New York Times Hires Reporter Who Sent Stories To Clinton Staffers For Approval

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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Politico’s Glenn Thrush, who was exposed in WikiLeaks emails sending stories to Hillary Clinton staffers before publication, will be joining the New York Times to cover the White House, The Huffington Post reported Monday.

“We’re thrilled that Glenn Thrush is joining The Times,” Elisabeth Bumiller, The New York Times’ Washington bureau chief, told The Huffington Post. “He’s a premier political journalist, a master of breaking news and long-form story telling and a stellar addition to our White House team.”

While Bumiller described Thrush as a “premier political journalist,” in one email to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, Thrush chose to describe himself as a “hack.”

“No worries Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u,” Thrush wrote to Podesta in an April 2015 email. “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this Tell me if I fucked up anything.” (RELATED: NYT’s John Harwood Gloats About Provoking Trump At Debate)

Thrush’s email included five paragraphs of a story pertaining to Podesta, and Podesta replied to Thrush telling him there were “no problems” with the writing. Those paragraphs appeared in a May story “Hillary’s big-money dilemma.”

Clinton’s campaign Jennifer Palmieri also got to look over Thrush’s writing. In another April 2015 email, Thrush wrote, “pls read asap — the [Jennifer Palmieri] bits — don’t share.” This email included eight paragraphs of uncritical writing on Palmieri.

Palmieri forwarded Thrush’s email to Podesta and campaign manager Robby Mook among other staffers, and said, “He did me courtesy of sending what he is going to say about me. Seems fine.”

The portions Thrush emailed Palmieri ended up mostly unchanged in the column “Quiet, please. Hillary’s running.” That story includes the line, “Palmieri (who laughed off a request to participate in this story) enjoys a good relationship with reporters.”

The WikiLeaks release of Podesta’s emails also revealed a political bias from Thrush. In an August 2015 email chain, the Politico reporter asked Podesta if he had seen a report that Clinton had secured the support of more than 400 superdelegates and if the report is true. Podesta responded “yes,” and Thrush said, “I’m glad!”

Leaked emails, though, aren’t necessary to see what Thrush really thinks about politics. On Twitter, the new White House reporter for The New York Times seemed to suggest President-elect Donald Trump is a racist. Thrush wrote “exactly” when retweeting someone who wrote, “so black people are to blame because they oppose a racist? It’s the voters fault and not the candidate’s? Ok.”

During Trump’s speech accepting the Republican nomination, Thrush wrote, “Your assessment of the quality of Trump’s speech is entirely dependent on how low you set the bar.”

Then in September, he said, “Dems having a hard time accepting: a clear majority of white Americans are aware of Trump’s racist/xenophobic comments and back him anyway.” Outside of disdain for Trump on Twitter, there is plenty of love between Thrush and the Clinton campaign.

Thrush wished a happy birthday Monday to former Clinton deputy press secretary Jesse Ferguson and Clinton’s former spokesman Brian Fallon gave his endorsement after the news of Thrush’s hire. “If journalism is last line of defense in fight to hold Trump accountable, I’ll take my chances [with] combo of [Maggie Haberman] & [Glenn Thrush] at NYT,” Fallon wrote.

Following Trump election, the Times’ public editor wrote that the paper will be making a conscious effort to not be “an echo chamber of liberal intellectualism.”