CNN reported Friday evening that a major Clinton Foundation donor was appointed to a State Department intelligence board while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
Raj Fernando, a Chicago-based stock trader with no experience in national security, has donated $1 to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, CNN investigative journalist Drew Griffin reported Friday. Fernando also donated to Clinton's 2008 primary campaign and served as a "bundler" of major campaign donations to Democrats.
Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump mentioned Fernando Friday when speaking to supporters in Washington, D.C., calling his appointment evidence to support his "Crooked Hillary" narrative.
Just one month after his appointment to the prestigious board of security diplomats, Fernando resigned from his post. And emails released this week reveal anxiety had begun to set in among State Department officials, who were having a hard time trying to justify how a stock trader was granted top security clearance.
An email from August 15, 2011, shows that an ABC producer had asked for Fernando's qualifications. State Department officials struggled to provide a clear response at the time.
In the email exchanges that followed, it was revealed that State Department Chief of Staff and long-time Clinton aide, Sheryl Mills, gave the go-ahead to appoint Fernando.
"He was added at their insistence," an official wrote in an email, referring to Clinton and Mills.
There were follow-up emails involving talk of the need to cover for Clinton and Mills for the sake of preserving the "integrity of the Board" and of Clinton herself.
Mills eventually joined the chain of conversation on the morning of August 16, requesting that officials stall their response another 24 hours.
The next day, August 17, Fernando announced his resignation.