Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta made multiple attempts to get a Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times correspondent to write an op-ed calling for the extradition and jailing of the American dentist responsible for killing Cecil the Lion, emails released this week show.
After an initial August 2015 email from Podesta to Barry Bearak’s New York Times email address, first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, generated a bounceback message indicating Bearak no longer used the paper’s email system, Podesta followed up with another Times writer four minutes later. “Can you pass on to Barry,” he asked Celia Dugger. “He must not be using the NYT email anymore.”
Podesta included the message he wanted passed along. “As the only person anyone knows who has spent time in a Zimbabwe jail, you should pen an oped calling for his killer’s extradition,” he wrote to Bearak. “What an asshole. Missed you at the mini-reunion.”
Podesta was alluding to the time Bearak was thrown in prison by notorious Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe while covering the country’s 2008 elections and Mugabe’s backlash against opposition forces.