Michael S. Schmidt

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Michael S. Schmidt
Alma mater
OccupationJournalist, sportswriter Edit this on Wikidata

Michael S. Schmidt (born September 1983) is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, author, and correspondent for The New York Times in Washington, D.C.[1] and national security contributor for MSNBC and NBC News. He covers national security and federal law enforcement and has broken several high-profile stories.[2] Among the stories was the existence of Hillary Clinton's private email account. He won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking the news that President Trump had asked the F.B.I. director James B. Comey for a loyalty pledge, and to close the federal investigation into his former national security adviser.[3] That story led the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate President Trump.[4]

Schmidt also broke several stories about doping in baseball. With another reporter at the Times, Schmidt won a Pulitzer Prize for a story about sexual harassment allegations against Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly that led to Fox firing O'Reilly.[5] He shared the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the 2018 Gerald Loeb Award for Investigative business journalism for stories on the sexual predator allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein that led to the rise of the Me Too movement.[6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Schmidt grew up in a Jewish family[8] in Nyack, New York, and went to high school at John Randolph Tucker High School in Richmond, Virginia, where he played baseball.[9] He graduated from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 2005 with an AB in International Affairs after co-founding and editing Marooned with classmate Erin Koen.[10]


In 2004, Schmidt worked at The Boston Globe.[9]

Schmidt began working for The Times as a news clerk in 2005. In December 2007, he was made a staff reporter, covering performance-enhancing drugs and legal issues in sports.[11][12][13]

In 2009, Schmidt broke the stories that David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez [14] and Sammy Sosa[15] were among the roughly 100 players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003.

In 2010, Schmidt broke the story about how the firm of baseball super agent Scott Boras had provided tens of thousands of dollars in loans to a young prospect, raising questions about whether Boras' firm had broken rules designed to prevent players from being exploited.[16]

Schmidt was a correspondent for The Times in Iraq in 2011. During his time in Iraq, he uncovered a series of classified documents in a junkyard in Baghdad. The documents were testimony from Marines about the 2005 Haditha Massacre. In that incident, the Marines had killed 26 Iraqi civilians. An Iraqi junkyard attendant had used other classified American documents to cook smoked carp.[17] The story, which ran as American troops were leaving Iraq in 2011, was widely praised.[18]

In May 2015, Schmidt was part of a group of Times reporters who broke a series of stories about the Justice Department charging FIFA executives. Schmidt was in the lobby of a hotel in Switzerland when law enforcement officers arrested the executives.[19]

In December 2015, a New York Times story by Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo (written together with Julia Preston) criticized the US government for missing crucial evidence during the visa vetting process for Tashfeen Malik, who would later become one of the shooters in the 2015 San Bernardino attack.[20] The director of the FBI dismissed the reporting as "garble" and it turned out that rather than having "talked openly on social media about her views on violent jihad" as stated in the NYT article, she had mentioned these in private communications.[21] The New York Times' public editor called for "systemic changes" after these articles by Schmidt and his coauthors (both of which had relied on anonymous government sources).[21]

Schmidt has been one of the Times' lead reporters on the federal and Congressional investigations into connections between Donald Trump's associates and the Russians.[22] On March 5, 2017, Schmidt broke the story that the F.B.I. director James B. Comey had asked the Justice Department to publicly refute Trump's claims that President Obama had him wired tapped during the 2016 campaign.[22]

Clinton email story[edit]

In March 2015, Schmidt broke the story that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account when she was secretary of state.[23] The story said that Clinton "may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record." In response to the story, Mrs. Clinton announced that she would release all of her work related emails from her time in office.[24]

After breaking the story, he was the lead reporter covering the Hillary Clinton email controversy. Defenders of Hillary Clinton have said that Schmidt's coverage of her is not fair and he has been frequently criticized by the group Media Matters and other liberals.[25][26] After breaking the Clinton email story, Media Matters's founder and chairman, David Brock, wrote an open letter to The New York Times about the story, "prominent correction as soon as possible" about the story. The Times did not run a correction.[27] The inspector general for the State Department said in May 2016 that Clinton's use of the account had violated State Department's record keeping policies.[28]

Comey–Trump story[edit]

On May 16, 2017, Schmidt broke the story that James Comey, former FBI Director under the Trump Administration, had written an FBI memo detailing President Donald Trump's alleged ordering of Comey to end the FBI's investigation of former Trump Admin National Security Adviser Michael Flynn prior to the conclusion of the investigation's findings.[29] The story led the Justice Department to appoint the former F.B.I. director Robert Mueller to investigate Trump.[4]


  1. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. "Michael S. Schmidt - The New York Times". Topics.nytimes.com. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (May 16, 2017). "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Ruiz, Rebecca R.; Landler, Mark (May 17, 2017). "Robert Mueller, Former F.B.I. Director, Is Named Special Counsel for Russia Investigation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Steel, Emily; Schmidt, Michael S. (April 1, 2017). "Bill O'Reilly Thrives at Fox News, Even as Harassment Settlements Add Up". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "The New York Times, for reporting led by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, and The New Yorker, for reporting by Ronan Farrow". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "UCLA Anderson School of Management Announces 2018 Gerald Loeb Award Winners". PR Newswire. June 25, 2018. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Jewish Insider's Daily Kickoff: September 23, 2016". Haaretz. September 23, 2016.
  9. ^ a b John Koblin. "Meet Michael Schmidt, the Young Times Writer Who Exposes Baseball's Worst". The New York Observer. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  10. ^ "About · Lafayette College". Lafayette.edu. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "U.S. investors are commodifying Dominican ballplayers - HardballTalk". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
  12. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. "Jeter Said to Be Asking $23 Million to $24 Million a Year". Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  13. ^ New York Observer: Ah, Yes! Michael Schmidt Again. John Koblin. August 19, 2010
  14. ^ "Ortiz and Ramirez Said to Be on '03 Doping List". The New York Times. July 31, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Sosa Is Said to Have Tested Positive in 2003". The New York Times. June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "Sports Agent's Loans to Poor Players Pose Concerns". November 23, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2016 – via The New York Times.
  17. ^ "Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre in Iraq". The New York Times. December 15, 2011. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  18. ^ "Q&A: New York Times Iraq reporter Michael S. Schmidt - Columbia Journalism Review". Cjr.org. Retrieved June 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "How The New York Times Staked Out A Swiss Hotel To Cover FIFA Arrests". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  20. ^ Drum, Kevin (December 16, 2015). "Strike Two for Pair of New York Times Reporters". Mother Jones.
  21. ^ a b Sullivan, Margaret (December 18, 2015). "Systemic Change Needed After Faulty Times Article". The New York Times - Public Editor's Journal.
  22. ^ a b Schmidt, Michael S. (March 6, 2017). "White House Rejects Comey's Assertion That Wiretapping Claim Is False". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (March 2, 2015). "Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  24. ^ "Hillary Clinton Says She's Asked State Department to Release Emails - NBC News". NBC News. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  25. ^ "New York Times Reporter Acknowledges He Doesn't Know How Other Agencies Responded To Issa's Email Inquiry". Media Matters for America. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  26. ^ Schmidt, Michael S.; Apuzzo, Matt (April 7, 2015). "South Carolina Officer Is Charged With Murder of Walter Scott". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
  27. ^ "David Brock Calls On The New York Times To Issue "Prominent Correction" To Sloppy Clinton Email Reporting". Media Matters for America. March 3, 2015. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  28. ^ "State Department inspector general finds Hillary Clinton violated recordkeeping rules". Mother Jones. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  29. ^ Schmidt, Michael S. (May 16, 2017). "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 17, 2017.

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