Clinton Aide Boasted About How He Helped Foundation ProsperBy and
Memo posted by WikiLeaks talks of ‘Bill Clinton, Inc.’
Former aide says he ‘leveraged my activities’ at Teneo to help
Doug Band, a longtime aide to former President Bill Clinton, said in a 2011 document released by WikiLeaks that the high-powered consulting firm he co-founded helped raise money for the Clinton Foundation when its own efforts were flagging.
The memo was written around the time Chelsea Clinton was questioning whether Band’s role as an adviser to her father and the family foundation presented conflicts of interest as he courted clients for Teneo Holdings LLC. In the memo, Band argued just the opposite: that he was a volunteer who sought to “leverage my activities, including my partner role at Teneo, to support and raise funds for the Foundation."
He boasted of raising charitable contributions from Teneo clients such as Dow Chemical Co. and Coca-Cola Co. as well as arranging Bill Clinton’s paid speeches and consulting deals, referring to the former president’s profit-making efforts as “Bill Clinton, Inc.”
Band declined to comment, and the Clinton campaign has declined to say whether the thousands of e-mails purportedly hacked from the personal account of campaign chairman John Podesta and posted by WikiLeaks were accurate. Teneo said the memo demonstrates that it “worked to encourage clients, where appropriate, to support the Clinton Foundation because of the good work that it does around the world,” and it didn’t receive any “benefit of any kind.”
‘Pay to Play’
While Republican nominee Donald Trump has said Hillary Clinton treated the family foundation as a “pay to play” operation when she was secretary of state, Clinton’s campaign has denounced Trump for citing the WikiLeaks documents and rejecting the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the earlier hacking of Democratic campaign e-mails. The campaign has said the Russian government was responsible for hacking Podesta’s account and may have altered some of the documents in an effort to sway the U.S. election.
“They don’t know if it’s Russia. They can’t guarantee it’s Russia. And it may be,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News that aired Thursday.
As Trump and Clinton battle in the final stretch of the race, the forecaster FiveThirtyEight on Thursday gave her an 85.7 percent chance of winning the Nov. 8 election in its polls-only model. She held a national polling lead of 5.4 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics average that also includes third-party candidates.
Band, who allegedly referred to Chelsea Clinton as a “spoiled brat kid” in an e-mail leaked previously, wrote in the 2011 memo that he secured the majority of Bill Clinton’s income through his role as the “primary contact and point of management” for the former president’s political, philanthropic, business and personal life.
Band wrote that he and fellow aide Justin Cooper secured all of Bill Clinton’s then-current consulting arrangements, which Band said had netted him $30 million and called for $66 million in payouts over the next nine years. In addition, he wrote that he and Cooper were responsible for arranging $20 million paid to Clinton for speeches from 2001 to 2011.
Band wrote that the two aides implemented a fundraising strategy that brought in $150 million over seven years for the foundation, much of it “from people who did not know President Clinton when he was in office.” He said Teneo clients had donated $14 million to the foundation.
The memo was prepared as part of an audit by a law firm of the interlocking worlds of Teneo, the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s business activities. It was addressed to Bill and Chelsea Clinton, two employees of the law firm and Clinton Foundation board members Bruce Lindsey, Terry McAuliffe, who’s now the governor of Virginia, and Podesta.
Band described his role and that of Cooper as “unorthodox” and said the purpose of the memo was to “ensure we are implementing best practices to protect the 501(c)3 status of the Foundation.”
Band wrote that, to compensate for Clinton Foundation fundraising that fell short, he and a partner at Teneo “asked and encouraged our clients" to contribute. “Through our efforts, we have brought new donors to the Foundation and garnered increased giving from existing donors.”
Band said that he and his Teneo partner golfed with Clinton and Dow Chemical Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris. Band said he followed up by asking Liveris to contribute $500,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative and an additional $150,000 to the Clinton Foundation. In exchange for the latter contribution, Band wrote, the former president attended a Dow dinner in Davos, Switzerland.
Band also wrote that Liveris provided a Dow aircraft to fly Clinton and his staff on the domestic leg of a 2009 trip to North Korea. “Mr. Liveris’ in-kind contribution saved the Foundation $100,000,” he wrote.
“Dow’s participation and engagement with CGI dates back to 2007 and is well aligned to core business and citizenship strategies that have positively leveraged the resources and capabilities of our company,” Rachelle Schikorra, a Dow spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
Teneo’s representation of Coca-Cola landed Band a perch on a company advisory board, which he said allowed him to steer the company to support other foundation projects and also to “support candidates running for office that President Clinton was supporting.”
“This board provided insight and advice on various business priorities,” said Kent Landers, a Coca-Cola spokesman. “It was not engaged in political activities.” He added that the company supported the Clinton Foundation “because we believe in the great work that can be done when business, civil society and governments come together to solve problems.”