“We had no idea who he was.”
Emails just released from the State Department reveal that a donor to the Clinton Foundation was given a place on a government intelligence advisory board, although he had no experience to qualify him for the position.
ABC News correspondent Brian Ross reported Friday that the emails, which were provided by Citizen’s United, confirmed that Rajiv K. Fernando’s name was simply added to the by Cheryl Mills, who served as Chief of Staff for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In 2011, Fernando took his place alongside some of the nation’s most prominent experts on American nuclear strategy. Each person had top security clearance. Prior to his place on the board, Fernando had been a securities trader in Chicago.
Although Fernando lacked any experience to serve on the board, he did have one key trait that seemed to qualify him in former Secretary Clinton’s opinion: he had given and raised millions of dollars for the Clinton Foundation.
In one email, Jamie Mannina, a press aide wrote, “I have spoken to [State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman] privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of. He added, “We must protect the Secretary’s and Under Secretary’s name, as well as the integrity of the Board. I think it’s important to get down to the bottom of this before there’s any response.”
He went on to say it was natural to questions Fernando’s place on the board when comparing him to the rest of the members.
Another email revealed that Cheryl Mills had asked Mannina to stall for 24 hours. Fernando submitted his resignation from the board the following day.
Speaking with ABC News, one member of the board said, “We had no idea who he was.”
After requests from the network, the Clinton campaign has refused to make Mills available for an interview.