Hillary Clinton is hitting a rough patch in recent days that continues to grow in severity. Last week is was the accusation that she was behind the CNN critique on Republican presidential hopeful, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. The latest accusations center around her time as President Obama’s secretary of state. She allegedly met or spoke by phone with nearly 100 corporate executives and long-time Clinton political and charity donors. Apparently this was a trend throughout her four-year tenure at state.
The face-to-face and/or phone conversations routinely involved heads of companies and organizations interested in business or private interests with the White House administration. The secretary of state was receiving the bulk of this interaction.
However, the AP found could not find substantial evidence to link Clinton with any official wrongdoing. The investigation included legal or ethical conflicts centering on the examination of 1,294 pages from various calendars.
There was a distinct difference of her business contacts from previous secretaries of state. The difference being Clinton meetings came with the knowledge that she would be vying for the presidency in 2016. Her clear visibility to high political leaders, business and charity became a sounding board for their interests. Furthermore, she was facing a conflict of interest between her official duties and her other supporter’s financial dealings and political support over the years (2008-20013). That includes the complex Clinton Foundation that thrived during her White House years.
The Clinton staff did not directly respond to the allegations. Instead, campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said “Secretary Clinton turned over all of her work emails, 55,000 pages of them, and asked that they be released to the public. Some of that will include her schedules. We look forward to the rest of her emails being released so people can have a greater window into her work at the department.”
The AP acquired from Clinton calendars sought through the federal Freedom of Information Act. That research has turned up at least 155 planning schedules, but they account for about only seven percent of the 1,159 days covered by those email releases.
Some of the meetings held included American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten who met with Clinton three times including 2009, 2010 and 2012. One of the meetings held in October, 2009 was the same year the union spent nearly $1 million lobbying the government. The same holds true for fiscal 2010 and 2012.
It was no aberration that Weingarten’s union enthusiastically endorsed Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid. Clinton has received major donations from the union’s super PAC Priorities USA Action. The union itself has given $1 million to $5 million to the notorious Clinton Foundation.
Other face-to-face meetings on multiple occasions included PepsiCo Inc. and General Electric Co. Both companies gave major contributions to Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as the Clinton Foundation. PepsiCo. And GE spokesmen declined to discuss conversations it said its senior leaders “may have had.”