High powered Wall St. breakfast among gaps & missing entries in Clinton’s State Dept diary
Hillary Clinton’s official calendar from her time as Secretary of State is missing details of dozens of meetings with political donors and Clinton Foundation contributors, according to a review of the calendar and related records by AP.
However, the official record did not match up with detailed staff reports of her meetings, AP reports. Some were left entirely out of the calendar while other entries omitted the names of those involved.
The incomplete calendar further highlights the likely Democratic presidential nominee’s issues around the handling of government records at a time when she is under investigation by the FBI for improper use of a private email server.
Clinton was blasted in a State Department inspector general report in May for creating “significant security risks" by using unsecure communications to preserve public records.
AP compared Clinton’s calendar with the daily event planning briefs given to the then-Secretary of State by her aides. More than 60 events listed in Clinton's planners were either entirely left out of her calendar or briefly noted, and the names of these guests were omitted.
One vague calendar entry from September 2009 concerned a private breakfast meeting with corporate interests on Wall Street before Clinton rang the ceremonial opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The closed event was only briefly noted in her diary and left out the names of the distinguished guest list, which included the chairman of the major private equity group Blackstone, the then-CEO of Bank of New York Mellon, Robert Kelly, and the NYSE CEO at the time Duncan Niederauer.
Other companies reportedly represented by their CEOs and presidents at the breakfast were American Tower Corporation, Coach, DuPont, Estee Lauder, Honeywell International, Loews Corporation, McGraw Hill, Omnicom Group, PepsiCo and Starbucks. Apart from Coach, all of the firms lobbied the US government in 2009.
Clinton campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said discrepancies between State Department records "simply reflect a more detailed version in one version as compared to another, all maintained by her staff."
He added that Clinton"has always made an effort to be transparent since entering public life, whether it be the release of over 30 years of tax returns, years of financial disclosure forms, or asking that 55,000 pages of work emails from her time of secretary of state be turned over to the public."
However, transparency activists have criticized the calendar gaps, saying they undermine the accuracy of the official records.
"It's clear that any outside influence needs to be clearly identified in some way to at least guarantee transparency. That didn't happen," Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, told AP.