Philippe Reines

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Philippe Reines
Clinton senior advisor Philippe Reines in 2010 (4630386356) (cropped).jpg
Born (1969-11-25) November 25, 1969 (age 51)
EducationColumbia University (BA)
Political partyDemocratic

Philippe I. Reines (/ˈrnəs/; born November 25, 1969) is an American political consultant. He joined the Department of State as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton when she became United States Secretary of State in January 2009,[1] and was promoted to deputy assistant secretary of state for strategic communications in 2010.[2][3][4]

Reines was a managing director at Beacon Global Strategies, which he founded with partners Jeremy Bash and Andrew J. Shapiro in 2013.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

A New York City native, he attended the Ramaz School, an independent Modern Orthodox Jewish prep school on the Upper East Side.[7] Reines earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the Columbia University School of General Studies.[8]



Reines was a member of the Al Gore 2000 presidential campaign's rapid response operation.[9] Reines remained involved in former Vice President Gore's public activities after Gore left office in 2001, going on to serve as Gore's teaching assistant and de facto spokesperson at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism when Gore taught the course "Covering National Affairs in the Information Age," in spring 2001.[10][11] In December 2002 he contributed material for Gore's appearance on Saturday Night Live.[11]

After the 2000 Presidential election was decided, Reines returned to New York and spent a year as Deputy Communications Director for the New York City Council before joining Speaker Peter Vallone's mayoral bid.[citation needed] He later worked briefly as Communications Director for U.S. Representative Jane Harman (D-CA).[12][13]

Beginning in July 2002 Reines served as press secretary for Hillary Rodham Clinton,[11] during her term as New York senator. Over the next several years he became an increasingly trusted adviser to Clinton, and a key adviser on Iraq issues.[12]

In 2003, Reines helped orchestrate the media campaign and seven-month book tour that accompanied the release of Living History, Senator Clinton's bestselling memoir of her time in the White House.[citation needed] As the primary point of contact between Senator Clinton's official office and the national press corps, Reines served as one of Senator Clinton's primary spokesmen, and was responsible for many of her interviews and media appearances.


During the 2008 United States presidential election, in addition to his role as press secretary and senior advisor to Hillary Clinton, he served as a spokesman for Chelsea Clinton, traveling with her throughout the primaries.[12]

When Clinton took up her post as Secretary of State, in January 2009, Reines was appointed as her senior advisor.[1] By 2010 he had been named Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications.[3][4]

A scathing piece by Politico in March 2009 highlighted Reines's responsibility for one of Clinton's early gaffes as Secretary of State – an erroneous Russian translation of the word "Reset" on a gag button presented to Clinton's Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov.[14]

In July 2009, Reines struck a deal with journalist Marc Ambinder to provide an advance copy of a Hillary Clinton speech to Ambinder in exchange for positive reporting on Clinton.[15][16][17]

In its December 2009 profile of Hillary Clinton, Vogue magazine described him as Clinton's "Michael Clayton-esque image man and fixer."[18] In March 2010, The Washington Post's WhoRunsGov, a site offering user-contributed political profiles, moderated by an editorial team, included a profile of Reines as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State,[19] in its "Power 25: Press" series;[citation needed] and in July 2010, Politico included Reines in their "50 Politicos to Watch" list, categorizing him as a "fixer".[20]

In September 2012, Reines vigorously took issue with CNN over its use of Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens's diary, which CNN found at the site of an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi which killed the ambassador. CNN fired back by suggesting that the State Department was "attacking the messenger" because of "questions about why the State Department didn’t do more to protect Ambassador Stevens."[21] Some media critics sided with CNN and questioned whether Reines' real grievance was indeed with CNN's disrespect for the privacy wishes of Stevens' family; BuzzFeed published an email exchange between Reines and Michael Hastings where the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State told Hastings to "Fuck off."[22] Reines also took issue with a reporter's questions in December 2012, calling a Fox News correspondent's question about his boss "absolutely asinine."[23]


In the debate preparations for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, Reines stood in for Donald Trump.[24] CBS commented that Reines is "known for his bullish, combative personality—traits that often mirror Trump’s personal debate style".


  1. ^ a b "Decision Makers". National Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  2. ^ Karni, Annie. "Reines leaves consulting firm to protest Trump full time". POLITICO. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  3. ^ a b "Reines, Philippe I. (2016). Who's Who in America. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who LLC. Retrieved via Credo Reference database, 2016-10-30.
  4. ^ a b "Bureau of Public Affairs Front Office Changes" [press release] (May 26, 2011). U.S. Department of State. "Cheryl Benton remains as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Outreach and Philippe Reines as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications." Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  5. ^ Zach Fryer-Biggs. "Clinton Allies Join Bush Alum To Form New Consulting Group". Defense News. Archived from the original on 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
  6. ^ Juliet Eilperin (2013-09-03). "Former Hillary Clinton aides form bipartisan consulting firm". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Freedlander, David (March 23, 2018). "Sam Nunberg Is Still Talking. Crazy man or chess master? 4 hours with Donald Trump's wildest adviser". Politico. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Meet the man role-playing Trump during Clinton's debate prep". NBC News. Retrieved 2021-01-22.
  9. ^ Gerth, Jeff; Van Natta, Don (2007). Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. New York: Little, Brown. ISBN 978-0-316-00784-9. Chapter 19, "The Club". "Working on the Gore-Lieberman 2000 presidential campaign, [Reines] honed his skills in reconnaissance, communications, and 'digging up the dirt' on the opposition."
  10. ^ Horowitz, Jason (June 12, 2011). "Longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton’s image has forged a loyal badge of his own". Washington Post. "When Gore lost and took a teaching gig at Columbia University, Reines followed, acting as his teaching assistant and de facto spokesman." Concerning the title and date of Gore's course: "Former Vice President Al Gore to Teach at Columbia's School of Journalism" (January 25, 2001; updated September 18, 2002). Columbia News. Columbia University. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  11. ^ a b c Finn, Robin (July 15, 2005). "Speaking, and Sweating, for the Senator". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  12. ^ a b c Parnes, Amie (April 16, 2008). "Top Clinton hand shields Chelsea". Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  13. ^ "Philippe Reines, Founder & Managing Director Archived 2017-02-15 at the Wayback Machine". Beacon Global Strategies. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  14. ^ Smith, Ben (March 23, 2009). "Reines storm: Clinton conflict brews". Politico. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  15. ^ Trotter, J. K. (February 9, 2016). "This Is How Hillary Clinton Gets the Coverage She Wants Archived February 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine". Gawker. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  16. ^ Fredericks, Bob (February 10, 2016). "How a Clinton staffer 'blackmailed' reporters". New York Post. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  17. ^ "Editor's note" (February 2016). In: Ambinder, Marc (July 15, 2009), "Hillary Clinton's 'Smart Power' Breaks Through". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  18. ^ "Magazine". Vogue. Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  19. ^ "Philippe Reines [user-contributed profile; moderated by Rachel Van Dongen]". The Washington Post Company. Archived from the original on 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  20. ^ "The Fixers". Politico. July 23, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
  21. ^ "State Department: CNN 'indefensible' on late ambassador Christopher Stevens's diary – Mike Allen". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-25.
  22. ^ Hillary Clinton Aide Tells Reporter To "Fuck Off" And "Have A Good Life" BuzzFeed 24 September 2012
  23. ^ Erik Wemple (2 January 2013), Fox News producer was scolded by State Department The Washington Post
  24. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Healy, Patrick (24 September 2016). "Hillary Clinton Aide Playing Donald Trump in Mock Debates". The New York Times. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)