Hillary Clinton beefs up press team
© Greg Nash

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Democratic demolition derby Juan Williams: Don't count Biden out Candidates in Obama's orbit fail to capitalize on personal ties MORE is beefing up her communications team as her likely presidential campaign tries to improve its testy relationship with the press. 

To do so, the Democratic former secretary of State has hired Jesse Ferguson, the former communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, for a lead role in her press shop, according to The New York Times.


Ferguson, who led the DCCC's independent expenditure efforts last cycle, will be a key spokesman for her presumed White House bid, as well as involved in a management role within Clinton’s communications team, according to the reports. He could not be reached for comment. 

His hiring comes after a rough few days for Clinton, facing questions over her use of a private email server while at State. 

Despite hopes from Clinton aides that a press conference two days ago would quell the concerns of her critics, a rocky performance left many questions still unanswered. Many Republicans continue to call for more answers about her admission that she deleted thousands of emails that she deemed were strictly personal. 

The moves show that she’s looking to soften her, at times, tenuous relationship with the press. Leaked emails from her then-personal spokesman, Philippe Reines, show him telling a prominent Buzzfeed national security reporter to “F--- Off” during Clinton’s tenure at State. 

But Ferguson has a good relationship with the media, as do other communications staffers the Times reports the Clintons are weighing bringing aboard.

Several, like Ferguson, have close ties to likely Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook, a former DCCC executive director who also managed Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe's (D) successful campaign for Virginia governor in 2013. 

Other possible recruits include Josh Schwerin, a former DCCC and McAuliffe press secretary; Tyrone Gale, a former DCCC regional press secretary; Jesse Lehrich from the Democratic super-PAC American Bridge; and Ian Sams and Rebecca Chalif, who both work at the Democratic National Committee.

Schwerin’s name has already been linked to the Clintons — as first reported by CNN’s Dan Merica, he is listed as the author on a Q&A document sent around by Clinton’s staff elaborating on her use of the private email.