Foundation aide cited Bill Clinton as he complained about ‘500 different conflicts of interest’: WikiLeaks

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 2:06pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 October, 2016, 8:39pm

A top official at the Clinton Foundation said he could name “500 different examples” of conflicts of interest, including some involving former President Bill Clinton, according to more of the emails purportedly hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

The official, Doug Band, allegedly wrote on November 17, 2011, that he had been required to sign a conflict-of-interest statement as a board member of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, but that the former president “oddly” didn’t have to sign one “even though he is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors, gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc”.

“I could add 500 different examples of things like this,” said Band, who’s no longer affiliated with the foundation. At the time, according to previous releases of emails which are being released by WikiLeaks, Band was fighting openly with Chelsea Clinton as she expanded her role at the foundation and accused Band of misusing his influence. In one email he allegedly called her a “spoiled brat kid.”

Representatives of the Clinton Foundation, Bill Clinton and Teneo Holdings LLC, a consulting firm where Band is president, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has declined to confirm the authenticity of the more than 23,000 emails released so far by WikiLeaks in almost daily postings over the last two weeks that appear to come from the private account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. But Clinton and her aides have blamed the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin for cyber espionage aimed at swaying the US election and Republican rival Donald Trump for exploiting the stolen material.

In an email dated November 13, 2011, Band, who long served as Bill Clinton’s personal aide, allegedly wrote that his boss “is far more conflicted every single day” than Band himself, who co-founded Teneo while working at the foundation. Bill Clinton served for a time on the firm’s board.

“People sit on boards, for-profit ones and not-for-profit ones,” Band said of other Clinton Foundation officials. “I am sure there are many others we don’t know about.”

In an alleged response to Band’s complaints, Cheryl Mills, a longtime Clinton adviser and attorney who was then Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, said, “Many of issues you flag will get captured by corporate audit and receive common policy application as against all entities/individuals with multiple lines.”

Band’s purported attacks on his colleagues’ conflicts sounded much like Trump, who has said Clinton sold influence to foundation donors through her job as secretary of State and enriched her family. During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, he called the foundation “a disgrace.”

Hillary Clinton defended the foundation, citing its charitable work such as increasing global access to medication for HIV/AIDS. “I’m thrilled to talk about the Clinton Foundation,” she said. “It is a world-renowned charity.”

Jake Sullivan, a policy adviser to Clinton’s campaign, said Thursday that Trump has “acted as Putin’s puppet, defending Russia and refusing to admit and condemn the Kremlin’s actions.”

“This behaviour has gone from bizarre to disqualifying,“ Sullivan said, saying Trump’s advisers may have been aware of the hacked emails before WikiLeaks released them.