Posts Tagged ‘Robby Mook’

Donna Brazile Admits Hillary Clinton Gutted the DNC And Wore Its Skin To Shovel More Campaign Cash Into Her Gaping Maw

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

It’s been a ten pound week in a five pound bag, but there’s no rest for the wicked working the Clinton Corruption beat, so let’s just jump into this inescapable top story:

I had promised Bernie [Sanders] when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers [No proof they were Russian hackers. -LP] and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie.

So I followed the money. My predecessor, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had not been the most active chair in fundraising at a time when President Barack Obama’s neglect had left the party in significant debt. As Hillary’s campaign gained momentum, she resolved the party’s debt and put it on a starvation diet. It had become dependent on her campaign for survival, for which she expected to wield control of its operations.

Debbie was not a good manager. She hadn’t been very interested in controlling the party—she let Clinton’s headquarters in Brooklyn do as it desired so she didn’t have to inform the party officers how bad the situation was. How much control Brooklyn had and for how long was still something I had been trying to uncover for the last few weeks.

By September 7, the day I called Bernie, I had found my proof and it broke my heart.

* * *

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

If I didn’t know about this, I assumed that none of the other officers knew about it, either. That was just Debbie’s way. In my experience she didn’t come to the officers of the DNC for advice and counsel. She seemed to make decisions on her own and let us know at the last minute what she had decided, as she had done when she told us about the hacking only minutes before the Washington Post broke the news.

On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

“Gary, how did they do this without me knowing?” I asked. “I don’t know how Debbie relates to the officers,” Gary said. He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.

Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the thirty-two states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”

“What’s the burn rate, Gary?” I asked. “How much money do we need every month to fund the party?”

The burn rate was $3.5 million to $4 million a month, he said.

I gasped. I had a pretty good sense of the DNC’s operations after having served as interim chair five years earlier. Back then the monthly expenses were half that. What had happened? The party chair usually shrinks the staff between presidential election campaigns, but Debbie had chosen not to do that. She had stuck lots of consultants on the DNC payroll, and Obama’s consultants were being financed by the DNC, too.

When we hung up, I was livid. Not at Gary, but at this mess I had inherited. I knew that Debbie had outsourced a lot of the management of the party and had not been the greatest at fundraising. I would not be that kind of chair, even if I was only an interim chair. Did they think I would just be a surrogate for them, get on the road and rouse up the crowds? I was going to manage this party the best I could and try to make it better, even if Brooklyn did not like this. It would be weeks before I would fully understand the financial shenanigans that were keeping the party on life support.

* * *

Right around the time of the convention the leaked emails revealed Hillary’s campaign was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races. A Politico story published on May 2, 2016, described the big fund-raising vehicle she had launched through the states the summer before, quoting a vow she had made to rebuild “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.”

Yet the states kept less than half of 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding, just as Gary had described to me when he and I talked in August. When the Politico story described this arrangement as “essentially … money laundering” for the Clinton campaign, Hillary’s people were outraged at being accused of doing something shady. Bernie’s people were angry for their own reasons, saying this was part of a calculated strategy to throw the nomination to Hillary.

I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie and did not want to disappoint him. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.

When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard [She was head of the DNC in the late phases of the 2016 campaign and she decided to go on vacation? -LP I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.

The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.

I had been wondering why it was that I couldn’t write a press release without passing it by Brooklyn. Well, here was the answer.

When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party. If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain. When I was manager of Gore’s campaign in 2000, we started inserting our people into the DNC in June. This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.

I had tried to search out any other evidence of internal corruption that would show that the DNC was rigging the system to throw the primary to Hillary, but I could not find any in party affairs or among the staff. I had gone department by department, investigating individual conduct for evidence of skewed decisions, and I was happy to see that I had found none. [I’m imagining Brazil going office to office and asking “Hey, Random DNC staffer, are you fair and impartial, or are you working only for Hillary Clinton?” Random: “Oh, I’m totally fair!” -LP] Then I found this agreement.

