New Emails Show What Politico’s Chief WH Correspondent Was Willing to Give to Secure Interview With a Clinton

Newly released emails obtained by Gawker reportedly show just how far Politico’s chief White House correspondent Mike Allen was willing to go to secure an interview with Chelsea Clinton.

In the emails exchanged between Allen and a former State Department staffer, the veteran journalist offered a “no-risk” interview and promised to clear his questions with her team in advance.

Daughter Chelsea Clinton, left, and mother Dorothy Rodham, center, applaud Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., as she speaks after her Pennsylvania Primary win over Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Daughter Chelsea Clinton, left, and mother Dorothy Rodham, center, applaud Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., as she speaks after her Pennsylvania Primary win over Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 22, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

“The interview would be ‘no-surprises’: I would work with you on topics, and would start with anything she wants to cover or make news on. Quicker than a network hit, and reaching an audience you care about with no risk,” Allen wrote in an email to then-State Department official Philippe Reines.

In another email, Allen solicited Reines’ “confidential advice on what topics they’re most interested in — what might maximize changes.”

“I think this is something she would like: a way to send a message on a big weekend, but in a no-risk way, since they know I would stick to topics we agree on,” he added.

As Gawker notes, Allen has spoken out about “softball” interviews in the past:

Allen’s eager attempt to draft “no-risk” interview questions with Chelsea Clinton’s camp is especially noteworthy given Allen’s public opposition to low-risk interviews with powerful figures. Just five weeks after he contacted Reines, Allen and his colleague Jim VandeHei published an infamous “Behind the Curtain” column concerning the Obama White House’s attempts to steer various media narratives about the presidency. One of the pair’s main complaints centered on Obama’s preference for “softball interviews”:

You can read the newly released emails here.