Emails Obtained By Gawker Reveal Item in Politico’s Playbook Newsletter That Clinton Aide Secretly Wrote

A senior advisor to Hillary Clinton penned an item that appeared in Politico’s influential Playbook newsletter in 2010, emails published by Gawker Friday reveal.

The website published a conversation between State Department advisor Phillip Reines and its chief White House correspondent Mike Allen.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Reines sent a late-night email to Allen, who previously promised Clinton’s team a “no surprises” interview with Chelsea Clinton, with promotional language for a National Geographic documentary on the State Department. The email’s subject was “Playbook.”

From: Philippe Reines
Sent: Mon 11/8/2010 12·37 AM
To: Mike Allen
Subject: Playbook

Viewer Alert

Premiering tonight at 9pm on the National Geographic Channel (both regular and HD!): “Inside the State Department” For over a year the Secretary of State’s soft-media savvy team gave the documentarians unprecedented access to every corner of the Department, including to HRC herself both here in Washington, DC and abroad.

The movie, a serious behind-the-scenes look at the work of State’s 60,000 workforce globally, was screened to rave reviews last month before a standing room only crowd at NGC’s headquarters on 17th Street, and feature many faces familiar to Playbookers.

From the release: “In a planet full of conflict, America faces challenges like never before. Inside the Department of State follows US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her team of top advisors into some of the most embattled regions of the planet. Travel behind the scenes on some of Clinton most crucial overseas missions to date: including trips to Pakistan, Israel, Egypt and Afghanistan. Each missions sheds new light on the machinery & strategy of American diplomacy.”

* WARNING: allowing your Cabinet-level boss to watch may be detrimental to your professional health and result in the ultimate annoying question: Why can’t I get something like this done about ME?!

If you do get that question, blame Caroline & Philippe.

Approximately 90 minutes later, Allen replied.

sweet — thanks and congrats

The Playbook author then followed up, sending Reines a condensed version of his item.

From: Mike Allen
Sent: Monday, November 8, 2010 2:12 AM
To: Philippe Reines
Subject: RE: Playbook

VIEWER ALERT – Premiering tonight at 9 on the National Geographic Channel (regular and HD!), “Inside the State Department”: For over a year the Secretary of State’s soft-media-savvy team gave the documentarians unprecedented access to the Department, including to HRC herself, in D.C. and abroad. The behind-the-scenes look at the work of State’s global workforce of 60,000 was screened to rave reviews last month before a standing-room-only crowd at NatGeo, and features many faces familiar to Playbookers. If your Cabinet-level boss wonder why they “can’t get something like this done,” blame Caroline and Philippe.

Reines replied, “Tytyty.” He then followed up, requesting a change.

From: [Philippe Reines]
Sent: Mon 11/8/2010 1:56 AM
To: Mike Allen
Subject: Re: Playbook

On second thought, can you pull this line: “If your Cabinet-level boss wonder why they ‘can’t get something like this done,’ blame Caroline and Philippe.”

My bad, sorry

Allen shot back an email: “gotcha.”

The promotional blurb later appeared in the Nov. 8, 2010 edition of Playbook.

VIEWER ALERT — Premiering tonight at 9 on the National Geographic Channel (regular and HD!), “Inside the State Department”: For over a year the Secretary of State’s soft-media-savvy team gave the documentarians unprecedented access to the Department, including to HRC herself, in D.C. and abroad. The behind-the-scenes look at the work of State’s global workforce of 60,000 was screened to rave reviews last month before a standing-room-only crowd at NatGeo, and features many faces familiar to Playbookers.

Allen did not respond to a request for comment Friday evening from TheBlaze.

After Allen found himself in hot water over his promise for a “no surprises” interview with Chelsea Clinton, he offered a “my bad” blurb in Playbook. In it, he called his email “clumsy” and said it made him “cringe.”

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