A State Department official close to Hillary Clinton appeared to give preference to former President Bill Clinton’s friends after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, emails leaked to ABC Newsrevealed on Tuesday.
The official, Caitlin Klevorick, was one of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior aides. She was managing Clinton Foundation contacts who were offering assistance to the State Department.
In one email, Klevorick wrote, “Need you to flag when people are friends of WJC,” referring to William Jefferson Clinton. “Most I can probably ID but not all.”
She wrote in another email: “Is this a FOB [Friend of Bill]! If not, she should go to,” referring to a general government website.
The person was emailing to offer medical supplies in the wake of the earthquake.
In another case, billionaire Clinton Foundation donor Denis O’Brien wrote to Clinton aide Doug Band and Clinton Foundation foreign policy director Amitabh Desai for help figuring out how to fly supplies into Haiti and get employees of his company, Haitian telecom firm Digicel, out of the country.
Desai referred to O’Brien as a “WJC VIP” in an email with the subject line “Friend of Clintons.”
O’Brien later wrote in an email to Band that he was “not making any progress through conventional channels.” Band then wrote to Desai to “pls get on this.”
While some offers of help were charitable, others might have been seeking lucrative government contracts as part of the Haiti reconstruction and recovery efforts, ABC noted.
Klevorick told ABC News that she asked questions about whether the contacts were friends of Bill Clinton to determine whether they had previously worked in Haiti or with disaster relief. She said the priority “was to get the necessary resources to the right places as soon as possible to save lives.”
Bruce Lindsey, the chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, said in a statement to ABC News that “no special treatment was expected or given.”
“This was a time of dire need, and we mobilized our network and wanted to make sure that any help offered was put to good use,” Lindsey said.
Donald Trump’s campaign slammed the Clintons in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
“Today’s bombshell from ABC News about big Clinton Foundation donors profiting off the suffering of Haitian earthquake victims thanks to Hillary Clinton’s State Department is disgusting, disturbing and completely disqualifying,” Jason Miller, the senior communications advisor for the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign, said in the statement.
“Hillary Clinton’s penchant for putting the profits of big donors ahead of suffering civilians shows what kind of person she is. Clinton is not ‘fighting for you,’ she’s only fighting for herself and her donors.”
Trump himself tweeted Tuesday afternoon. He called the ABC News report “unbelievable.”