CNN: State Department Emails Show 'Cozy Relationship' With Clinton Foundation Donors

August 10, 2016

CNN reporter Drew Griffin said Wednesday that Hillary Clinton's State Department had a "cozy relationship" with the Clinton Foundation and its donors.

Judicial Watch released 296 pages of State Department records on Tuesday, of which 44 email exchanges were never turned over to the State Department.

"This new batch of emails being released shows what we have been seeing over and over again and it's this intermingling of interests and donations and favors being done between the Hillary Clinton State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and the donors who apparently have very easy access to both when they need help," Griffin said.

Former Clinton Global Initiative leader Doug Band told Clinton aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryll Mills, at the State Department in a 2009 email that they needed to put Clinton Foundation donor Gilbert Chagoury in contact with the State Department's "substance person" in Lebanon and that he is a key guy at the Clinton Foundation. Chagoury donated between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Griffin also revealed cozy relations between Clinton and Morgan Stanley executives based off emails that were released.

"There was request for favors, finding people jobs, intermingling of emails between State, the Clinton Foundation and others. And the overall effect, Ashleigh, is that as one Congressional investigator told us, it's hard to tell where any lines are drawn between the Clinton State Department, the Clinton Foundation and later this Teneo Consulting company," Griffin said.

The Project on Government Oversight's Scott Amey said in a clip that government employees have certain rules that they must comply with and that they are supposed to avoid conflicts of interests.

"Here you have some companies and some lobbying shops that are very close to the Clinton administration and at that point, Hillary Clinton was working in the State Department and so you do wonder if there were some kind of impartiality or preferential treatment given to these companies and these lobbyists that didn't go to everyone," Amey said.

Griffin concluded that this kind of "wink and nod approach" to government makes it difficult to prove a "quid pro quo" but that it makes people suspicious.

The Clinton campaign responded that Band's communication with Clinton's aides regarding Foundation donors did not "involve the Secretary or relate to the foundation's work."

Donald Trump told a crowd on Wednesday in Virginia that these emails indicate a "pay-for-play" system between Clinton's State Department and the Clinton Foundation.