CHAPTER 1 The Lincoln Bedroom Goes Global A sk Team Clinton about the flow of tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation (the formal name is the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, originally called the William J. Clinton Foundation) from foreign governments, corporations, and financiers and you typically get an interesting explanation: it’s a sign of love. “As president, he was beloved around the world, so it should come as no surprise that there has been an outpouring of financial support from around the world to sustain his post-presidential work.”1 Ask Bill about the tens of millions of dollars he has made in speaking fees around the world, paid for by the same cast of characters, and you will get an equally charitable explanation: it’s evidence of his desire to help people. By giving these highly paid speeches, Clinton says, “I try to help people think about what’s going on and organize their lives accordingly.”2 Millions of dollars as a sign of pure affection; millions more for helping people think about their lives. By this logic, politicians who raise millions of dollars a year must be the most beloved people in America—and the most charitable.
CHAPTER 2 The Transfer B E K A ILL’S XCELLENT AZAKH DVENTURE O n September 6, 2005, former president Bill Clinton found himself, of all places, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.1 A country with broad steppes and rugged mountains, Kazakhstan was a place where Genghis Khan once roamed. More recently, the comedy film Borat lampooned it as an impoverished country full of incompetents. In truth, however, the country sits atop a vast storehouse of minerals that includes an estimated $5 trillion worth of natural resources.2 Highly prized are the country’s immense uranium deposits—the mineral used to fuel nuclear reactors and build nuclear bombs.
CHAPTER 3 Hillary’s Reset T R U D HE USSIAN RANIUM EAL P erhaps Hillary Clinton and Vladimir Putin had gotten off to a rough start. When she was running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Hillary had talked tough about the Russian president.
CHAPTER 4 Indian Nukes H W M C H M OW TO IN A EDAL BY HANGING ILLARY’S IND I n May 1998 the government of India shook the world. With a series of five underground nuclear tests, the government set off a corresponding series of political explosions.
CHAPTER 5 The Clinton Blur (I) B H G N P , P P ILL AND ILLARY’S LOBAL EXUS OF HILANTHROPY OWER, AND ROFIT O n a beautiful evening in October 2011 the Clinton Foundation held an elaborate gala at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles called “A Decade of Difference.” The night’s entertainment featured “socially responsible artists in music, film, and television” brought together to “celebrate the work and impact of President Clinton.” A company called Control Room, which modestly bills itself as “the world’s leading producer of massive global events,” put the events together.1 Lady Gaga sang a song. Looking over at Bill, she said “I just love you and your hot wife.” She praised the Clintons and promised the crowd, “Tonight, I thought we’d get caught up in a little Bill romance.” She then proceeded to belt out her hit “Bad Romance,” but made it Clinton specific.2 The Clinton Foundation is not your traditional charity. A traditional charity doesn’t have a globe- trotting ex-president, an ex–secretary of state, and their daughter running the show. But for all the benefits that derive from such star power, the real problem is delineating where the Clinton political machine and moneymaking ventures end and where their charity begins.
CHAPTER 6 The Clinton Blur (II) T V F B HE IEW FROM OGGY OTTOM I n 2009 Hillary Clinton was in Russia, where she pushed Russian officials to sign a multibillion- dollar airplane agreement with Boeing. The $3.7 billion purchase was a big deal for the aerospace company. Two months after Boeing won the contract, the company pledged $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The Washington Post called it “an indicator of a mutually beneficial relationship between one of the world’s major corporations and a potential future president. Clinton functioned as a powerful ally for Boeing’s business interests at home and abroad, while Boeing has invested resources in causes beneficial to Clinton’s public and political image.”1 When Hillary became secretary of state she announced a new commitment to what she called “commercial diplomacy” or “economic statecraft.” The idea was simple: she would use her diplomatic leverage to help American companies be more competitive overseas. If they needed help in a foreign country, Hillary would be there as a supportive partner.
CHAPTER 7 Podium Economics W W B B P F ? HAT AS ILL EING AID OR M ost ex-presidents see the demand for their speechmaking decline as they move farther away from their time in office. The opposite applies to Bill. Indeed, during Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state, Bill’s speechmaking activity increased and became much more profitable, particularly overseas. In a number of cases, these speeches were paid for by people with an interest in obtaining favors from Hillary.
CHAPTER 8 Warlord Economics T C D A HE LINTONS O FRICA I t was an unusually hot July in 2009 when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton landed in Kinshasa, the sprawling capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC (previously named Zaire) had for decades been a house of horrors. Ruled by corrupt dictators, populated by child soldiers, plagued by tribal fighting, and suffering from invasions by neighboring countries, few places on earth are more hellish than the DRC.
CHAPTER 9 Rainforest Riches H , B C T O D ILLARY ILL, AND OLOMBIAN IMBER AND IL EALS I n early June 2010 Bill Clinton met Frank Giustra in Colombia to launch a $20 million fund for small businesses.1 The two had visited Colombia together numerous times: for paid speeches, to look in on Giustra’s growing investments there, and to launch a Clinton Foundation project in the country.