Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Hillary's chief of staff gave Clinton crony access to bilateral talks with China to promote his car dealerships there

Hillary's chief of staff gave Clinton crony 

access to bilateral talks with China to promote his car dealerships there


  • Emails from Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state show her chief of staff helped her husband's former chief of staff advertise his car business in China
  • Thomas 'Mack' McLarty was allowed access to a joint US-China event at the State Department
  • Cheryl Mills, one of Hillary Clinton's top aides, arranged the access 

A former top aide to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state arranged for crucial access to Chinese officials so a top aide to former President Bill Clinton could promote his private car dealership business to China, a new report says.
Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department, arranged the visit between a Chinese delegation and Thomas 'Mack' McLarty, who was chief of staff in her husband's White House, at a dinner at the State Department.
McLarty had asked for an invitation to the dinner, which occurred in the spring of 2011, because of 'our substantial family investment in the automotive sector (including electric vehicle development in China), says the report in Politico.
Politico based the story on emails from Clinton's tenure as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 which were released on New Year's Eve.
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Cheryl Mills, left, with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during Clinton's testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in October. Mills was Clinton's chief of staff while she was at the State Department
Cheryl Mills, left, with former secretary of state Hillary Clinton during Clinton's testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Capitol Hill in October. Mills was Clinton's chief of staff while she was at the State Department

Thomas 'Mack' McLarty was chief of staff in President Bill Clinton's White House
Thomas 'Mack' McLarty was chief of staff in President Bill Clinton's White House

McLarty followed up with an email thanking Mills, and said the dinner allowed him to connect with both Hillary Clinton and Chinese officials. The thank-you email was forwarded to Hillary Clinton.
Clinton has been criticized on the campaign trail by Republicans who accuse her of cronyism and opportunism at the State Department, but the former secretary of state remains the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. 
McLarty is now a prominent Democratic fund-raiser and donor, having contributed at least $400,000 to Democratic political action committees as well as Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaigns as well as her 2008 and 2016 presidential bids
McLarty told Politico that using connections in government was 'pretty standard' to promote his private business interests, and noted that he has also reached out to George W. Bush and Barack Obama's administrations.
'I know the Clintons — I know them — and Secretary Clinton was secretary of state, so it was a normal thing to reach out,' he said.
'I was simply making our interests — my interest — aware to the proper officials in the government, that we would like to participate if it were appropriate … and I’m sure there were a lot of other business people there.'
Neither Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign nor Mills' lawyer returned requests for comment by the newspaper.

Mills also testified before the congressional committee this fall
Mills also testified before the congressional committee this fall

McLarty dismissed a news report about access to Chinese officials he was allowed to promote his car business overseas, saying it was 'pretty standard' to reach out to presidential administrations
McLarty dismissed a news report about access to Chinese officials he was allowed to promote his car business overseas, saying it was 'pretty standard' to reach out to presidential administrations

News of McLarty's access was included in 5,552 pages of emails the State Department released on New Year's Eve as part of its compliance with a federal court order. Past emails have painted a similar portrait of Mills as an aide with powerful connections and access.
McLarty owns a variety of car dealerships in foreign countries. His son Mark was running the family's Beijing company at the time of the Chinese dinner. The McLarty's later sold their Chinese dealerships for $305 million in 2012.
McLarty approached Mills at a time when car business in China was booming, as sales in the country had grown by 30 percent in 2010.
He emailed Mills on May 7, 2011 to inquire about a Strategic and Economic Dialogue event with the Chinese leaders scheduled for May 9 and May 10.
'If there is a reception or part of the SED meeting that appropriately includes members from the private sector, I would like to be appropriately considered,' McLarty wrote.
'Given my long commitment to U.S.-China relations and our substantial family investment in the automotive sector (including electric vehicle development in China), my eyes and priorities have clearly move eastward. And, of course with our older son Mark's living and working there leading our automotive endeavor, I'm fully committed.'
Mills responded the next morning, inviting him instead to a separate SED dinner hosted by Clinton on the conference's opening night.
'I checked into our events on China. While I am given to understand we do not have any particular event that is engaging those from the private sector, the Secretary is hosting a dinner tomorrow evening at State that we would welcome you attending if that works with your schedule,' she wrote.


Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail in Minnesota

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THE 2016 FIELD: WHO'S IN AND WHO'S OUT 

A whopping 15 people from America's two major political parties are candidates in the 2016 presidential election.
The field includes two women, an African-American and two Latinos. All but one in that group – Hillary Clinton – are Republicans.
At 12 candidates, the GOP field has already lost two current governors, two former governors and a sitting senator, but is but still deeper than ever.
A much smaller group of three Democrats includes a former secretary of state, a former governor and a current senator.
DEMOCRATS IN THE RACE 
Hillary Clinton Former sec. of state
Age on Election Day: 69
Religion: United Methodist 
Base: Liberals 
Résumé:Former secretary of state. Former U.S. senator from New York. Former U.S. first lady. Former Arkansas first lady. Former law school faculty, University of Arkansas Fayetteville.
Education: B.A. Wellesley College. J.D. Yale Law School.
Family: Married to Bill Clinton (1975), the 42nd President of the United States. Their daughter Chelsea is married to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky, whose mother was a 1990s one-term Pennsylvania congresswoman.
Claim to fame: Clinton was the first US first lady with a postgraduate degree and presaged Obamacare with a failed attempt at health care reform in the 1990s.
Achilles heel: A long series of financial and ethical scandals has dogged Clinton, including recent allegations that her husband and their family foundation benefited financially from decisions she made as secretary of state. Her performance surrounding the 2012 terror attack on a State Department facility in Benghazi, Libya, has been catnip for conservative Republicans. And her presidential campaign has been marked by an unwillingness to engage journalists, instead meeting with hand-picked groups of voters.

Bernie Sanders*  Vermont senator
Age on Election Day: 75
Religion: Jewish
Base: Far-left progressives
Résumé:U.S. senator. Former U.S. congressman. Former mayor of Burlington, VT.
Education: B.A. University of Chicago.
Family: Married to Jane O’Meara Sanders (1988), a former president of Burlington College. He has one child from a previous relationship and is stepfather to three from Mrs. Sanders' previous marriage. His brother Larry is a Green Party politician in the UK and formerly served on the Oxfordshire County Council.
Claim to fame: Sanders is an unusually blunt, and unapologetic pol, happily promoting progressivism without hedging. He is also the longest-serving 'independent' member of Congress – neither Democrat nor Republican.
Achilles heel: Sanders describes himself as a 'democratic socialist.' At a time of huge GOP electoral gains, his far-left ideas don't poll well. He favors open borders, single-payer universal health insurance, and greater government control over media ownership.
* Sanders is running as a Democrat but has no party affiliation in the Senate.
Martin O'Malley    Former Maryland governor
Age on Election Day: 53
Religion: Catholic
Base: Centrists 
Résumé:Former Maryland governor. Former city councilor and mayor of Baltimore, MD. Former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
Education: B.A. Catholic University of America. J.D. University of Maryland.
Family: Married to Katie Curran (1990) and they have four children. Curran is a district court judge in Baltimore. Her father is Maryland's attorney general. O'Malley's mother is a receptionists in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski.
Claim to fame: O'Malley pushed for laws in Maryland legalizing same-sex marriage and giving illegal immigrants the right to pay reduced tuition rates at public universities. But he's best known for playing guitar and sung in a celtic band cammed 'O’Malley’s March.'
Achilles heel: O’Malley may struggle in the Democratic primary since he endorsed Hillary Clinton eight years ago. If he prevails, he will have to run far enough to her left to be an easy target for the GOP. He showed political weakness when his hand-picked successor lost the 2014 governor's race to a Republican. But most troubling is his link with Baltimore, whose 2016 race riots have made it a nuclear subject for politicians of all stripes.

DEMOCRATIC DROPOUTS
Jim Webb, former Virginia senator
     (withdrew Oct. 20, 2015)
Lincoln Chafee, former Rhode Island governor
     (withdrew Oct. 23, 2015)
REPUBLICANS IN THE RACE
Jeb Bush       Former Florida governor
Age on Election Day: 63
Religion: Catholic
Base: Moderates                
Résumé: Former Florida governor and secretary of state. Former co-chair of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.
Education: B.A. University of Texas at Austin.
Family: Married to Columba Bush (1974), with three adult children. Noelle Bush has made news with her struggle with drug addiction, and related arrests. George P. Bush was elected Texas land commissioner in 2014. Jeb's father George H.W. Bush was the 41st President of the United States, and his brother George W. Bush was number 43.
Claim to fame: Jeb was an immensely popular governor with strong economic and jobs credentials. He is also one of just two GOP candidates who is fluent in Spanish.
Achilles heel: Bush has angered conservatives with his permissive positions on illegal immigration (saying some border-crossing is 'an act of love) and common-core education standards. His last name could also be a liability with voters who fear establishing a family dynasty in the White House.

