The Clinton Foundation had special pull in Hillary Clinton’s State Department when it came to dinner invitations and seating at events.
Hillary Clinton is under fire for her foundation’s accepting of foreign cash while she worked for the State Department. Now, according to emails obtained by Citizens United, we know that the Foundation was able to get all kinds of fancy favors.
In one December 2010 email chain with Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin, then-top Clinton Foundation official Doug Band offers names for a State Department lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao scheduled for January 2011.
On the list were three executives from organizations that have donated millions to the Clinton Foundation: Bob McCann, the then-president of wealth management at UBS; Dr. Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Hikmet Ersek, the CEO of Western Union.
According to the Foundation website, the UBS Wealth Management USA has contributed between $500,001 and $1 million to the Foundation; the Rockefeller Foundation has given between $10 million and $25 million, while Western Union and its foundation has contributed between $1 million and $5 million.
Nearly two weeks later, Band followed up on email, specifically requesting Rodin be seated at Vice President Joe Biden’s table. “I’ll ask,” Abedin replied.
The State Department and the Clinton campaign both went to bat for Clinton:
When asked about the apparent involvement of a top Clinton Foundation official in requesting invitations for guests for State Department functions, spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told ABC News: “The State Department does not believe it is inappropriate for the administration to consider individuals suggested by outside organizations when deciding who to invite to an official function.”
Clinton campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin said the emails released are a political attack on the Clintons.
“Citizens United is a right-wing group that’s been attacking the Clintons since the 1990s and, once again, is trying to make something out of nothing,” Schwerin told ABC News.