Morning Joe: ‘Sleazy’ Shakedowns by Clinton Foundation to Provide Bill Clinton Income

• October 27, 2016 9:13 am


MSNBC's Morning Joe panel on Thursday ripped former President Bill Clinton's "sleazy" shakedowns of Clinton Foundation donors to provide him with a lucrative source of income.

A hacked 13-page memo released Wednesday details how top Bill Clinton aide Doug Band was a central player in going to companies that were represented by his consulting firm to obtain donations to the Clinton Foundation, the Washington Post reported.

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.

"This is sleazy," host Joe Scarborough said. "And everybody knows it. You're trading in public service while someone is secretary of state. You're shaking down the world for $66 million instead of a Rolex watch or a life-sized portrait," he added, referring to Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The Post noted that companies like Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical that were clients of Band's firm, Teneo, also donated to the Clinton Foundation.

"They're actually bragging about being able to shake down foundation clients for Bill Clinton money," Scarborough said. "He's bragging about it, not like Doug Band brought this up on his own. He was doing his bosses' bidding."

Panelist Willie Geist pointed out that Chelsea Clinton went to Clinton Foundation lawyers worried about Band, and said that he was hustling for business.

Commentator Eddie Glaude Jr. said that while there is no quick evidence of a quid pro quo taking place, the story does confirm suspicions that the Clintons often blurred the ethical line between the foundation and their pockets.