The funding arrangement with HFA and the victory fund agreement was not illegal [I’m not so sure about that. -LP], but it sure looked unethical. If the fight had been fair, one campaign would not have control of the party before the voters had decided which one they wanted to lead. This was not a criminal act, but as I saw it, it compromised the party’s integrity.

Some of the new details are welcome, though the fact that Clinton was using the DNC as her own personal money-laundering scam should be no surprise to anyone who follows this blog.

If you wanted to destroy the Democratic Party, it would be harder to top the 1-2 punch of Obama-Clinton that’s left it broke and reeling. And all Trump Derangement Syndrome has done has distracted liberals from just how badly off their party is.

But let’s be realistic: How on earth could the DNC pay for trivia like “running a political party” when there were all those Fusion GPS consultants to pay?

(Probably pushing the LinkSwarm to Saturday. It’s been that kind of week…)

Clinton Corruption Update for June 1, 2017

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

After Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 Presidential election to Donald Trump, I assumed that (if she wasn’t indicted), she would go the way of Al Gore and Walter Mondale and step out of the public spotlight. Never did I dream that we’d be almost half a year into the Trump Presidency and Hillary Clinton would still be refighting the 2016 Presidential election.

Say this for the Atlanta Falcons: As bad as their collapse was, I don’t see any of them making the talk shows rounds proclaiming that they really won Super Bowl LI. Yet Hillary Clinton suffers from a world-class case of denial:

New York Magazine dedicated its cover story to covering Clinton’s journey from a one-time presidential loser to a two-time presidential loser. Deep inside the coverage is a key kernel of wisdom: Even if you lose, just pretend you didn’t so people keep giving you money.

When asked about how Trump and Bernie Sanders capitalized on American anger, Clinton responded like a dementia-riddled Civil War veteran: “Yes, and I beat both of them,” she told Rebecca Traister of New York Mag.

Uh huh. I guess when Clinton says things like this we’re just supposed to ignore them like when grandma says something racist at the dinner table. Sure, Clinton won in November, and the maid is stealing money from Nana’s purse.

Snip.

If you think Clinton is ready to take any responsibility, hold your breath. Her unfavorables, the FBI investigation, her shady business practices—that’s all just the fault of The Media.

“Look, we have an advocacy press on the right that has done a really good job for the last 25 years,” Clinton told NY Mag. “They have a mission. They use the rights given to them under the First Amendment to advocate a set of policies that are in their interests, their commercial, corporate, religious interests. Because the advocacy media occupies the right, and the center needs to be focused on providing as accurate information as possible. Not both-sides-ism and not false equivalency.”

Only a Clinton would somehow have the gall to argue that the media didn’t work hard enough to stop Trump from getting elected.

(Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

Yet another revelation from Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, namely that the entire “Russia hacked the election” fantasy liberals have been pushing was cooked up by Hillary Clinton’s team within 24 hours of her loss:

The book further highlights how Clinton’s Russia-blame-game was a plan hatched by senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robby Mook, less than “within twenty-four hours” after she conceded:

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

The Clinton camp settled on a two-pronged plan — pushing the press to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy,” the authors wrote.

Of course, many Democrats who “wanted to believe” have been taken in by that laughably fake Russian “dossier” on Trump. Including former FBI Director James Comey. “It was a very powerful factor in the decision to go forward in July with the statement that there shouldn’t be a prosecution.”

And now that Comey is out, “a growing chorus is suggesting that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email scandal should be reopened.”

In other Clinton Corruption news:

  • “Bangladesh prime minister says Clinton personally pressured her to help foundation donor.”

    The Office of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confirmed to Circa that Mrs. Clinton called her office in March 2011 to demand that Dr. Muhammed Yunus, a 2006 Nobel Peace prize winner, be restored to his role as chairman of the country’s most famous microcredit bank, Grameen Bank. The bank’s nonprofit Grameen America, which Yunus chairs, has given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative. Grameen Research, which is chaired by Yunus, has donated between $25,000 and $50,000, according to the Clinton Foundation website.

