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Reuters: Clinton Reportedly in Talks to Head World Bank, Clinton Camp Denies


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Reuters is reporting that Hillary Clinton is allegedly in talks with the White House to become the head of the World Bank after leaving her administration post next year:

The former first lady and onetime political rival to President Barack Obama quickly became one of the most influential members of his cabinet after she began her tenure at State in early 2009.

She has said publicly she did not plan to stay on at the State Department for more than four years. Associates say Clinton has expressed interest in having the World Bank job should the Bank's current president, Robert Zoellick, leave at the end of his term, in the middle of 2012.

Reuters also claims that the White House has declined comment and that Clinton's team is saying the reports aren't true:

A third source said Mr Obama has already expressed support for the change in her role.

It is unclear whether Obama has formally agreed to nominate her for the post, which would require approval by the 187 member countries of the World Bank.

The White House declined to comment.

A spokesman for Clinton, Philippe Reines, denied she wanted the job or had conversations with the White House about it.

Revelations of these discussions could hurt Mrs Clinton's efforts as America's top diplomat if she is seen as a lame duck in the job at a time of great foreign policy challenges for the Obama administration.

However, the timing of the discussions is not unusual given that the United States is considering whether to support another European as head of the World Bank's sister organisation, the IMF.

The head of the IMF has always been a European and the World Bank presidency has always been held by an American.

The Washington Post is also reporting that Clinton's team is flatly denying the Reuters report:

“100 percent untrue, Reuters is wrong,” Reines wrote in an e-mail to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Joby Warrick, on a plane with Reines, reports that Reines told Reuters directly, “I have a better source than you do.”

Two other interesting pieces of information were released this evening as well (via Reuters):

People familiar with the situation, told of the denials from the White House and State Department, reaffirmed the accuracy of the report.

If Clinton were to leave State, John Kerry, a close Obama ally who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is among those who could be considered as a possible replacement for her.

ABC's Jake Tapper says his sources are saying that Clinton hasn't expressed interest in heading the World Bank. Below, see a Tweet he sent earlier this evening on the matter:

This breaking news story has been updated. Stay tuned for more.

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