New York Times Reporter Defends Hillary Clinton Email Reporting: ‘WikiLeaks Was a Source’

“I think on balance the decision to publish stories about the e-mails was correct,” says Nicholas Confessore

Nick Confessore

New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore is hitting back against his colleague Amy Chozick — now engaging in a very public reckoning with her role in reporting the Clinton emails released by WikiLeaks.

Confessore, who co-bylined many of those stories with Chozick, said that he stood by the reporting and that, on margin, it was overwhelmingly newsworthy and beneficial to the American public.

“As a former cubicle-mate of @amychozick and an author or co-author on some of the @nytimes coverage of the hacked Podesta and DNC e-mails, I have a different view of our paper’s decision to publish stories based on those e-mails,” he said at the beginning of a dense and lengthy Twitter thread. “I think on balance the decision to publish stories about the e-mails was correct.”

Confessore said that Wikileaks — much maligned for its role in the email leak — had served as a source on earlier stories and had been celebrated by liberals when it was news they personally welcomed.

“We published private financial documents from the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, even in cases where the documents did not explicitly reveal any illegality. We published classified information about NSA surveillance programs,” he said.

“WikiLeaks was a source for many such documents and stories: The Iraq War logs provided by Chelsea Manning, for example, and secret U.S. diplomatic cables. This journalism was applauded by many on the political left (and often attacked on the political right).

Chozick is the latest person to shop a book in what has become a season of Trump-literary hand-wringing. In “Chasing Hillary,” the reporter describes her ten years of following the candidate and the torturous process that ultimately turned into.