TEL AVIV – The last batch of Hillary Clinton’s private emails, released on Monday and reviewed in full by this reporter, evidences a close personal and professional relationship with the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, or CAP.
The organization was so influential in the formation of the Obama administration in 2008 that it prompted Time Magazine to dub the CAP “Obama’s Idea Factory in Washington.” The CAP went on to produce extensive recommendation papers that formed the basis of many of President Obama’s policies from healthcare to gun control to military spending.
If the latest email releases serve as any clue, the CAP’s singular influence is set to continue and perhaps even expand during any future Hillary Clinton administration.
The deep Clinton ties to CAP are not surprising. The group was co-founded by John Podesta, who served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and was co-director of Obama’s White House transition team in 2009. Podesta is currently chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The current CAP President is Neera Tanden, who exchanged numerous emails with Clinton on a host of policy issues, the latest batch of email correspondence shows.
In an Oct 19, 2009 email, Tanden calls Clinton a “mentor” and says she decided to start working for the CAP in part because of Clinton. “I decided to go to CAP,” Tanden wrote. “I really thought about what you said – about focusing on what I want to do every day.”
Clinton replied by asking for Tanden’s policy advice on healthcare and her predictions on the prospects of passing some kind of healthcare overhaul.
In another email, dated May 25, 2009, Clinton asked Tanden who would be the best White House official with whom to speak about affecting healthcare policy, meaning Tanden had deeper knowledge of President Obama’s healthcare initiatives than did the sitting secretary of state.
Indeed, Tanden briefed Clinton at least once on the behind-the-scenes moves related to the evolution of Obama’s healthcare bill. “On health care: we’re kind of optimistic that Baucus will actually deliver, but hopefully, we’ll know in the next 48 hours (though I feel like I’ve written that several times before),” Tanden wrote in one September 15, 2009 email.
On February 27, 2012, Tanden invited Clinton to celebrate her becoming president of the CAP. “Since you are responsible for my first job at CAP, I wanted to invite you, and of course, I would be thrilled if you could make it,” Tanden wrote.
Clinton responded that she would be out of town but that she caught some of Tanden’s interview on C-SPAN the day before, and “relished seeing you talking about CAP.”
Tanden may have been responsible for Clinton’s propensity to dispense five-point plans on policy issues.
Earlier this week, The New York Times reported Democratic groups supporting Clinton are preparing a several-point plan to defeat Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions.
The Daily Mail cited a “five-point plan” that reportedly includes portraying Trump “as a loose cannon who could not lead the country.”
In a September 14, 2009 email, titled “Media Attention,” Tanden complains that many political reporters “have very little understanding of international relations and foreign policy.” To rectify the supposed problem and ensure positive coverage, Tanden recommends that Clinton “overwhelm people with solutions: 5 point plans; 10 point plans.”
You are the object of continuing media interest — not just by reporters who have an expertise in foreign affairs, but also general political reporters who, unfortunately, have very little understanding of international relations and foreign policy. At the same time, it strikes me that foreign policy is a particularly difficult area to generate substantive news. So much of foreign policy comes across as positioning rather than concrete proposals….
…While foreign policy reporters may understand the nuances of positioning (e.g, our position on talks with Iran, our position on six-party talks, etc), such nuances are probably lost on most political reporters who are not paying close, daily attention to these matters
Another problem is that while foreign policy reporters may grasp the true meaning of thematic speeches, political reporters may often miss their import and meaning.
Tanden recommends “solutions communicated in a way so that all reporters, even the laziest, would understand them.”
Therefore, in order to reach those political reporters and others, an approach to this problem could be to overwhelm people with solutions: 5 point plans; 10 point plans (You came up with “point plan” approach on our campaign, and I didn’t at first understand its merit, but soon saw it — it shorthanded the solutions so that even when reporters couldn’t go through all the details, they would at least write that you had a 5 point plan to solve the problem.)
Tanden helpfully provided a list of numerous five-point plans in “areas in which there could be domestic interest in your ideas:”
-5 point plan to combat international pandemics
-5 point plan to combat sex trafficking
-5 point plan to stop the spread of terrorism to newer locations like Africa and Asia through the work of smart power (this may be repackaging a series of ideas you have already discussed)
-5 point plan to improve girls’ education as a way to defeat terrorism
-5 point plan to strengthen non-governmental efforts to combat global warming (there was a great story on NPR about human-powered batteries to run cell phones and lights in the developing world)
During her tenure as secretary of state and beyond, Clinton would go on to enumerate numerous 5-point plans.
Just last month, Clinton outlined a five-point plan to combat the Islamic State.
Speaking at the Brookings Institute last September, Clinton presented a five-point plan regarding U.S. strategy toward Iran. The plan maintains the current nuclear deal while increasing sanctions targeting the Tehran regime.
The CAP, meanwhile, is financed in significant part by Soros. When it was first founded in 2003, Soros pledged up to $3 million for the group. The billionaire has since provided numerous annual grants to CAP, including a $400,000 grant in 2013 for the CAP’s campus activism wing, a $350,000 grant in 2012 to their legal action arm, and numerous other grants.
CAP has also received near-annual grants from the Soros-funded Tides Foundation.
With research by Brenda J. Elliott.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.