Karl: E-mails Reveal Clinton’s Proposed Paid Speaking Events to Repressive Regimes

‘E-mails obtained by ABC News show that while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Bill Clinton tried to get approval for speeches tied to two of the most repressive regimes in the world’

ROBERTS: “We turn now to new trouble for Hillary Clinton this morning. Some new e-mails obtained by ABC News that many have an impact on her campaign. ABC's Jon Karl is at the White House this morning with that. Good morning, Jon.”

KARL: “Good morning, Robin. These e-mails obtained by ABC News show that while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Bill Clinton tried to get approval for speeches tied to two of the most repressive regimes in the world. The e-mails have come to light because of a public records request by the conservative group Citizens United, which sued the State Department to get them released.”

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KARL (voice-over): “While Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, Bill Clinton earned speaking fees totally over $48 million. Now, e-mails obtained by ABC News through a public records request by the conservative group Citizens United, which sued to get the documents, shows just how far Bill Clinton was willing to go to earn those lucrative fees. Trying to get approval for speeches tied to two of the most brutal countries in the world. In the first e-mail sent in June 2012, a top official with the Clinton Foundation forwards a speaking invitation for Bill Clinton in central Africa for the State Department's approval. The catch, the dictators for the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo would both be attending and requiring photos with Bill Clinton but the speaking fee, a whopping $650,000. Clinton's own speaking agency recommended declining the invitation, noting, ‘the prevalence and intensity of sexual violence against women in eastern Congo is widely described as the worst in the world. ‘We anticipate you'll want us to quickly decline.’ Still, the Clinton Foundation official says the former President wants to know if he could accept the speech if the money went to the foundation instead of to Clinton directly. Hillary Clinton has longed defended the couple's paid speeches since leaving the White House.”

CLINTON: “I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company.”

KARL (voice-over): “In May 2012, the foundation also inquired with the secretary of state's office about an event related to North Korea. The secretary of state's office advised ‘decline it,’ but the foundation followed up saying the invite came via Hillary's brother, who works as a consultant adding, ‘we would be grateful for any specific concerns that we could share.’ Hillary's Chief of Staff wrote back to tell Bill Clinton, ‘if he needs more let him know his wife knows and I am happy to call him.’

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KARL: “Last night, a spokesperson for Bill Clinton e-mailed, ‘as a matter of course, all requests were run by the State Department, ultimately the President did not give these speeches.’ Dan.

HARRIS: “He did not give the speeches in the end. Worth noting. Jon Karl, thank you.” 

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