Eli Lake
Eli Lake 2009.jpg
Eli Lake in 2009
Eli Jon Lake


Eli Jon Lake is an American journalist and the former senior national security correspondent for The Daily Beast and Newsweek. Currently, he is a columnist for the Bloomberg View.[1] He has also contributed to CNN,[2] Fox,[3] CSPAN,[4] Charlie Rose,[5] the I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast[6] and[7] He is known for his correspondence from both the US and abroad, including such war zones as Sudan, Iraq, and Gaza.[citation needed]

Early life and education

Lake was born in Philadelphia[8] to a Jewish family[9] and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1994.[10]


Lake began as national security reporter at the New York Sun[11] and as State Department correspondent for United Press International.[12]

In 2009, Lake reported extensively on Obama's delicate discussions with Israel over its nuclear program.[13] Later that year, Lake's reporting also helped to scuttle the nomination of Chas Freeman be the chairman of the National Intelligence Council.[14][15] In 2010, regarding U.S. attempts to try WikiLeaks head Julian Assange under the Espionage Act of 1917, Lake has said: "I oppose the application of the espionage statute to Assange because the same kind of prosecution would make me a criminal too."[16][17]

In 2011 at Newsweek/The Daily Beast, Lake broke an exclusive report on how the Obama administration sold Israel powerful bunker buster bombs.[18][19] In 2012, reporting from Somalia, Lake found a local prison that received Somalis captured by the U.S. Navy and later disclosed how the United Nations documented U.S. violations of an arms embargo in Somalia to funding some of the regional governments there.[20][21][22][23] In 2011 Silverstein wrote an article for Salon claiming that Lake's reporting on Georgia was biased because pro-Georgian lobbyists had paid for his meals and drinks in the past.[24] This report was rebutted by Ben Smith on Politico.[25] Silverstein implied that Lake's relationship with these lobbyists influenced his original report of a bomb blast near the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi. That story was confirmed by The New York Times. Both pieces come to the same conclusion that a Russian military intelligence officer was implicated by Georgian and U.S. authorities in the bombing.[26][27] Lake has publicly stated he has always paid his tab whenever meeting with Georgian sources.[24]

Lake was one of the first reporters to challenge the Obama administration's initial claims in 2012 that the 9-11 anniversary attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was not connected to al Qaeda.[28][29] His reporting earned praise from Eliana Johnson and Jeremy Scahill.[30][31]

In 2013, Lake disclosed how court documents in the U.S. government challenge to Blackwater showed that the organization was an extension of the CIA after 9-11.[32][33]

He was a contributing editor for The New Republic between 2008 and 2013.[34][35] Lake joined The Daily Beast following The New Republic as Senior National Security Correspondent.[36] Lake along with his colleague Josh Rogin left The Daily Beast in October 2014 and joined Bloomberg View.[37]

In 2012 Lake reported for The Washington Times on Trita Parsi and his organization NIAC’s efforts to lobby the U.S. government to ease sanctions on Iran and prevent Dennis Ross from overseeing the US Government's Iran policy.[38] Andrew Sullivan followed up that the documents leaked to Lake for the article suggested the motive of the story was to "smear" Parsi's reputation.[39]

Ken Silverstein, one of Lake's primary critics, has claimed his past sources lacked credibility have been used to manipulate the discourse on national security. Silverstein accused Lake's reporting of supporting WMDs prior to the invasion of Iraq. Silverstein cited an article that Lake had written in 2006 during the war in Iraq.[40] In this article Lake reported that a Pentagon Special Investigator named David Gaubatz had been led to sealed storage facilities of chemical and biological weapons.[41] Gaubatz reported his findings but the military failed to follow-up. Eight years later The New York Times reported on these aging stockpiles of chemical weapons and how they were never destroyed and posed risks to the soldier's involved with storing the hazardous materials.[42][43] Furthermore, Lake's reporting on U.S. intelligence prior to the Iraqi invasion was one of the first major pieces of journalism to highlight the CIA’s concerns with intelligence gathered by the Pentagon and Iraqi opposition figure, Ahmad Chalabi.[44]

In August of 2013 Lake, along with Josh Rogin, reported on a CIA intercept that claimed that Al Qaeda had a meeting of senior leaders in the form of a conference call. Silverstein criticized their work as misreporting for using the term "conference call" when a later article clarified the call as a remote meeting via internet video, voice conference and chat.[40][45][46] Speculation about to the differences in the initial reports ranged from glorification of the NSA's abilities to protection of sources within the U.S. intelligence community.[47]

In 2013, he wrote an article for The Daily Beast about how to respond to haters on Twitter and social media, by telling them how he loves their passion.[48] In 2019, Lake wrote about how he perceived Donald Trump's exploitation of Jewish identity politics. He discussed how he believed the US President was leveraging Jewish identity to gain loyalty from American Jews.[49]

In March 2017, Lake reported, inaccurately, that an intelligence official had shown House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes intelligence reports that allegedly included inappropriate details about the Trump transition team's communications. Lake later acknowledged that Nunes had "misled" him and that the reports had in fact been given to Nunes by a White House staffer, raising questions about whether Nunes' investigation was truly independent of the White House.[50]


