Self-described “hack” pre-cleared his Politico story with Clinton campaign [UPDATED]

One can debate whether the WikiLeaks documents pertaining to Hillary Clinton and her campaign have produced a “smoking gun.” My view is that they haven’t, not yet anyway. But the leaked documents corroborate important portions of the conservative critique of Clinton and of the mainstream media.

The latest example is an April 30, 2015 email in which Politico’s chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush asked John Podesta to approve his writing pre-publication. Alex Pfeiffer of the Daily Caller has the details.

Thrush’s story, about (get this) Hillary Clinton’s supposed fundraising woes, seems designed to generate sympathy, if not funds, for the Clinton campaign. But just to make sure his article was fine by Team Clinton, Thrush emailed it to Podesta in advance of publication. He asked Podesta to “tell me if I fu*ked up anything.”

Thrush stated: “Because I have become a hack I will send u the whole section that pertains to u.” He added: “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this.”

Podesta responded that there were “no problems” with Thrush’s story.

Politico is defending the conduct of its chief political correspondent. Its spokesman Brad Dayspring (whose blast emails I used to receive when he worked for Eric Cantor) calls Thrush’s self-description as “a hack” self-deprecating humor.

So, I assume it, is. But it is humor based in fact, including the recognition that it wasn’t proper to send the story to Podesta. The same recognition is evident from Thrush’s plea to Podesta that he not “tell anyone I did this.”

Dayspring claims that Thrush gets “everybody, on both sides of the aisle” to confirm facts in his stories that pertain to them. Maybe. But Pfeiffer has challenged Dayspring to provide specific examples of Republican campaign chairmen with whom he has pre-cleared stories. Indeed, says Pfeiffer, it would be interesting to know whether Thrush ever cleared stories with Dayspring or his colleagues when Dayspring worked for Eric Cantor.

For his part, Thrush told Pfeiffer: “If I am to be defined by my enemies, happy to have you.” Welcome to middle school, folks.

The problem for Thrush is that he’s defined not by his “enemies” but by his cozy exchange with Podesta — the one he hoped no one would learn about.

UPDATE: Regarding the first paragraph of this post, if there’s a smoking gun, it’s in the just-released FBI documents about which John reports here.