CNN Presses Granholm on ‘Unseemly’ Links Between Clinton Foundation and State Dept

August 10, 2016

Hillary Clinton surrogate Jennifer Granholm was grilled Wednesday on the latest batch of emails released by the State Department, revealing the strong overlap of interests between Clinton Foundation donors and the department.

Granholm, the former Democratic governor of Michigan, appeared on CNN with host Brianna Keilar to discuss the latest State Department email release from Tuesday. The emails between State Department staffers appear to show Clinton Foundation donors having close access to the department while Clinton was secretary of state.

Keilar detailed an email between Hillary and Bill Clinton’s top aides about foundation business.

"Doug Band, at the time top aide to Bill Clinton, helped co-found the Clinton Global Initiative. He says we need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person RE Lebanon," Keilar said. "He is talking to one of Hillary Clinton’s top aides, Huma Abedin"

Keilar explained that Abedin responded to the email.

"She says it’s Jeff Feltman. That is at the time the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon," Keilar said.

"Is that really appropriate when one of the promises of Hillary Clinton was going in as secretary of state, there is essentially going to be this firewall that she was not going to have overlap between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department, and the U.S. government because it is unseemly at best," Keilar said.

Granholm claimed the email was not about foundation business, saying, "Doug Band, wrote it in his capacity as a personal assistant to President Clinton. He wrote it on the President e-mail."

"This person is somebody the Clintons had known since long before the Clinton Foundation had been established," Granholm added.

"But it’s so unseemly," Keilar responded. "I understand he might have been wearing two hats, but it is not as simple as just taking one off."

The CNN host then asked Granholm if she would have done business in the same capacity if she was serving as secretary of state.

"Well, I mean, I wasn’t in the state department at the time. But I do know that she has abided by the ethics agreement she signed at the beginning, which was not to take any action on the part of the State Department that mixed foundation business," Granholm said. "This was not on behalf of the foundation."