  1. ^ Byers, Dylan (October 30, 2014). "'Eli Lake, Josh Rogin join Bloomberg View'". Politico. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  2. ^ "Breaking News, Latest News and Videos - CNN". CNN.
  3. ^ "Eli Lake". 21 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Eli Lake - Search -".
  5. ^ "Charlie Rose: Juan Manuel Santos Calderon; Kenya Attack; Dexter Filkins".
  7. ^ "".
  8. ^ Rothstein, Betsy (July 23, 2010). "The FishbowlDC Interview With TWT's Eli Lake". Fishbowl DC. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Washington Free Beacon: "Hughes Drops Jews" January 28, 2013
  10. ^ "Succeeding: Eli Lake '94". Mosaic. Trinity College. May 2002. Archived from the original on September 9, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  11. ^ "Eli Lake - Archive - The New York Sun". The New York Sun.
  12. ^ Host: John Ydstie (September 18, 2002). "Interview: Eli Lake Discusses His Article In The New Republic About The Fact That The Bush Administration Is Getting Competing Intelligence Reports On Iraq That May Be Confusing The Situation". All Things Considered. NPR.
  13. ^ "Exclusive: Obama agrees to keep Israel's nukes secret". The Washington Times. October 2, 1009. Retrieved January 20, 2014.
  14. ^ Williamson, Kevin (March 10, 2009). "The Washington Times Owned the Chas Freeman Story". National Review Online.
  15. ^ Lake, Eli (March 5, 2009). "Foreign Ties of Nominee Questioned". The Washington Times.
  16. ^ Eli Lake [@EliLake] (13 December 2010). "@ggreenwald I oppose the application of the espionage statute to Assange because the same kind of prosecution would make me a criminal too" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Greenwald, Glenn (December 14, 2010). "Attempts to prosecute WikiLeaks endanger press freedoms". Salon.
  18. ^ Host: Guy Raz (September 24, 2011). "U.S. Sells Bunker Busters To Israel". All Things Considered. NPR.
  19. ^ Lake, Eli (September 23, 2011). "Obama Sold Israel Bunker-Buster Bombs". The Daily Beast.
  20. ^ Lake, Eli (June 27, 2012). "Somalia's Prisons: The War on Terror's Latest Front". The Daily Beast.
  21. ^ Greenwald, Abe (June 29, 2012). "Obama Sends Terrorists to Sub-Gitmo Hell". Commentary Magazine.
  22. ^ Lake, Eli (July 24, 2012). "Obama's Not-So-Secret Terror War". The Daily Beast.
  23. ^ Secrecy News from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy, Federation of American Scientists, July 24, 2012
  24. ^ a b Silverstein, Ken (October 5, 2011). "Neoconservatives hype a new Cold War". Salon. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  25. ^ Smith, Ben (October 5, 2011). "The Nefarious Georgia Lobby". Politico.
  26. ^ Lake, Eli (July 21, 2011). "'Russian agent linked to U.S. Embassy blast'". The Washington Times.
  27. ^ "'U.S. Ties a Russian to Bombings in Georgia'". The New York Times. July 28, 2011.
  28. ^ Lake, Eli (September 9, 2012). "Intercepts Show Attackers on U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Bragged to Al Qaeda". The Daily Beast.
  29. ^ Hart, Peter. "Noise and Nonsense on Benghazi Attack". FAIR. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  30. ^ Johnson, Eliana (October 27, 2012). "Eli Lake Gets the Scoop". National Review Online.
  31. ^ @jeremyscahill (October 2, 2012), Jeremy Scahill tweet, Twitter
  32. ^ Lake, Eli (March 14, 2013). "Exclusive: Court Docs Reveal Blackwater's Secret CIA Past". The Daily Beast.
  33. ^ Prince, Erik (2013). Civilian Warriors: The Inside Story of Blackwater and the Unsung Heroes of the War on Terror.
  34. ^ Peretz, Marty (April 13, 2009). "What Hersh Giveth, Lake Taketh Away". The New Republic.
  35. ^ "Eli Lake". The New Republic. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
  36. ^ Hagey, Keach (September 7, 2011). "Eli Lake to Newsweek/Daily Beast". Politico.
  37. ^ Calderone, Michael (October 20, 2014). "Eli Lake and Josh Rogin leaving the Daily Beast, Expected to Join Bloomberg View". Huffington Post.
  38. ^ Eli, Lake (November 13, 2009). "Exclusive: Iran advocacy group said to skirt lobby rules". The Washington Times.
  39. ^ Sullivan, Andrew (November 16, 2009). "'Send It To Lake Right Away!'". The Daily Dish. Atlantic Media. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  40. ^ a b Silverstein, Ken (August 15, 2013). "Anatomy of an Al Qaeda 'Conference Call'". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  41. ^ Lake, Eli (February 8, 2006). "An Ex-Officer Spurned on WMD Claim". The New York Sun.
  42. ^ "Investigating Abandoned Chemical Weapons in Iraq". The New York Times. October 27, 2014.
  43. ^ Chivers, C.J. (October 14, 2014). "The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons". The New York Times.
  44. ^ Lake, Eli (September 23, 2002). "Need to Know". The New Republic.
  45. ^ "'Exclusive: U.S. Intercepted Al Qaeda's 'Legion of Doom' Conference Call'". The Daily Beast. August 7, 2013.
  46. ^ "'Exclusive: Courier Led U.S. to al Qaeda Internet Conference'". The Daily Beast. August 20, 2013.
  47. ^ Trotter, J.K. (August 7, 2013). "Did the CIA Just Run an Intel Operation on the Daily Beast?". Gawker. Archived from the original on August 10, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  48. ^ Lake, Eli (May 15, 2013). "'Dear Twitter Haters: I, Eli, Love Your Passion'". The Daily Beast.
  49. ^ Lake, Eli (August 21, 2019). "Trump's Jewish Identity Politics". Bloomberg.
  50. ^ (March 31, 2017). "Devin Nunes burned columnist Eli Lake on his Trump surveillance sources. Lake just fired back". The Week.

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