March 6, 2016

FLASHBACK: Hillary Clinton Made “Shameless Pitch” For Boeing To Putin’s Russia

HRCBoeingWebsite

Hillary Clinton came under fire from Bernie Sanders during the Flint, Michigan Democratic presidential debate for supporting “corporate welfare” for Boeing. Clinton’s ties to the company have come under scrutiny in the past.

An April 2014 report in the The Washington Post exposed seedy pay-to-play fundraising practices of Hillary Clinton’s State Department as she helped a company skirt ethics rules and donate to a pet project of her Department’s and her family foundation. Or as one former State Department official put it: “Things were done … that were not done in any other instance for fundraising purposes.”

Openly calling her efforts a “shameless pitch” for Boeing, Clinton secured a multi-billion dollar deal with a state-owned enterprise in Vladimir Putin’s Russia in exchange for a $2 million contribution to the U.S. Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, an event that had become of special interest to Clinton and that the company had previously been barred from donating to under conflicts of interest rules. From the report:

On a trip to Moscow early in her tenure as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton played the role of international saleswoman, pressing Russian government officials to sign a multibillion-dollar deal to buy dozens of aircraft from Boeing.

A month later, Clinton was in China, where she jubilantly announced that the aerospace giant would be writing a generous check to help resuscitate floundering U.S. efforts to host a pavilion at the upcoming World’s Fair.

Boeing, she said, “has just agreed to double its contribution to $2 million.”

Clinton did not point out that, to secure the donation, the State Department had set aside ethics guidelines that first prohibited solicitations of Boeing and then later permitted only a $1 million gift from the company. Boeing had been included on a list of firms to be avoided because of its frequent reliance on the government for help negotiating overseas business and concern that a donation could be seen as an attempt to curry favor with U.S. officials. …

Boeing’s largesse on behalf of the U.S. pavilion at the Shanghai expo was helpful to Clinton at a critical moment as she made it her priority to woo support from corporations to revive the American presence at the event. …

In 2010, two months after Boeing won its $3.7 billion Russia deal, the company announced a $900,000 contribution to the William J. Clinton Foundation intended to rebuild schools in earthquake-ravaged Haiti. …

The company’s ties came into play again this month when its in-house lobbyist, former Bill Clinton aide Tim Keating, co-hosted a fundraiser for Ready for Hillary, the super PAC backing her potential presidential run. …

“This is a shameless pitch for Rosavia . . . to buy Boeing aircraft,” she said while touring a Boeing facility in Moscow. …

Following the deal in 2010, Boeing made a $900,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.