UPDATE: Fox News reporter James Rosen asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest to comment on Klein's story “in a leading New York newspaper,” during the March 16 White House briefing. Earnest called Klein's claim “utter baloney.” Despite the flat denial and his history of inaccuracy, Klein is set to appear as a guest on Fox News' Hannity on Monday night.
Discredited journalist Ed Klein is pushing a dubious conspiracy theory that White House adviser Valerie Jarrett leaked the Hillary Clinton email story to the media, an anonymously sourced allegation that's giving Klein renewed attention in the pages and on the airwaves of the right-wing press.
Earlier this month, a flawed New York Times report sensationalized the fact that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton used a personal email address to conduct State Department business.
Klein is now positing that Jarrett “leaked” the story to the press, as he writes in a March 16 column in the New York Post. Klein cites anonymous “members of Bill Clinton's camp” and a nameless “source close to the White House” to come to the conclusion that the Obama administration is deliberately trying to “sabotage” the possible presidential ambitions of Obama's former secretary of state.
His conspiracy theory was given a platform across the full spectrum of conservative media, which called it “explosive” and “reveal[ing].” Fox News featured several segments on Klein's theory and even hosted him on the set of Fox & Friends earlier this month to hype his “bombshell claim.”
Conservative media continue to afford Klein credibility despite a resume riddled with lies and discredited writing.
A few of his greatest hits:
- Klein Concocted A Bogus Claim That Bill Clinton Sexually Assaulted Hillary Clinton. In Ed Klein's 2005 book The Truth About Hillary, he alleged that Chelsea Clinton was conceived during a vacation in Bermuda where Bill Clinton raped his wife. According to the footnotes, this claim was predicated on an interview with a single anonymous source who supposedly “was with the Clintons in Bermuda” (Klein would later walk back this smear).
- Klein Published Impossible, False Allegation That Obama Abandoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu In Order To Have Dinner With His Family. According to a June 2012 report by ThinkProgress, Klein published a false report alleging that Obama left a meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister in order to have dinner with his family. Pointing to a 2010 article Klein published in The Huffington Post, they note that a simple phone call would have disproved Klein's assertion:
In a 2010 entry in The Huffington Post, Klein detailed President Obama's “humiliation” of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu, claiming that sources told him of Obama leaving during a meeting with Netenyahu to have dinner with Michelle and their two daughters. One phone call would have revealed that to be impossible, since Michelle, Sasha and Malia were all in New York City at the time."
- Klein Repeatedly Leans On Sexist Rhetoric To Attack Hillary Clinton, Including Claims About Her Weight And Health. During a June 4, 2012 appearance on Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends, Klein promoted his anti-Obama book, The Amateur, and offered his thoughts on a possible 2016 run for the White House by Hillary Clinton. Klein lobbed personal attacks about Clinton's health, telling listeners that she is “not looking good these days. She's looking overweight, and she's looking very tired.”
Klein's latest claims come fresh off the heels of his 2014 book, Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas. Blood Feud was roundly ridiculed for its sourcing problems and unlikely anecdotes, even by Fox figures like Megyn Kelly and Brian Kilmeade.