‘Bill Clinton Inc’: Wikileaks Makes Establishment Press Cover Teneo, Clinton Foundation Conflicts of Interest

INDIANOLA, IA - OCTOBER 12: Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at an Iowa Democrati
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A memo seen in Wednesday’s batch of Wikileaks emails reveals the shocking cash cow that is “Bill Clinton, Inc.” — with blurred lines between the non-profit organization of the Clinton Foundation and the for-profit company Teneo.


As a longtime Bill Clinton adviser came under fire several years ago for alleged conflicts of interest involving a private consulting firm and the Clinton Foundation, he mounted an audacious defense: Bill Clinton’s doing it, too.

The unusual and brash rejoinder from veteran Clinton aide and Teneo Consulting co-founder Doug Band is scattered across the thousands of hacked emails published by WikiLeaks, but a memo released Wednesday provides the most detailed look to date at the intertwined worlds of nonprofit, for-profit, official and political activities involving Clinton and many of his top aides.

The memo at one point refers bluntly to the money-making part of Clinton’s life as “Bill Clinton Inc.” and notes that in at least one case a company — global education firm Laureate International Universities — began paying Clinton personally after first being a donor to the Clinton Foundation.

Washington Post:

Band’s memo provided data showing how much money each of Teneo’s 20 clients at the time had given to the Clinton Foundation, how much they had paid Bill Clinton and, in some cases, how he or Kelly had personally forged the relationships that resulted in the payments.

Band wrote that Teneo partners had raised in excess of $8 million for the foundation and $3 million in paid speaking fees for Bill Clinton. He said he had secured contracts for the former president that would pay out $66 million over the subsequent nine years if the deals remained in place.

For instance, Band wrote that Kelly arranged for the former president to meet the chief executive of Coca-Cola in January 2009 at the Clintons’ home in Washington. In all, according to Band’s memo, Coke had contributed $4.33 million to the foundation between 2004 and 2010.

New York Times — The Times dedicates only two paragraphs to the memo in an overview of the Clinton Foundation’s mentions in Wikileaks. Amy Chozick, the co-author of this piece, appears to be a personal fan of Hillary Clinton, based on Podesta emails that mention her.

Emails released on Tuesday contained a memo from Mr. Band essentially defending his work for the foundation, and for Mr. Clinton personally, even as Mr. Band was building up his corporate consulting firm, Teneo. The memo noted that some foundation donors had indeed been clients of Teneo, but also that Mr. Band and Teneo had helped raise tens of millions of dollars for the foundation from individual, foreign and corporate donors, without taking a commission.

Mr. Band also noted how some of those donors he had cultivated were paying Mr. Clinton privately to make speeches or to do other work. One such donor, Laureate International Universities, a for-profit education company based in Baltimore, was paying Mr. Clinton $3.5 million annually “to provide advice” and serve as its honorary chairman, Mr. Band wrote.

While the Times chose not to examine the Teneo memo in depth, the paper’s reporter Nick Confessore went over its implications on his personal Twitter account:


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.


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