Top aides to Bill and Hillary Clinton orchestrated a secret meeting at the Washington, D.C., home of John Podesta, Bill’s former chief of staff and Hillary’s current campaign chairman, in order to discuss the relationship between the Clinton Foundation and Bill’s “non-Foundation revenue generating activities”.
In a November 2011 email exchange published by WikiLeaks, longtime Hillary Clinton adviser Cheryl Mills wrote to other Clinton aides, including Podesta and then-Clinton Foundation boss Doug Band, to arrange a meeting for the purpose of discussing the vast personal fortune Bill Clinton had managed to amass since launching the foundation in 2001.
Here’s how Mills describes the “goals” for the meeting:
In terms of goals for the 2 hour meeting: to outline the relationship, largely managed by Doug and Justin, b/w the President’s non-Foundation revenue generating activities and the Foundation, with associated implications for how we position him and/or the Foundation for any gaps based upon ideas we conclude make most sense.
After Band proposed meeting at the swanky W Hotel in Washington, D.C. (where he was staying), Podesta offered to instead host the meeting at his home. Mills thought this would be a good idea because there would be “less folks to listen in.”
This secret meeting occurred at a time of great turmoil within the Clinton Foundation. Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton had started to assume a greater role, and appears to have been horrified by the shadiness and “hustling” she encountered involving the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, the global consulting firm Band founded.
In a memo uncovered by WikiLeaks, which is dated several days after the meeting at Podesta’s home took place, Band outlined how Teneo had used its ties to corporate and government leaders to personally enrich Bill Clinton:
In support of the President’s for-profit activity, we also have solicited and obtained, as appropriate, in-kind services for the President and his family – for personal travel, hospitality, vacation and the like. Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities (e.g., we do not receive a fee for, or percentage of, the more than $50 million in for-profit activity we have personally helped to secure for President Clinton to date or the $66 million in future contracts, should he choose to continue with those engagements).
Band estimated that he was personally responsible for arranging about $20 million in speaking gigs for the former president.
Not surprisingly, Band was not a fan of Chelsea’s efforts to clean up the foundation, describing her as a “spoiled brat kid” in emails to John Podesta in November 2011. He also dismissed Chelsea as a two-faced backstabber, noting that “the apple doesn’t fall far.”
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