Politico’s chief White House correspondent Mike Allen stopped short of issuing a full-throated apology for offering Chelsea Clinton a “no-risk” interview in 2013, telling readers “My bad!” on Monday and claiming the interview never actually took place.
In a 2013 email to former State Department staffer Philippe Reines obtained by Gawker, Allen offered Clinton a chance to “send a message on a big weekend, but in a no-risk way.” He also offered to only “stick to topics we agree on.”
Allen addressed the controversy in a Monday morning post on his “Playbook” briefing, claiming he has never agreed to questions for an interview in advance and “would never do that.”
Read the entire post below:
MY BAD! You may have missed a Gawker post last week that rightly took me to task for something clumsy I wrote in an email to Philippe Reines in 2013, seeking an interview with Chelsea Clinton at a POLITICO brunch. In the email, I said I’d agree to the questions in advance. I have never done that, and would never do that. POLITICO has a policy against it, and it would make for a boring event. As you know from attending our events (or can tell by clicking on any of the videos on our website), they’re spontaneous, conversational and news-driven. Without stunts or grandstanding, we challenge guests to address newsworthy topics, and to be original, relevant and revelatory. A scripted back-and-forth would be a snore.
We didn’t do the interview with Chelsea Clinton, and would never clear our questions. But the email makes me cringe, because I should never have suggested we would. We retain full, unambiguous editorial control over our events and questioning. My bond with readers and newsmakers is built on knowing I don’t pull punches. So I wanted to share my take on this, and make sure our policy is clear.
You can read through Gawker’s collection of newly released emails here.