CBS News has issued a denial after an assertion surfaced in connection with a “60 Minutes” interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suggesting that the State Department “planted” questions with the news organization to use in the interview.
Politico reports that the assertion grew out of newly released Hillary Clinton emails from 2011.
“In an email sent to then-Secretary of State Clinton on Jan. 28, 2011, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the State Department P.J. Crowley said he had confirmed that ’60 Minutes’ was planning to air an interview with Assange, but that he was assured that the interviewer would ask some questions ‘planted’ by the State Department. The interview aired two days later, on Jan. 30, 2011,” Politico reports.
Crowley wrote in the email: “We had made a number of suggestions for outside experts and former diplomats to interview to ‘balance’ the piece. ’60 Minutes’ assures me that they raised a number of questions and concerns we planted with them during the course of the interview. We will be prepared to respond to the narrative Assange presents during the program.”
A spokesperson for “60 Minutes” issued a statement dismissing the suggestion of planted questions, Politico reports. The statement says: “The idea of a ‘plant’ is as preposterous as this email writer’s attempt to get credit from his boss. We spoke to many sources for this story.”