Politico’s chief political correspondent and senior staff writer Glenn Thrush emails Clinton campaign chair John Podesta a large portion of a piece he is writing, entitled “Hillary’s Big-Money Dilemma.”
Thrush appears to be asking for Podesta’s approval of a story he is writing about Clinton’s problems with building a small donor base.
Thrush writes to Podesta, “Hey sir— sorry to bother — OTR [off the record] question. Was working on a fundraising story… Been talking to bundlers who told me that one of the reasons you need to get [Clinton] out on the road was simply that the Hillfunders mid-level strategy was[n’t] getting enough traction and you had to mine the old ’08 crowd a little quicker than u thought… Also – to be a pain in the ass – I’ve heard that u were never entirely on board with the whole ‘flat’ idea in the first place. Cheers/Thrush”
Podesta replies, “I’m the sultan of flat. My whole pitch is all are welcome and grow the network.”
Thrush then asks Podesta, “Can I send u a couple of grafs [paragraphs], OTR [off the record], to make sure I’m not fucking anything up?”
Podesta replies “sure.”
Thrush writes back, “I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u. Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this. Tell me if I fucked up anything.” He includes five paragraphs from the article he is preparing to publish.
The following day, Podesta tells Thrush, “no problems here.” (WikiLeaks, 10/17/2016)
The five paragraphs appear in almost identical form in the final version of the article that is published two days later on May 1, 2015. (Politico, 5/1/2015)
After Thrush’s email is released by WikiLeaks in October 2016, Thrush will be accused of lacking journalistic ethics. On October 17, 2016, he will post the following tweet: “My goal in emailing Podesta: TO GET HIM TO CONFIRM STUFF I HAD FROM LESSER SOURCES. It worked. Nobody controls my stories but me. Troll on!” (Twitter, 10/17/2016)