In the latest round of e-mail dumps done by website WikiLeaks, there has been a revelation that, at one point, the government of Qatar had offered $1 million to Bill Clinton's charity in honor of his birthday. The e-mail points out that it was done in a bid to get a one-on-one meeting with the former President.
The correspondence was dated April 12 and was written by the Clinton Foundation's foreign policy director, Amitabh Desai. The email was addressed to top aides of the Foundation.
He described having a meeting with several representatives of foreign governments while in Washington, and he referred to the former President by his initials WJC (for William Jefferson Clinton).
Desai wrote that representatives of the government of Qatar “would like to see WJC ‘for five minutes’ in NYC, to present $1 million check that Qatar promised for WJC’s birthday in 2011.” He also added that, “Qatar would welcome our suggestions for investments in Haiti — particularly on education and health. They have allocated most of their $20 million but are happy to consider projects we suggest. I’m collecting input from CF Haiti team.”
This happened during the term of Bill Clinton's wife, Hillary, as Secretary of State. In 2009, when she took office, concerns were raised regarding the Foundation's access to foreign donors who may try to use donations to the charitable institution as a means to curry favor with the United States' top diplomat. To assuage this fear, the Foundation agreed that any new foreign donation or an increase from a current donor would be reviewed by the State Department.
On Saturday, Mark C. Toner, a spokesman for the State Department said “we do not have a record of a submission” of the Clinton Foundation having received a donation from the government of Qatar.
Officials of the Clinton Foundation have said that they did not have to clear the donation with the State Department because it does not signify a material increase from Qatar's previous donations.
“Qatar has been among our hundreds of thousands of donors who have supported the Clinton Foundation’s overall humanitarian work, including making lifesaving H.I.V./AIDS treatment available to millions of people in more than 70 countries, combating childhood obesity here in the United States and working to empower girls and women around the world,” said Clinton Foundation spokesman Craig Minassian.
Amitabh Desai's e-mail was hacked from the account of John Podesta, who serves as the Chairman of Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign. He believes that his account has been hacked by Russian state actors in a bid to influence the US elections, an allegation that Russia strongly denies.
“This definitely is the first campaign that I’ve been involved with in which I’ve had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies,who seem to be doing everything that they can on behalf of our opponent,” said John Podesta.