New emails released Thursday appear to show that a former Los Angeles Times reporter had a “closely collaborative” relationship with the CIA, submitting drafts of stories to intelligence officials before submitting them for publication.

Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter, explicitly promised “positive news coverage” with one news story, according to The Intercept, which obtained emails Dilanian exchanged with intelligence officials. He also said he thought the particular report would be “reassuring to the public” about drone strikes.

Ken Dilanian (Image source: Twitter)

Ken Dilanian (Image source: Twitter)

In another email, Dilanian sent a full unpublished story, with the subject line of “does this look better?”

In yet another email, he sent a story with the subject line, ““Guys, I’m about to file this if anyone wants to weigh in.”

Image source: The Intercept

Former Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Dilanian appears to have violated the newspaper’s rules by sending unpublished drafts of stories to CIA officials. In this particular email, he asks for input on a story. (Image source: The Intercept)

David Lauter, chief of the Tribune Washington bureau, said the emails indicate the newspaper’s reporting policy was likely violated.

“We have a very clear rule that has been in place for quite a few years that tells reporters not to share copies of stories outside the newsroom,” Lauter said. “I am disappointed that the emails indicate that Ken may have violated that rule.

“We don’t have reason to believe that any of the stories we published were in any way inaccurate,” Lauter added.

“We have a very clear rule that has been in place for quite a few years…”
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Paul Colford, spokesman for the Associated Press, told The Intercept that the news agency was “satisfied that any pre-publication exchanges that Ken had with the CIA before joining AP were in pursuit of accuracy in his reporting on intelligence matters.”

Colford clarified that the AP does not “coordinate with government agencies on the phrasing of material.”

The Intercept said they were able to obtain the emails through a Freedom of Information Act Request seeking communication documents between the CIA and a handful of national security experts.

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