Some of these meetings involved heads of companies or organizations that were pleading their interests with the Obama administration via Ms. Clinton.
According to the AP, there was no proof of any wrong doing nor was these kind of dealings unique to Ms. Clinton.
But the difference with Clinton’s meetings was that she was a 2008 presidential contender who was widely expected to run again in 2016. Her availability to luminaries from politics, business and charity shows the extent to which her office became a sounding board for their interests. And her ties with so many familiar faces from those intersecting worlds were complicated by their lucrative financial largess and political support over the years — even during her State Department tenure — to her campaigns, her husband’s and to her family’s foundation.
The report seems to add credence to the charges suggested in Clinton Cash, the book by Peter Schweizer which followed Clinton money trail, revealing the connection between their personal fortune, their “close personal friends,” the Clinton Foundation, foreign nations, and some of the highest ranks of government and how the cash they received for the Foundation was rewarded with favors from the state department.
When asked about the Clinton’s meetings with corporate and other supporters, campaign spokesman Nick Merrill punted the question away and instead provided spin, saying that Clinton turned over 55,000 pages of work emails so her tenure at State is an open book.
American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten met Clinton three times, in 2009, 2010 and 2012. She saw Clinton for a half hour in October 2009, the same year the union spent nearly $1 million lobbying the government. The union also spent at least $1 million on lobbying in 2010 and 2012.
Weingarten’s union endorsed Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid in July, and Weingarten is on the board of Priorities USA Action, a super PAC supporting Clinton in 2016. The union has also given $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
PepsiCo Inc. CEO Indra Nooyi also had at least three scheduled contacts with Clinton. In February 2010, Nooyi and General Electric Co. CEO Jeff Immelt met Clinton as part of the State Department’s efforts to secure corporate money for an American pavilion in China’s Shanghai Expo in May of that year. Nooyi talked twice with Clinton by phone in 2012, a year when PepsiCo spent $3.3 million on lobbying, including talks with State Department officials.
PepsiCo’s foundation pledged in 2008 to provide $7.6 million in grants to two water firms as a commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative. The Clinton charity also listed a PepsiCo Foundation donation of more than $100,000 in 2014, the same year the soda company’s foundation announced a partnership under the charity to spur economic and social development in emerging nations.
At the very least these conversations were a potential conflict of interest, just like the many other meetings, conversations, and donations revealed in Schweizer’s book. If you’re a Hillary supporter however, I would not worry as the mainstream media will probably just ignore the report, or say “move on, nothing to see here.”