The Trump campaign is pouncing on a report that a Clinton Foundation donor, Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury, is allegedly connected to the Hezbollah terrorist organization.
“The fact a major Clinton Foundation donor was denied entry into the U.S. over ties to the terrorist group Hezbollah is deeply troubling, especially when this individual had access to top aides at Hillary Clinton’s State Department,” said Trump senior communications adviser Jason Miller.
“These revelations are yet another example of why the Clinton Foundation must be shut down and Hillary Clinton must demand the State Department immediately release her official schedules in full before the election. Voters deserve to know just how badly compromised a Hillary Clinton presidency would be,” Miller added.
Since the 1990s, Chagoury has also cultivated a friendship with the Clinton family — in part by writing large checks, including a contribution of at least $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.
By the time Hillary Clinton became secretary of State, the relationship was strong enough for Bill Clinton’s closest aide to push for Chagoury to get access to top diplomats, and the agency began exploring a deal, still under consideration, to build a consulate on Chagoury family land in Lagos, Nigeria.
But even as those talks were underway, bureaucrats in other arms of the State Department were examining accusations that Chagoury had unsavory affiliations, stemming from his activities and friendships in Lebanon. After a review, Chagoury was refused a visa to enter the U.S. last year.
After Clinton left the State Department, Chagoury again found himself under suspicion by U.S. security officials. A 2013 FBI intelligence report, citing unverified raw information from a source, claimed Chagoury had sent funds to Aoun, who transferred money to Hezbollah. The source said Aoun was “facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah.” The U.S. put Chagoury in its database used to screen travelers for possible links to terrorism, interagency memos show.
Chagoury has denied ties to Hezbollah.