Major Clinton donor with no experience tapped for security advisory post

Saturday - 11/06/2016 07:24
A MAJOR donor to the Clinton Foundation was tapped by Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff to an intelligence advisory board — despite his inexperience in the field, according to ABC News.

Rajiv Fernando’s only apparent qualification as a member of the International Security Advisory Board was his technological acumen, the network reported.

Fernando, a stock trader who also was a prolific fundraiser for Democratic candidates, joined the panel that comprised mostly nuclear scientists and security experts.

Newly released State Department emails — which shed light on the controversial appointment — revealed how Clinton staffers sought to “protect the name” of the Secretary, “stall” ABC News and finally accept the donor’s resignation four days later when the network asked about his qualifications.

The emails showed that a press aide for Clinton expressed concern about Fernando’s appointment in an email to two other State Department officials.

“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Ric-hard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” Jamie Mannina, the aide, wrote in one of the newly released emails.

“We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.

“As you can see f-rom the attached, it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” Mannina continued.

Wade Boese, the chief of staff for the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, responded: “The true answer is simply that S staff (Cheryl Mills) added him. Raj was not on the list sent to (Clinton); he was added at their insistence.”

S refers to the secretary of state, meaning Clinton.

When confronted by ABC News at the 2012 Democratic convention, an upset Fernando said he was “not at liberty” to speak about it.

At the time of his appointment, Fernando — whose expertise appeared to be high-frequency, computer-generated stock trading — headed Chopper Trading, a leading firm in that field.

Fernando bundled more than $US100,000 ($136,000) for Clinton’s 2008 presidential primary campaign, before raising money for President Obama in the general election.

He also donated between $US100,000 ($136,000) and $US250,000 ($339,000) to the William J. Clinton Foundation.

The trove of revealing new emails were provided to ABC by the conservative group Citizens United, which obtained them through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The Clinton campaign through a spokesman told ABC News that the ISAB’s c-harter calls for the panel to be made up of “a balance of backgrounds and points of view. Furthermore, it is not unusual for the State Department Chief of Staff to be involved in personnel matters.”

Fernando attended a White House state dinner honouring the British prime minister six months after he left the security board.

He is now a super-delegate to the Democratic presidential convention in Philadelphia.

His contributions to the Clinton Foundation have increased since 2008 to between $US1 million ($1.36 million) and $US5 million ($6.78 million), the network said.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission.

Author: News Australia

 Keywords: hillary clinton

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