In an email exchange published by Buzzfeed, reporter Michael Hastings revealed the vitriolic slew of attacks levied at him by Philippe Reines, Secretary Clinton's longtime aide and personal spokesman.
The email exchange was published today on Buzzfeed with a brief introduction.
'On Sunday morning, BuzzFeed correspondent Michael Hastings emailed Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton's longtime aide and personal spokesman at the State Department, asking a series of pointed questions about State's handling of the Benghazi fiasco, and Reines' over-the-top attack on CNN,' the politics staff writes.
'The emails quickly got personal, with Reines calling Hastings an "unmitigated a**hole" before an exchange of harsh words on both sides.'
The Buzzfeed article links to an earlier article which criticizes the State Department's 'aggressive' attack on CNN for using Ambassador Stevens' personal journal as a reporting source.
Mr Reines blasted the network for publishing details from the journal, which included that he feared he was on an al Qaeda hit list and was worried about the possibility of an attack.
'Reines' personal involvement in responding to CNN this weekend — deflecting the blame of the department’s failure to secure the personal effects of a fallen ambassador to a cable network — can be read as more or less an expression of Hillary Clinton’s id.'
The first email on Sunday was sent at 10:32 a.m.
'Why didn't the State Department search the consulate and find AMB Stevens' diary first? What other potential valuable intelligence was left behind that could have been picked up by apparently anyone searching the grounds? Was any classified or top secret material also left? Do you still feel that there was adequate security at the compound, considering it was not only overrun but sensitive personal effects and possibly other intelligence remained out for anyone passing through to pick up? Your statement on CNN sounded pretty defensive--do you think it's the media's responsibility to help secure State Department assets overseas after they've been attacked?' the reporter asked.
Mr Philippe wrote a thorough response to the query, answering every question asked and pointing (see below) and addressed the accusation that he was 'defensive'.
'As far as the tone of my email, I think you're misreading mine as much as I'm misreading yours as being needlessly antagonistic,' Mr Reines wrote.
The conversation deteriorated from there.
'Thanks for getting back to me. No, you read my email correctly--I found your statement to CNN offensive,' Mr Hastings replied.
'Why do you bother to ask questions you've already decided you know the answers to?' Mr Reines shot back.
At this point, after two hours of back and fourth, Mr Reines has had enough.