Hillary Clinton’s State Department aides tried to dodge suspicions about the agency’s coordination with the private Clinton Foundation, with top Hillary aide Cheryl Mills instructing her contacts at the Foundation to use her private gmail account when sending her secret information.
Newly released emails obtained by the group Citizens United show that the Clinton Foundation routinely contacted Hillary Clinton’s top aides at the State Department to coordinate Bill Clinton’s paid speaking engagements and other matters.
“I also think we need a talking point for media who ask about the timing of their trips,” Clinton Foundation director of foreign policy Amitabh Desai wrote to Mills in July 2012. At the time, Bill Clinton was planning to visit Uganda and South Africa shortly before Hillary Clinton went there on official State Department business.
Further coordination was carried out on private email.
Clinton Foundation chief financial officer Andrew Kessel emailed top Hillary aide Mills on July 16, 2012, to ask her where he should send a copy of a “Clinton book” that both the Clinton Foundation and the State Department clearly wanted to keep private among themselves and close allies.
“Where do you want the book sent? Or if you like I can send you electronic version of everything – its a thick notebook. If so where would you like that emailed?” Kessel asked.
Mills replied that she wanted “both.”
“For email pls use my gmail,” Mills told Kessel. Mills also requested that the physical copy of the book be sent to her home address, not to her office. Mills also asked if it was “sent to the other candidate too?”
The materials were clearly highly confidential, considering that Pfizer executive vice president of corporate affairs Sally Susman went out of her way to assure the Clinton Foundation that the materials were in “safe hands.”
“Thank you for providing the materials. I have received both packages this morning and have begun to review. Please know that they are in my safe hands and I will keep them in confidence,” Susman wrote to future Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, Cheryl Mills, Clinton Foundation officials Kessel and Bruce Lindsey, and some other people whose names were redacted.
“Bruce and Andy, I look forward to seeing you at the end of the coming week,” Susman wrote in the email, clearly referring to Clinton Foundation board chairman Bruce Lindsey and Andrew Kessel, who both received the email.