Washington (CNN)A new book chronicling Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 bid for the presidency is making headlines for an anecdote of the problems caused by the candidate's lack of communication with her wider campaign, relying often on just a few close confidantes as a go-between even with top campaign officials.
There was campaign confusion about Clinton's first interview. Here's how it really happened.
Clinton's penchant for keeping close counsel is legendary, but a former top Clinton campaign aide is disputing the details of the account.
In "Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign," which was released Tuesday and is the first dissection of Clinton's unsuccessful campaign, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write about Clinton's long awaited first national television interview, which I conducted in July 2015, almost three months after Clinton got into the race.
"(Communications Director Jennifer) Palmieri asked (longtime aide and campaign co-chair Huma) Abedin to find out which newscaster Hillary would prefer, and the answer that came back was 'Brianna.' That means CNN's Brianna Keilar, and Palmieri worked to set up a live interview on CNN," the authors wrote. "Only it turned out that Hillary had said 'Bianna' -- as in Bianna Golodryga of Yahoo News, the wife of former Clinton administration economic aide Peter Orszag. By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late to pull back."
The aide, who was involved in the planning of the interview, told CNN it was the press team that conceived of the strategy for Clinton's first big television interview and ran my name by Abedin. They were proposing Clinton do a series of interviews with television "beat reporters," the journalists who covered Clinton's every move on the campaign trail, beginning with me.
Palmieri reached out to me on Friday, July 3, to see if I would be in Iowa on Tuesday, July 7, where Clinton had a campaign event scheduled. I asked why, thinking perhaps Clinton was going to meet off-the-record with reporters, but she was vague. On Sunday, July 5, Palmieri called me to tell me it was an interview and I was going to do it.
One day before the sit-down, CNN publicly announced I would be conducting the interview.
It turns out Abedin had, in fact, believed she was approving an interview with Golodryga, not me, but the interview proceeded and press aides didn't learn of Abedin's confusion until months later, according to the aide.
During the interview, I asked Clinton, "Can you tell me the story of how you decided to delete 33,000 emails and how that deletion was executed?"
"Everything I did was permitted," Clinton insisted. "There was no law. There was no regulation. There was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate. Previous secretaries of state have said they did the same thing. And people across the government knew that I used one device -- maybe it was because I am not the most technically capable person and wanted to make it as easy as possible."
"But you said they -- that they did the same thing," I followed up. "That they used a personal server and under subpoena deleted emails from them?"
"You know, you're starting with so many assumptions that are -- I've never had a subpoena," Clinton bristled. "There is -- again, let's take a deep breath here. Everything I did was permitted by law and regulation."
Following the interview, which campaign aides thought portrayed a defensive Clinton, plans for interviews with other television reporters in the Clinton press corps were scrapped, according to multiple sources.
After months of resisting, Clinton finally apologized for using a private email address on a server located in her home, telling ABC News in September 2015: "As I look back on it now, even though it was allowed, I should have used two accounts, period. That was a mistake. I'm sorry about that. I take responsibility."