Chris Christie        New Jersey governor
Age on Election Day: 54
Religion: Catholic
Base: Establishment-minded conservatives
Résumé: Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder and lobbyist.
Governor of New Jersey. Former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. Former Morris County freeholder. Former statehouse lobbyist.
Education: B.A. University of Delaware, Newark, J.D. Seton Hall University.
Family: Married to Mary Pat Foster (1986) with four children.
Claim to fame: Pugnacious and unapologetic, Christie once told a heckler to 'sit down and shut up' and brings a brash style to everything he does. That includes the post-9/11 criminal prosecutions of terror suspects that made his reputation as a hard-charger.
Achilles heel: Christie is often accused of embracing an ego-driven and needlessly abrasive style. His administration continues to operate under a 'Bridgegate' cloud: At least two aides have been indicted in an alleged scheme to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution for a mayor who refused to endorse the governor's re-election.
Carly Fiorina         Former tech CEO
Age on Election Day: 62
Religion:      Episcopalian 
Base: Conservatives
Résumé: Former CEO of Hewett-Packard. Former group president of Lucent Technologies. Former U.S. Senate candidate in California.
Education: B.A. Stanford University. UCLA School of Law (did not finish). M.B.A. University of Maryland. M.Sci. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Family: Married to Frank Fiorina (1985), with one adult step-daughter and another who is deceased. She has two step-grandchildren. Divorced from Todd Bartlem (1977-1984).
Claim to fame: Fiorina was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company, something that could provide ammunition against the Democratic Party's drive to make Hillary Clinton the first female president. She is also the only woman in the 2016 GOP field, making her the one Republican who can't be accused of sexism.
Achilles heel: Fiorina's unceremonious firing by HP's board has led to questions about her management and leadership styles. And her only political experience has been a failed Senate bid in 2010 against Barbara Boxer.

Mike Huckabee     Former Arkansas governor
Age on Election Day: 61
Religion: Southern Baptist 
Base: Evangelicals
Résumé: Former governor and lieutenant governor of Arkansas. Former Fox News Channel host. Ordained minister and author.
Education: B.A. Ouachita Baptist University. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (did not finish). 
Family: Married to Janet Huckabee (1974), with three adult children. Mrs. Huckabee is a survivor of spinal cancer.
Claim to fame: 'Huck' is a political veteran and has run for president before, winning the Iowa Caucuses in 2008 and finishing second for the GOP nomination behind John McCain. He's known as an affable Christian and succeeded in building a huge following on his weekend television program, in which he frequently sat in on the electric bass with country & western groups and other 'wholesome' musical entertainers.
Achilles heel: Huckabee may have a problem with female voters. He complained in 2014 about Obamacare's mandatory contraception coverage, saying Democrats want women to 'believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar.' He earned more scorn for hawking herbal supplements in early-2015 infomercials as a diabetes cure, something he has yet to disavow despite disagreement from medical experts.

Rand Paul      Kentucky senator
Age on Election Day: 53
Religion: Presbyterian 
Base: Libertarians 
Résumé: US senator. Board-certified ophthalmologist. Former congressional campaign manager for his father Ron Paul.
Education: Baylor University (did not finish). M.D. Duke University School of Medicine.
Family: Married to Kelley Ashby (1990), with three sons. His father is a former Texas congressman who ran for president three times but never got close to grabbing the brass ring.
Claim to fame: Paul embraces positions that are at odds with most in the GOP, including an anti-interventionist foreign policy, reduced military spending, criminal drug sentencing reform for African-Americans and strict limits on government electronic surveillance – including a clampdown on the National Security Agency.
Achilles heel: Paul's politics are aligned with those of his father, whom mainstream GOPers saw as kooky. Both Pauls have advocated for a brand of libertarianism that forces government to stop domestic surveillance programs and limits foreign military interventions.

Rick Santorum     Former Penn. senator
Age on Election Day: 58
Religion: Catholic
Base: Evangelicals 
Résumé: Former US senator and former member of the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Former lobbyist who represented World Wrestling Entertainment.
Education: B.A. Penn State University. M.B.A. University of Pittsburgh. J.D. Penn State University Dickinson School of Law.
Family: Married to Karen Santorum (1990), with seven living children. One baby was stillborn in 1996. Another, named Isabella, is a special needs child with a genetic disorder.
Claim to fame: Santorum won the 2012 Republican Iowa Caucuses by a nose. He won by visiting all of Iowa's 99 states in a pickup truck belonging to his state campaign director, a consultant who now works for Donald Trump.
Achilles heel: As a young lobbyist, Santorum persuaded the federal government to exempt pro wrestling from regulations governing the use of anabolic steroids. And the stridently conservative politician has attracted strong opposition from gay rights groups. One gay columnist held a contest to redefine his name, buying the 'santorum.com' domain to advertise the winning entry – which is too vulgar to print.

REPUBLICAN DROPOUTS
Rick Perry, former Texas governor
     (withdrew Sept. 11, 2015)
Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor
     (withdrew Sept. 21, 2015)
Bobby Jindal, Louisiana governor
     (withdrew Nov. 17, 2015)
Lindsey Graham, South Carolina senator
     (withdrew Dec. 21, 2015)
 George Pataki, former New York governor
     (withdrew Dec. 29, 2015)