Any reporter will tell you that scoops don’t just fall from the sky. Sometimes, though, they land in your inbox.
Such was the case Wednesday, as Politico reported that Donald Trump’s campaign is preparing to attack Hillary Clinton over the Whitewater real estate dealings, one of the vintage ’90s Clinton scandals that have given campaign 2016 a retro vibe. Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, Politico learned, on Wednesday emailed a researcher at the Republican National Committee seeking information about Whitewater. The request had an insiderish ring, asking the aide to “work up information on HRC/Whitewater as soon as possible. This is for immediate use and for the afternoon talking points process.”
So how did Politico obtain the email? Allow it to explain:
“The email was obtained by POLITICO when Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, who [Michael] Caputo copied on his request to the RNC, accidentally responded instead to Marc Caputo, a POLITICO reporter who is not related to the Republican consultant.”
That the Trump campaign is looking for documents on Whitewater isn’t shocking. The presumptive Republican nominee, included the real estate deal in a laundry list of Hillary Clinton vulnerabilities in a recent Washington Post interview: “It’s the one thing with her, whether it’s Whitewater or whether it’s Vince [Foster] or whether it’s Benghazi. It’s always a mess with Hillary,” said Trump.
In a quote to Politico, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer sensed a marketing opportunity, noting that the episode is “just another example of Republican campaigns up and down the ballot looking to us for the best information. Whether it’s the Trump campaign or top Senate, House or down ballot candidates we will consistently provide them with the resources they need to win.”
As the Hicks email to Marc Caputo suggests, however, the RNC researcher — Michael Abboud — may soon be joining the Trump campaign.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Erik Wemple