News & Politics

Pay to Play? Moroccan King Paid $12M to Meet with Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

WikiLeaks’ 13th batch of John Podesta’s emails revealed that Morocco’s king paid $12 million to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The payment was intended to guarantee that Hillary Clinton would appear at a conference in Morocco last year.

The star-studded guest list included heads of state and CEOs of major global corporations, who all expected Hillary Clinton to be there. But as the date for the event drew closer, it became apparent that the already-campaigning Clinton would not be able to attend.

Via Breitbart:

Clinton did not attend, instead spending the days of the conference campaigning in Nevada and California. Aide Huma Abedin repeatedly insists in emails published today that Clinton will be at the event, warning it would “break a lot of china” for Hillary Clinton to back out, before suggesting to Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook that Clinton would cancel her appearance at the last minute.

“No matter what happens, she will be in Morocco hosting CGI on May 5-7, 2015. Her presence was a condition for the Moroccans to proceed so there is no going back on this,” Abedin asserted in a November 2014 email.

In January of 2015, another email from Abedin to Robby Mook and Podesta discussed how Morocco had paid $12M to CGI in order to gain access to Clinton.

Abedin made clear that the king of Morroco had “committed” millions of dollars in the meeting on the condition that Hillary Clinton would attend:

Just to give you some context, the condition upon which the Moroccans agreed to host the meeting was her participation. If hrc was not part if it, meeting was a non-starter. CGI also wasn’t pushing for a meeting in Morocco and it wasn’t their first choice. This was HRC’s idea, our office approached the Moroccans and they 100 percent believe they are doing this at her request.

The King has personally committed approx $12 million both for the endowment and to support the meeting. It will break a lot of china to back out now when we had so many opportunities to do it in the past few months.

She created this mess and she knows it.

In the end, Clinton opted to send her husband Bill and daughter Chelsea to the meeting, which was held from May 5 to May 7 in 2015.

In April of 2015, Politico reported that when Clinton announced the meeting in September of 2014, she praised Morocco as “a vital hub for economic and cultural exchange” in a region “in the midst of dramatic changes”:

But in 2011, Clinton’s State Department had accused the Moroccan government of  “arbitrary arrests and corruption in all branches of government.” And while the country that same year enacted a new constitution that guarantees gender equality, women’s rights advocates say Morocco’s family law still falls short of that promise.

Politico reported that the event was being funded by a contribution of at least $1 million from Morocco’s constitutional monarchy, sparking “concerns about the foundation’s acceptance of foreign money.”

As it turned out, Clinton accepted far more than that.