“I apologize, both for my language and for my tone.” — Hillary Clinton advisor Philippe Reines, in an email to Michael Hastings following their testy exchange in September 2012 over Clinton’s response to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. (Reines told Hastings to “fuck off,” among other things.)

The email appeared in a batch of Benghazi-related emails released today by the State Department in response to widespread scrutiny about Clinton’s private email account, which she used to conduct official State Department business. Reines, one of Clinton’s most devoted disciples, is known for scuffling with reporters.

Full exchange (begins at the bottom):

From: Michael Hastings
Sent: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 09:17 PM
To: Reines, Philippe
Subject: Re: Our Exchange

Hi Philippe:

Thanks very much for the note. I appreciate it.

I have deep sympathy for what your team and the families of the victims are going through. In Baghdad years ago, someone I cared for very deeply lost her life with three others in the service of promoting our values overseas. This experience probably added to the intensity behind my questions and responses as well.

In the interest of diplomacy and extending an olive branch: we should get a drink sometime, off the record.

Best, Michael

On Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 8:18 PM, Reines, Philippe I wrote:

Hi Michael

As you can imagine this has been an intense time for everyone at the State Department, including me.

While I stand by the fundamental principles at issue here, that does not justify my unprofessional response to your emails. I particularly do not want my words to be a distraction from this tragedy.

I apologize, both for my language and for my tone.


You can read the rest of the emails published today here.

H/T Lachlan Markay