Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, Mr. Gilbert Chagoury, has denied United States media reports alleging that he capitalised on his donations to the Clinton Foundation to seek favours from the US Department of State, when Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
Following donations of between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, an aide of former President Bill Clinton, Doug Band, was reported to have pushed for access for Chagoury after Hillary Clinton took over at the State Department.
In 2009, Band wrote his friends in the department. “We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance guy in Lebanon. As you know he’s key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”
Huma Abedin, a longtime aide and confidante to Clinton and now vice-chairwoman of her presidential campaign, had suggested to former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Jeffrey D. Feltman.
However, the Los Angeles Times newspaper quoted both Feltman and Chagoury’s friend and spokesman Mark Corallo on Monday as saying that no meeting ever happened.
Chagoury wanted only to pass along insights on Lebanese politics, Corallo said, adding that “nothing ever came off it” and that Chagoury never talked to anyone at the State Department. Band declined to comment, reported the L.A. Times.
When Band’s email was made public this month, Republican Party presidential candidate and real estate billionaire Donald Trump had pounced on it, calling the Chagoury episode “illegal” and a “pay-to-play” scheme.
In the report, the L.A. Times described Chagoury as one of Africa’s richest men, who has built a reputation as a giant of global philanthropy.
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