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)

  • Democrats don’t actually want a congressional investigation into Russian hacking allegations. “They have tried to destroy this Russia investigation, they’ve never been serious about it.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • How Hillary blew the election in five easy steps. “Hillary Clinton had no real sincere position on any issue other than a desire to stay in public office for nearly a quarter-century.”

    Also:

    Haughtiness, insularity, and laziness characterized the conduct of the Clinton campaign. Even a novice outsider could see that Obama’s successful electoral matrix — record minority turnout and bloc voting, coupled with the drop-off in turnout by a disengaged white working middle class (tired both of left-wing identity politics and Republican bluestocking elitism) — was not going to be transferrable to an off-putting 69-year-old, white multimillionaire.

    Not only did Hillary Clinton lack Obama’s youthful vigor and mellifluousness; she also seemed at times geriatric, snarky, and screechy. The result was that she did not win the minority vote at the levels she needed. Further, she galvanized the supposedly ossified and irrelevant white working classes to finally come out and vote, in their own bloc fashion, against her. Obama had guaranteed her his downside but never delivered his upside.

    Snip.

    She made her disdain concrete by never campaigning in Wisconsin and only sporadically visiting the Blue Wall states eastward to the Carolinas. And she was convinced that demography had doomed the white working classes and empowered Latinos and blacks in red states such as Arizona and Georgia.

    Clinton’s inept campaign aimed, then, not just at a win (which was attainable by nonstop populist barnstorming and message massaging in the Rust Belt) but, greedily, at a “mandate” that was impossible, given minority-vote falloff and Democratic estrangement from the working classes. Apparently, no one told the campaign that open borders were not a popular national issue, and that Democrats could not win Texas even with Latino bloc voting, and that they could do so in deep-blue California but without any electoral significance.

    Also:

    Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash is underappreciated for its effect on the campaign. Through painstaking research, it tied together all the strands of Clinton nefariousness: the Clinton Foundation as an excuse to hire political flunkies and provide free jet travel; the quid pro quo State Department nods to those who hired Bill Clinton to speak; and corruption under Hillary Clinton, from cellphone concessions in Haiti to North American uranium sales to Russian interests.

    Add to the Clinton sleaze Hillary’s unsecured server and communications of classified material, the creepy New York and Washington careerists who turned up in the Podesta archives, and the political rigging that warped the conduct of the Democratic National Committee.

    The result was that Hillary could no longer play the role of the “good” Clinton who “put up” with her husband’s “good ole boy” sleaze. Her new image was that of an equal partner in crime — or perhaps even a godmother who used the capo Bill as muscle. In comparison, Trump steaks, Trump University, Trump taxes, and Trump ties were old-fashioned American hucksterism, but with one important difference: Trump’s excesses were a private person’s; Clinton’s were those of a public servant.

  • Clinton even trashed the in-the-tank for Hillary DNC over poor data collection.

    “I’m now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party,” she continued.

    “What do you mean nothing?” asked interviewer Walt Mossberg.

    “I mean it was bankrupt, it was on the verge of insolvency, its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it, the DNC, to keep it going,” Clinton said.

    Hell, all that may even be true, but what sort of gratitude is that after the DNC went out of its way to put its thumb on the scales to ensure she beat Bernie Sanders? (Hat tip: Directror Blue.)

  • That, in turn, lead DNC data guy Andrew Therriault to tweet defending himself:

    Then he deleted both those tweets, including the one that mentioned DNC limits as a “laundering vehicle.” Why, it’s almost as though he feared criticizing Hillary Clinton…

  • The real Clinton-Russia nexus is a lot more concrete than the theoretical Trump-Russia nexus.
  • We keep hearing again and again that Hillary isn’t running for anything. Then why does she keep sounding like she is?

