Henry: Bill Clinton’s Attempt To Give Paid Speech To Iranian Group ‘Raises Uncomfortable Questions’ For Campaign

September 16, 2015

Fox News’ Ed Henry reported Wednesday that Bill Clinton attempted to deliver a paid speech to a controversial Iranian-linked group, asking Hillary Clinton’s State Department for permission.

"The idea that the former president’s office brought to the State Department even the possibility that he would deliver a paid speech to the National Iranian American Council, which has been seen as the lobbying arm of Tehran–they’ve denied that, but they’ve publicly called for the end of all sanctions against Iran… it at least raises questions that are uncomfortable for the campaign," Henry said.

Henry had previously reported Clinton requested permission to give paid speeches in North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lisa Lerer and Stephen Braun of the Associated Press reported the ethics office responsible for vetting Bill Clinton’s requests to give paid speeches to questionable organizations approved at least 330 events that filled the Clintons’ pockets with more than $50 million.

"State Department officials gave speedy and sometimes only cursory consideration to potential conflicts of interest when approving former President Bill Clinton's lucrative speeches to global companies and foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, an Associated Press investigation has found."

Henry reported:

An aide to Bill Clinton asked the State Department in 2012 about the former president potentially delivering a paid speech to an Iranian government-tied group that has pushed for an end to all U.S. sanctions against Tehran, according to an email exclusively obtained by Fox News.

The email request, in June 2012, came during a sensitive time for then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that in July 2012, one of her top aides, Jake Sullivan, started meeting in secret with Iranian diplomats in talks that helped paved the way for the nuclear deal with Tehran.

The email from the former president's office was sent on June 4, 2012, from an aide to Bill Clinton to three aides for then-Secretary Clinton, including Sullivan as well as State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills. It concerned an event in the U.S. hosted by the National Iranian American Council.

The Clintons have made more than $25 million in paid speeches since the beginning of 2014. The former first couple benefited personally from the speeches and ensured the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars. Politico reported the highest-paying speeches for the foundation included an Irish scholarship fund, a Korean conglomerate, and a Nigerian newspaper company.