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Report: Hillary Clinton’s State Dept Gave Favorable Treatment to ‘Friends of Bill’ After Haiti Earthquake

Hillary and Bill Clinton / AP
• October 11, 2016 3:01 pm

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A senior aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heeded special attention to emails identified with the "FOB"—friends of Bill Clinton—abbreviation following the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, according to newly released emails.

Caitlin Klevorick, a senior State Department official who was tasked with sifting through incoming Clinton Foundation aid offers after the earthquake, directed foundation staffers to "flag" any emails sent by friends of the former president, ABC News reported Tuesday.

"Is this a FOB!" Klevorick wrote in one email to a Clinton Foundation aide who forwarded along a woman’s offer of medical supplies. "If not, she should go to cidi.org," she continued, referring anyone determined not to be a friend of Clinton’s to a government website.

The Republican National Committee obtained the emails through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Their release comes as the Clinton Foundation activates a response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti last week.

Many of the newly released exchanges involving Klevorick and Clinton Foundation staffers explicitly show Hillary Clinton’s State Department giving special access to friends of the family. The emails raise new questions regarding potential pay-to-play tactics between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s leadership.

"Nothing was ever done for anybody because they were contributors to the foundation," Bill Clinton told CBS News last month. "Nothing."

But the emails obtained by ABC News demonstrate a State Department effort to help Haiti rebuild after the 2010 earthquake that prioritized, and at times benefited, those with close ties to the Clintons.

Exchanges involving Denis O’Brien, a longtime Clinton Foundation donor and CEO of the Jamaica-based telecom firm Digical, showed the billionaire seeking State Department help to airlift supplies into Haiti and extract his company employees from the region.

Amitabh Desai, the director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, forwarded the request to the State Department in an email subject lined, "Close friend of Clintons."

Desai later passed the message along to Klevorick to help "a friend of President Clinton." The request was then moved directly to USAID officials tasked with spearheading the relief effort.