    Hillary Rodham Clinton isn’t merely in a state of denial. She has become Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense. Politically speaking, she is dead, but she doesn’t know it. Her staffers are so many Haley Joel Osments — too kind (and too attached to their salaries) to tell her that her career is over. She doesn’t need briefings. She doesn’t need to do interviews. She doesn’t need to write the book she is writing (after so many indigestible volumes, why bother with one more?). She doesn’t need to stake out a politically nuanced position on James Comey’s firing or scramble to get out in front of the Resistance parade. She lost two exceedingly winnable presidential campaigns in Hindenburgian fashion. There is no demand for her to run again and there is nothing left for her except to receive whatever ceremonial honors and sinecures may come her way. She has been handed her political retirement papers by the American people. She’s done.

    (Hat tip: Maggie’s Farm.)

  • Hillary’s accusations of voter suppression are bunk.
  • “Hillary Clinton is making fools out of feminists.” Making? (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)
  • From back in January: The FBI quietly release “nearly 300 pages of records from its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.”
  • More on the same subject:

    A new batch of messages released by the State Department on Tuesday shows the former secretary of state and her team routinely shared her upcoming schedules, talking points and sensitive items – such as her iPad password – via the homebrewed system.

    Other newly revealed emails, which were posted as the result of litigation, show Clinton’s top advisers griping about her during her time as secretary of State; an Asian ruler who later implemented Sharia law saying he considered former President Bill Clinton part of his “family”; and Clinton talking about Justin Cooper, one of the key figures who administered to her private server.

  • Hillary Clinton gets a break when an Obama-appointed judge throughs out a lawsuit against her over Benghazi on technical grounds.
  • “Hey, Hillary Clinton, shut the f— up and go away already.” And that’s from someone who voted for Clinton! “No one deserves more blame for the election debacle than Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
  • Clinton Corruption Update for April 13, 2017

    Thursday, April 13th, 2017

    With Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign due out April 18, it’s high time for a Clinton Corruption update. (And you may quibble that “Hillary being a nasty person” doesn’t qualify as “corruption,” but if I started doing separate “Hillary Clinton is a horrible human being” updates, I’d never have time to sleep…)

    The book excerpts show that Hillary was every bit as much a joy to work with as we all suspected:

    Hillary was so mad she couldn’t think straight. She was supposed to be focused on the prep session for that night’s Univision debate in Miami, but a potent mix of exhaustion and exasperation bubbled up inside.

    She’d been humiliated in the Michigan primary the night before, a loss that not only robbed her of a prime opportunity to put Bernie Sanders down for good but also exposed several of her weaknesses. How could she have been left so vulnerable? She knew — or at least she thought she did. The blame belonged to her campaign team, she believed, for failing to hone her message, energize important constituencies and take care of business in getting voters to the polls. And now, Jake Sullivan, her de facto chief strategist, was giving her lip about the last answer she’d delivered in the prep session.

    “That’s not very good,” Sullivan corrected.

    “Really?” Hillary snapped back.

    The room fell silent.

    “Why don’t you do it?”

    The comment was pointed and sarcastic, but she meant it. So for the next 30 minutes, there he was, pretending to be Hillary while she critiqued his performance.

    Every time the Yale lawyer and former high school debate champ opened his mouth, Hillary cut him off. “That isn’t very good,” she’d say. “You can do better.” Then she’d hammer him with a Bernie line.

    It wasn’t just Sullivan in her crosshairs. She let everyone on her team have it that day. “We haven’t made our case,” she fumed. “We haven’t framed the choice. We haven’t done the politics.”

    “She was visibly, unflinchingly pissed off at us as a group,” said one aide who was in the room for the humiliating scene. “And she let us know she felt that way.”

