Revealed: NYT, WaPo reporters didn’t want to cover …

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Author: Chris Enloe

Reporters with two mainstream media newspapers were reluctant to cover the controversial meeting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch had with former President Bill Clinton on a airport tarmac last summer, just days before the FBI would conclude their criminal investigation into Clinton’s wife, Hillary.

The American Center for Law and Justice published emails on Friday that showed how reporters covering the story were less than enthusiastic about doing so when they reached out to the Department of Justice for comment. The non-profit received the emails through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The emails detail exchanges a reporter with the New York Times and a reporter with the Washington Post had with DOJ officials about the infamous tarmac meeting.


In an email on June 30, Mark Landler, a White House correspondent with the Times, wrote to a DOJ official that his editors have “pressed” him “into service to write about the questions being raised” about the tarmac meeting.

Meanwhile, Matt Zapotosky, a national security reporter for the Post, wrote to DOJ officials on June 30 asking for a “quick” phone conversation about the Clinton-Lynch meeting.

“My editors are still pretty interested in it and I’m hoping to put it to rest by answering just a few more questions about how the meeting came about-who approached who, how did they realize they were in the same place,” Zapotosky wrote.

In an additional email, Melania Newman, who at the time was the director of public affairs at the DOJ, noted that an ABC news producer she corresponded with wasn’t “interested” in the story.


Lynch and former President Clinton ignited controversy last summer after their tarmac meeting at the Phoenix airport was leaked to the press. The meeting was controversial because it came while Lynch’s organization had an ongoing criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.

Lynch and Clinton later said they did not discuss the FBI’s investigation and only talked about golf and family. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes and was private. The FBI even told anyone around the plane they were disallowed from using their cell phones while the two were meeting.

Lynch has since said she regrets the meeting because it may have put the integrity of the DOJ in question.

“I do regret sitting down and having a conversation with him, because it did give people concern. And as I said, my greatest concern has always been making sure that people understand that the Department of Justice works in a way that is independent and looks at everybody equally,” she told CNN.

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