Revelations unearthed in WikiLeaks emails from an aide that detail the inner workings of “Bill Clinton Inc.” could be an 11th-hour “game-changer” that breathes new life into Donald Trump’s campaign, a leading pollster says.
“If it continues to have legs and it doesn’t get buried by something else, it could be a game-changer,” said John Zogby, the founder of the Zogby Poll.
“This race is not over. We do not know who’s going to vote,” Zogby said. “Donald Trump’s core base becomes larger the smaller the Clinton turnout is. In that way, it could have an impact.”
Resource: WikiLeaks most damaging emails
In a 2011 memo hacked from Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s email and released Wednesday, Bill Clinton aide Doug Band laid out the “unorthodox nature” of how he and other aides sought out speaking and consulting gigs around the world for the former president while also raising funds for the Clinton Foundation.
Band said his firm, Teneo, secured “more than $50 million in for-profit activity” for what he called “Bill Clinton Inc.” He also landed “in-kind services for the President and his family,” including personal travel, hospitality and vacations.
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Teneo also pressed corporations for donations to the Clinton Foundation, which the company confirmed in a statement to the media yesterday.
“Teneo worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world,” the company said.
Zogby said the shady activity, in an election often viewed as a choice between the lesser of two evils, could dampen turnout for the Democrats.
“It’s almost like the Clintons and the seven cardinal sins,” Zogby said. “The key question is if this is what was done in the name of philanthropy at a time before, during and after she was secretary of state, what does this mean for a Clinton White House? More access? More wealth? More self-aggrandizement?”
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St. Anselm College political science professor Chris Galdieri doubted the scandal would derail the Clinton campaign, but cautioned that the lingering baggage could pose problems for a President Hillary Clinton in the White House.
“I could see it as something that comes up in confirmation hearings during appointments,” Galdieri said. “I could see for anybody in the State Department (being asked), ‘What will you do if someone from the Clinton Foundation calls the State Department and wants help with something?’ … At the very least, the Republicans could create an atmosphere of uncertainty and cast shadows.”
Trump himself blasted what he called the “outright corruption” of the Clintons on the campaign trail and sought to use it as a glimpse into what a Hillary Clinton White House might look like.
“The more emails WikiLeaks releases, the more the lines between the Clinton Foundation, the Secretary of State’s office, and the Clintons’ personal finances are blurred,” Trump said in a statement.
“Mr. Band called the arrangement ‘unorthodox.’ The rest of us call it outright corruption,” Trump said. “If the Clintons were willing to play this fast and loose with their enterprise when they weren’t in the White House, just imagine what they will do if they are given the chance to control the Oval Office.”
SHOW ME THE MONEY
A 13-page confidential memo sent in 2011 from former President Bill Clinton’s longtime aide Doug Band details the management of “Bill Clinton Inc.” The memo breaks down the more than $50 million in “for-profit activity” Band’s corporate consulting firm, Teneo, helped “secure for President Clinton to date.”
Here are some highlights from the memo, which surfaced in a WikiLeaks dump Wednesday:
* Band said that between 2001 and November 2011, Bill Clinton’s business arrangements yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years, “should he choose to continue with the current engagements.”
* Among the “for-profit” activities Band arranged: a $3.5 million annual payment from Laureate International Universities — a network of for-profit universities and colleges that also donated more than $1 million to the Clinton Global Initiative — in exchange for Clinton serving as an honorary chairman.
* UBS Global Wealth Management, which had donated more than $500,000 to Clinton charities, paid Clinton about $2 million in speaking fees.
* Band said he convinced Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson to pay Clinton $1 million to speak for two one-hour sessions in Hong Kong.
* Band said Teneo “cultivated its client relationship” with Barclays Capital to line up two paid speeches Clinton delivered in 2010 and 2011 totaling more than $700,000.
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