    Hillary had been up into the wee hours the night before, agitating over her loss. This is because we made poor choices about where we traveled, she thought. She emailed Robby Mook to tell him she believed she’d spent too much time in the cities of Detroit and Flint and not enough in the working-class white suburbs around them. Sensing just how angry she was, Mook responded by putting together a morning conference call so that Hillary could vent. But that didn’t settle her; if anything, it left her more perplexed and angry, as her debate-prep team witnessed firsthand.

    Her aides took the browbeating — one of several she delivered in person and on the phone that day — in silence. They had a lot of their own thoughts on what went wrong, some of which echoed Hillary’s assessment: her message was off for Michigan, and she had refused to go hard against trade; Mook had pinched pennies and failed to put organizers on the ground; the polling and analytics were a touch too rosy, meaning the campaign didn’t know Bernie was ahead; she had set up an ambiguous decisionmaking structure on the campaign; and she’d focused too heavily on black and brown voters at the expense of competing for the whites who had formed her base in 2008. The list went on and on.

    The underlying truth — the one that many didn’t want to admit to themselves — was the person ultimately responsible for these decisions, the one whose name was on the ticket, hadn’t corrected these problems, all of which had been brought to her attention before primary day. She’d stuck with the plan, and it had cost her.

    (Hat tip: Stephen Green at Instapundit.)

    More on the same theme:

    “Hillary’s been having screaming, child-like tantrums that have left her staff members in tears and unable to work,” a campaign aide told Klein in 2015, according to a New York Post report. “She thought the nomination was hers for the asking, but her mounting problems have been getting to her, and she’s become shrill and, at times, even violent.”

    According to the report, Hillary blasted a low-level campaign worker who had made a scheduling mistake. When Hillary viciously berated her, the worker turned and began to walk away. That’s when Hillary reportedly grabbed her by the arm.

    In one June 2016 report, it was revealed Hillary hurled a Bible at a Secret Service agent’s head, according to former agent Gary Byrne, who said her explosions grew worse as the Clintons’ time in the White House went on.

    Byrne warned Hillary was too “erratic, uncontrollable and occasionally violent” for the presidency.

    In other Clinton corruption news:

  • RussiaGate: Hillary Clinton and John Podesta’s Troubling Ties to Russia. Much will be familiar to regular BattleSwarm readers, but there’s some nice recap for those coming in cold:

    Unlike the revelations so far concerning Russian ties in the Trump camp, the Clinton deals involved hundreds of millions of dollars and enormous favors that benefitted Russian interests.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton received large sums of money directly and indirectly from Russian officials while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 (well above his normal fee) for a speech in Moscow in 2010. Who footed the bill? An investment firm in Moscow called Renaissance Capital, which boasts deep ties to Russian intelligence. The Clinton Foundation itself took money from Russian officials and Putin-connected oligarchs. They also took donations from:

  • Viktor Vekselberg, a Putin confidant who gave through his company, Renova Group
  • Andrey Vavilov, a former Russian government official who was Chairman of SuperOx, a research company that was part of the “nuclear Cluster” at the Russian government’s Skolkovo research facility
  • Elena Baturina, the wife of the former Mayor of Moscow, who apparently gave them money through JSC Inteco, an entity that she controls
  • (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Ditto this National Review piece on the Clintons’ Russian ties:

    The shadiest deal that the Clintons hatched with Russia is called Uranium One. This outrage should mushroom into Hillary and Bill’s radioactive Whitewater scandal.

    Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul and major Clinton Foundation donor, led a group of investors in an enterprise called Uranium One. On June 8, 2010, Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans to purchase a 51.4 percent stake in the Canadian company, whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity.

    Because this active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons is a strategic commodity, this $1.3 billion deal required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Secretary of State Clinton was one of nine federal department and agency heads on that secretive panel.

    On June 29, 2010, three weeks after Rosatom proposed to Uranium One, Bill Clinton keynoted a seminar staged by Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a reputedly Kremlin-controlled investment bank that promoted this transaction. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech.

