guidance from Clinton aide Philippe Reines by posting a tweet criticizing Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for asking Clinton tough questions during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the Sept. 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks.

Labott also coordinated with Reines to post a favorable quote from Clinton’s testimony, which she gave just a week before she left office.

In the Reines emails, which are the subject of a Gawker lawsuit against the State Department, Labott appears to pick up on a previous conversation she was having with Reines during the Benghazi hearing, asking him: “are you sure rand paul wasn’t at any hearings?”

Five minutes after sending that email, Labott sent Reines another message sharing what she had tweeted about Paul.

Hours later, Labott and Reines were at it again.

“She was great. well done. I hope you are going to have a big drink tonight,” Labott wrote to Reines, complimenting Clinton’s performance.

Reines followed up that compliment by telling Labott that he had “suggested a good Tweet.”

Labott said that she had not received an email concerning another tweet. Reines wrote back “Pin,” an apparent reference to a private messaging system.

Labott wrote back “will get back to you.” Eleven minutes later she sent an email reading, “done.”

According to free-market advocate Phil Kerpen, who scoured through the emails on Tuesday, Labott sent the following message at Reines’ request:

ARB is a reference to the Accountability Review Board that Clinton appointed to investigate the Benghazi attacks.

The release of the emails caps a rough month for Labott. On Thursday, she posted a biased tweet decrying the House’s passage of a bill that would halt the program allowing Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. until federal agencies can ensure that they don’t pose a national security risk. CNN suspended Labott the next day for violating its editorial guidelines.

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