Hillary’s Surprising Ties to Tony Blair
Blair went from helping the former secretary of state make moves in the Middle East to joining former Clinton insiders at a well-connected consulting firm whose work has stoked concerns that the Clintons help their friends profit off their personal ties.
Additional details about Blair’s relationship with Clinton have emerged in several batches of private emails that have been released by the State Department at the end of each month, including those published Wednesday.
Clinton’s foreign policy partnership with Blair seems all the more unusual given Blair’s past support of President George W. Bush and the invasion of Iraq, a war Clinton voted for in the Senate but has since criticized.
Many of the conversations between Blair and Clinton are classified.
But unredacted emails paint a picture of a mutually beneficial relationship between the two former leaders.
“It’s great having you on the team,” Clinton wrote to Blair in September 2010.
Clinton evidently asked Blair to “go to Israel as part of our full court press on keeping the Middle East negotiations going,” according to an email between the former secretary of state and Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a top Democratic donor.
“Just spent 3 hours with BB,” Blair wrote to Clinton after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Ready to speak when convenient but should do it on secure line.”
At the time, Blair served as the special envoy to the “Middle East Quartet,” a diplomatic arrangement involving the U.S., the United Nations, the European Union and Russia that was established to assist in Israeli peace talks.
Blair was also heavily involved in Clinton’s work on Libya in 2011, as the country faced an escalating civil war aimed at deposing its authoritarian regime.
Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s former director of policy planning, flagged an article of concern to Clinton in Sept. 2011 that alleged, among other things, that Blair had met secretly with Moammar Gadhafi, ousted Libyan dictator.
The Israeli article reported Blair had nurtured a friendship with the authoritarian leader, even flying on Gadhafi’s private jet.
Earlier emails indicate Blair and Gadhafi did indeed speak directly when the Libyan leader still held power. In Feb. 2011, a Blair aide sent Sullivan a memo marked “URGENT- PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL” that described a phone call between Blair and Gaddafi.