    While CFIUS evaluated Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, “a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One” began. “These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

    These included Uranium One’s then-chairman, Ian Telfer, whose donations to the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) totaled $3.1 million. Giustra himself gave $131.3 million to the Clinton Foundation. Before, during, and after CFIUS’s review, Schweizer calculates, “shareholders involved in this transaction had transferred approximately $145 million to the Clinton Foundation or its initiatives.”

    Others were less enthused about this deal.

    “Russia’s record of transferring dangerous materials and technologies to rogue regimes, such as those in Iran and Syria, is very troubling,” Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the time, wrote to CFIUS’s then-chairman, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The top Republicans on the Financial Services, Homeland Security, and Armed Services Committees also signed Ros-Lehtinen’s letter of October 5, 2010.

    “We believe that this potential takeover of U.S. nuclear resources by a Russian government–owned agency would pose great potential harm to the national security of the United States,” the letter read, “and we urge the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to block the sale.”

    As a CFIUS member, Hillary could have heeded this warning and stopped Vladimir Putin from controlling a fifth of U.S. uranium supplies. America’s chief diplomat and former first lady either welcomed this prospect or was too uncharacteristically demure to make her objections stick.

    In either case, on October 23, 2010, within three weeks of that letter, CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of a majority stake in Uranium One.

    Thanks to subsequent investments, Rosatom’s share of Uranium One grew to 100 percent by January 2013. Robert Gill of Morrison Williams Investment Management told Canada’s Financial Post: “By doing this acquisition, they can continue to build the company they intended to build, but they can do so without the transparency required by the public markets.”

    Rosatom CEO Sergei Kiriyenko crowed just after taking total control of Uranium One, “Few could have imagined in the past that we would own 20 percent of U.S. reserves.”

    A headline in Pravda boasted on January 22, 2013: “Russian nuclear energy conquers the world.”

    My old friend Michael Caputo performed public-relations work for Renaissance Capital in 1999–2000. He says it subsequently became “a practical arm of Vladimir Putin.” Caputo was stunned at the speed with which CFIUS approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.

    “In 2010–2011, I ran acquisition communications for Safran Group, the French government–controlled defense contractor which bought the US biometrics company L-1,” Caputo wrote in PoliticsNY.net. “It took us almost two years to gain CFIUS approval for France, an historic ally, to purchase a biometrics firm, not even remotely a strategic asset.” He added, “These two CFIUS approvals were happening at precisely the same time. Safran couldn’t buy a break and was questioned at every turn. Somehow, Kremlin-controlled Rosatom’s purchase sailed through on a cool breeze.”

    (Hat tip: Director Blue.)

  • Even more on John Podesta’s Russian ties:

    Rep. Louie Gohmert, an outspoken House Republican from Texas, is calling for a congressional investigation of John Podesta’s role with Rusnano, a state-run company founded by Russian President Vladimir Putin, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

    Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman and former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff — first made contact with the Russian firm in 2011, when he joined the boards and executive committees of three related entities: Boston-based Joule Unlimited; Rotterdam-based Joule Global Holdings; Joule Global Stichting, the company’s controlling interest. All are high-tech renewable energy enterprises.

    Three months after Podesta’s arrival, Joule Unlimited accepted a 1 billion ruble investment from Rusnano, amounting to $35 million in U.S. currency. The firm also awarded a Joule board seat in February 2012 to Anatoly Chubais, Rusnano’s CEO, who has been depicted as a corrupt figure.

  • And how did Podesta react to these charges? He hit the Daily Caller with a cease and desist letter.
  • “Democratic super-lobbyist Tony Podesta grossed more than $500,000 to represent a Chinese company criminally convicted in March of sending illegal shipments of telecom equipment to Iran.” (Hat tip: Ace of Spades HQ.)
  • “New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal Additional Instances of Clinton Sending Classified Information through Unsecured Emails, Special Favors for Clinton Donors.”
  • “Hillary Clinton had astonishing access to top secret documents after she left state department“:

    Hillary Clinton may have resigned her secretary role at the State Department in 2013 – but her access to top secret and classified information didn’t end then.

