Ask Hillary tells journalists what questions Clinton should answer

Hillary Clinton may be the least press-friendly presidential frontrunner in decades, but a new website wants to help journalists get better answers from her in the rare instances when she lets them pose questions.

Ask Hillary lets anyone submit or vote for questions for the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic candidate, with the goal of producing a roster of popular queries that the site’s administrators can send to national news outlets.

“It seems it can be difficult for many reporters covering Washington D.C. politicians to know what’s important to the rest of us,” the site’s “About” page reads. “They may take some facts for granted and consider certain issues less important than the horse race aspects of political campaigns. Let’s help them understand what the American public wants to know and share our best questions with them.”

The two leading questions right now are about Clinton’s role in the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and the private email server that her team erased after sending some of its contents over to the State Department.

Ask Hillary

Other highly ranked questions concern Clinton’s diplomatic outreach as secretary of state, her position on sanctuary cities, and her view of the heavily doctored Planned Parenthood “sting” videos. But the site’s users seem fixated on her use of a private email server, up-voting questions like “What is the name of the person who destroyed your hard drive?” and “Who directly managed and negotiated the contracts for your e-mail and server service?”

The organization behind Ask Hillary, Independent Women’s Voice, calls itself a nonpartisan organization, but it is a sister group of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum. IWV itself spent nearly $1 million in the 2014 election cycle, almost all of it against Democrats or in support of Republicans. (It spent some money against Republicans, but none in support of Democrats.) Ask Hillary’s administrators did not respond to an email with several questions about the site.

A Clinton campaign spokesman also did not respond to a request for comment.

Illustration by Max Fleishman 

Eric Geller

Eric Geller

Eric Geller is a politics reporter who focuses on cybersecurity, surveillance, encryption, and privacy. A former staff writer at the Daily Dot, Geller joined Politico in June 2016, where he's focused on policymaking at the White House, the Justice Department, the State Department, and the Commerce Department.