April 30, 2015

You would think the Times and the Post would have the good grace to cut their losses and apologize for using such a disreputable source for these "Clinton Cash" scandal "stories," but it will never, ever happen. Nope. He never needed to be right, he just needed to be plausible:

WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton was not paid for several speeches as reported in a forthcoming book about his family’s foundation, spokespeople for the former president said Tuesday.Clinton Cash, the hotly anticipated book by a conservative researcher out next week, investigates donations to the foundation and alleges a pattern of access or favor in exchange.

Following the January 2010 earthquake, the Clinton Foundation, working with the State Department, helped set up an international recovery effort in the Caribbean nation.In the book, author Peter Schweizer suggests Clinton gave a series of speeches paid for by Irish businessman Dennis O’Brien apparently in return for his help in securing telecommunications contracts in Haiti as part of that recovery effort in 2010.

In the book’s chapter on Haiti, dubbed “Disaster Capitalism Clinton-Style,” which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, Schweizer writes that O’Brien, whose company Digicel was attempting to secure a contract for mobile phone service in Haiti, paid Clinton $600,000 for speeches in Ireland on Sept. 29, 2010, Oct. 8, 2011, and Oct. 9, 2013.

Schweizer argues “the timing of these paid speeches is notable” because they came during the contract awarding process — and goes on to note that starting in 2011 DIgicel began receiving contracts in Haiti that would total $2 million from USAID, the first time the company had received grants from the organization. Schweizer also cites a fourth speech in the book that he says occurred in October 2011 in Kingston, Jamaica, just weeks before Digicel received its first grant.

But according to Clinton spokesperson Matt McKenna, neither the former president nor the Clinton Foundation was paid for two of the three speeches Clinton gave in Ireland, and that while the Foundation did receive a donation following his Sept. 29, 2010 speech, Clinton himself was not compensated.

“The book’s reporting is false. President Clinton did not personally receive speaking fees for any of these three speaking engagements in Ireland,” McKenna said.Additionally, the Kingston speech appears to have occurred in October 2010, not October 2011, a full year before Digicel’s contract was awarded.

By the way, my magical Super Sleuth powers found the speech in question was uploaded to YouTube on ... Oct 1, 2010.

Oh, and there's this from yesterday.

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