    Under Barack Obama, she was allowed to continue to view highly sensitive intel documents for years – well past her announced run for the presidency in April 2015, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. Why? Toward what possible end?

    So she could better write her memoir.

    File this in the “You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me” folder.

    And it wasn’t just Clinton who kept the power of top secret access. It was six of her former staffers, who went by the tag of “research assistants.”

  • “Hillary has no plans to return to work at Clinton Foundation.” Yes, “work.” Because cashing checks from influence-seekers is so strenuous…
  • The hagiographers at Vanity Fair talk about Hillary coming out of the woods.
  • Bill Maher: Stay in the woods:

    The shrill, annoying woman acting as Social Justice Warrior Policer of Jokes and Defender of the Hillary Faith is evidently Neera Tanden. Every time she speaks, just imagine tiny votes flying on fairy wings from the Democratic to the Republican side of the ledger; she’s that annoying.

  • A tweet, with video:

  • More on How Clinton Lost

    Thursday, December 15th, 2016

    Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential race by rewriting the rule book. Conversely, Hillary Clinton seems to have lost the race by simply ignoring the same rule book.

    This Politico piece on how Hillary Clinton’s arrogant campaign lost Michigan is well worth it’s own link for the rich aroma of schadenfreude wafting off it:

    Politico spoke to a dozen officials working on or with Clinton’s Michigan campaign, and more than a dozen scattered among other battleground states, her Brooklyn headquarters and in Washington who describe an ongoing fight about campaign tactics, an inability to get top leadership to change course.

    Then again, according to senior people in Brooklyn, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook never heard any of those complaints directly from anyone on his state teams before Election Day.

    In results that narrow, Clinton’s loss could be attributed to any number of factors — FBI Director Jim Comey’s letter shifting late deciders, the lack of a compelling economic message, the apparent Russian hacking. But heartbroken and frustrated in-state battleground operatives worry that a lesson being missed is a simple one: Get the basics of campaigning right.

    Clinton never even stopped by a United Auto Workers union hall in Michigan, though a person involved with the campaign noted bitterly that the UAW flaked on GOTV commitments in the final days, and that AFSCME never even made any, despite months of appeals.

    The anecdotes are different but the narrative is the same across battlegrounds, where Democratic operatives lament a one-size-fits-all approach drawn entirely from pre-selected data — operatives spit out “the model, the model,” as they complain about it — guiding Mook’s decisions on field, television, everything else. That’s the same data operation, of course, that predicted Clinton would win the Iowa caucuses by 6 percentage points (she scraped by with two-tenths of a point), and that predicted she’d beat Bernie Sanders in Michigan (he won by 1.5 points).

    “I’ve never seen a campaign like this,” said Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member and longtime political hand in Michigan who described months of failed attempts to get attention to the collapse she was watching unfold in slow-motion among women and African-American millennials.

    Rollins, the chair emeritus of the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus, said requests into Brooklyn for surrogates to come talk to her group were never answered. When they held their events anyway, she said, they also got no response to requests for a little money to help cover costs.

    Rollins doesn’t need a recount to understand why Clinton lost the state.

    “When you don’t reach out to community folk and reach out to precinct campaigns and district organizations that know where the votes are, then you’re going to have problems,” she said.

    From the day Clinton released her launch video, the campaign knew she’d struggle with enthusiasm. Yet they didn’t do many of the things voters are used to seeing to give a sense of momentum, insisting that votes didn’t come from campaign literature, door knocking, commitment to vote cards or the standard program of sending absentee ballot applications to likely voters rather than just appealing to the people once they’d already ordered the ballots.

    “It was very surgical and corporate. They had their model, this is how they’re going to do it. Their thing was, ‘We don’t have to leave [literature] at the doors, everyone knows who Hillary Clinton is,’” said one person involved in the Michigan campaign. “But in terms of activists, it seems different, it’s maybe they don’t care about us.”

