A top presidential campaign staffer for Joe Biden set off on a war path against CBS veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge Wednesday afternoon after she shared the 'unmasking list' of Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of General Flynn.
The list, published earlier in the day by GOP Senators Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley, included former Vice President Joe Biden, stating that he made one unmasking request in January of 2017, as the White House was preparing to transition from Obama to President Trump.
"SCOOP @CBSNews obtains @RichardGrenell notification to congress declassified 'unmasking list' Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017 - Read 3 pages provided by NSA here," Herridge shared early Wednesday afternoon, breaking the publication of names to the public.
Andrew Bates, spokesman and director of Rapid Response for Joe Biden's campaign for the White House, ripped into Herridge's information-sharing tweet, accusing her of posting the information to advance a partisan political stance.
"SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment," Bates wrote in response to Herridge.
SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment. https://t.co/A7skfQ2bbu— Andrew Bates (@AndrewBatesNC) May 13, 2020
Bates' hysterical reaction to the published list caught the attention of many tweeters who noted that he was personally attacking a well-respected journalist for simply sharing information available to the general public. Biden, who has wavered in his commitment to whether he knew about unmasking requests regarding General Flynn, has not yet commented on the list.
Biden's Rapid Response Guy appears to be Rapidly Freaking Out over today's news. Here he attacks a tenacious reporter merely for breaking the news about (admittedly explosive and bad for Biden) public documents. https://t.co/oSynS6Rmd9— Mollie (@MZHemingway) May 13, 2020
Herridge joined CBS News last year as an investigative reporter specializing in national defense and intelligence. Prior to that, she worked for more than 20 years as a reporter for Fox News, specializing in national defense and global affairs.
Disparaging comments on Bates' incendiary reaction greatly outnumbered positive ones, as the tweet garnered the undesirable "ratio" effect just hours after posting.
You misspelled "firefighter"— Ron Coleman (@RonColeman) May 13, 2020
I've worked with @CBS_Herridge for many years & this is untrue. It is also beneath integrity of Biden campaign. You do not help your candidate by going maliciously low like Trump & his campaign.— Mark S. Zaid (@MarkSZaidEsq) May 13, 2020
You should apologize & delete this tweet. Be better than this.
Wait...”rapid?” With a “p?” Oooohhh, I thought I was your director of “rabid response.” My bad.— David Marcus (@BlueBoxDave) May 13, 2020