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A Clinton Foundation donor was appointed by Hillary Clinton to a sensitive government intelligence board, despite having no knowledge or background in the field, newly released State Department emails reveal.
Emails obtained by ABC News through the conservative group Citizens United, unveiled how Democrat mega-donor and contributor to the Clinton Foundation, Rajiv K. Fernando, was appointed by Clinton to the International Security Advisory Board (ISAB), which was alarming to other board members.
“We had no idea who he was,” a board member told ABC News.
When Fernando was first appointed to the board, which advised Clinton on nuclear security issues, government officials working with the advisory board were confused about why he was appointed since he had no knowledge of the subject.
Fernando’s lack of any known background in nuclear security caught the attention of several board members, and when ABC News first contacted the State Department in August 2011 seeking a copy of his resume, the emails show that confusion ensued among the career government officials who work with the advisory panel.
“I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of,” wrote Jamie Mannina, the press aide who fielded the ABC News request. “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.
“As you can see from the attached, it’s natural to ask how he got onto the board when compared to the rest of the esteemed list of members,” Mannina wrote, referring to an attachment that was not included in the recent document release.
Fernando has been a Clinton donor since about 2007, when he gave the maximum amount to her presidential bid and her political action committee (PAC) called HillPAC.
He also served as Clinton’s fundraising bundler in 2008, raising over $100,000 for her presidential run against then Sen. Barack Obama.
Fernando contributed $100,000 and $250,000 to Clinton’s organization, the William J. Clinton Foundation, as well as another $30,000 to ‘WomenCount,’ which helped Clinton pay off her 2008 campaign debts, according to ABC News.
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