    Michigan operatives relay stories like one about an older woman in Flint who showed up at a Clinton campaign office, asking for a lawn sign and offering to canvass, being told these were not “scientifically” significant ways of increasing the vote, and leaving, never to return. A crew of building trade workers showed up at another office looking to canvass, but, confused after being told there was no literature to hand out like in most campaigns, also left and never looked back.

    “There’s this illusion that the Clinton campaign had a ground game. The deal is that the Clinton campaign could have had a ground game,” said a former Obama operative in Michigan. “They had people in the states who were willing to do stuff. But they didn’t provide people anything to do until GOTV.”

    The only metric that people involved in the operations say they ever heard headquarters interested in was how many volunteer shifts had been signed up — though the volunteers were never given the now-standard handheld devices to input the responses they got in the field, and Brooklyn mandated that they not worry about data entry. Operatives watched packets of real-time voter information piled up in bins at the coordinated campaign headquarters. The sheets were updated only when they got ripped, or soaked with coffee. Existing packets with notes from the volunteers, including highlighting how much Trump inclination there was among some of the white male union members the Clinton campaign was sure would be with her, were tossed in the garbage.

    According to Hillary’s final FEC report, the Clinton campaign spent $576,402,561 on the race. Don’t think that printing campaign literature, sending volunteers door-to-door or mailing absentee ballots is cost-effective? Fine. But if you have half a billion dollars to spend you do it anyway. What else are you going to do with the money?

    Well, if you’re Clinton, you spend money running up the popular vote count in places where it doesn’t help get you electoral college votes:

    But there also were millions approved for transfer from Clinton’s campaign for use by the DNC — which, under a plan devised by Brazile to drum up urban turnout out of fear that Trump would win the popular vote while losing the electoral vote, got dumped into Chicago and New Orleans, far from anywhere that would have made a difference in the election.

    And when regional offices tried to go to the DNC for help, they were refused because the Clinton campaign didn’t want them talking to the DNC:

    With Clinton’s team ignoring or rejecting requests, Democratic operatives in Michigan and other battleground states might have turned to the DNC. But they couldn’t; they weren’t allowed to ask for help.

    State officials were banned from speaking directly to anyone at the DNC in Washington. (“Welcome to DNC HQ,” read a blue and white sign behind the reception desk in Brooklyn that appeared after the ouster of Debbie Wasserman Schultz just before the July convention).

    A presidential campaign taking over the party committee post-convention is standard, but what happened in 2016 was more intense than veterans remember. People at the DNC and in battleground states speak of angry, bitter calls that came in from Brooklyn whenever they caught wind of contact between them, adamant that only the campaign’s top brass could approve spending or tactical decisions.

    “Don’t touch them. Stay away,” one person on the other end of the call remembered Clinton campaign states director Marlon Marshall saying after hearing about a rogue conversation between a battleground operative and an official at the DNC. “You can’t be calling those people and making them think something is coming when nothing is.

    Mook himself made a number of those calls.

    To Brooklyn, this was the only way to shut down what they perceived early as an effort to undermine the campaign’s planning, DNC officials playing good cop as they made promises they couldn’t keep to friends in the states, took credit for moves Clinton’s staff already were making, or looked to dig up trouble to use against them later.

    So not only did the Clinton campaign have a thermocline of truth to keep unpleasant messages from reaching the top ranks, they created their own and then strengthened it out of turf defense, arrogance, paranoia, and ego.

    As in most of these Clinton 2016 autopsies, all the insider fingers seem to be pointing at campaign manager Robby Mook as the designated scapegoat for their collective failure. And I’m sure he had a hand. But the fact the Clinton campaign was an arrogant, out-of-touch operation reflected the presence of an arrogant, out-of-touch candidate at the very top of it.

    Read the whole thing.