(The Hill) Hillary Clinton had said Sidney Blumenthal’s emails were “unsolicited.”
The Clinton Foundation paid Sidney Blumenthal, an unofficial adviser to Hillary Clinton who emailed her reports on the situation in Libya, a monthly salary of about $10,000, according to Politico.
Blumenthal, a longtime Clinton confidant, joined the foundation’s payroll in 2009 and was switched to a similar contract without benefits in 2013. That contracted ended in March of that year.
The foundation hired Blumenthal after former President Clinton requested it, and the move was scrutinized by some foundation employees, according to Politico.
Emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server released last week by the State Department showed that Blumenthal sent about 25 memos to Clinton about Libya, including one that initially blamed the 2012 Benghazi attacks on a “sacrilegious internet video.” A follow-up email attributed it to a terrorist attack.
Clinton regularly forwarded those memos to her aides, sometimes asking for them to be printed. But on at least one occasion, she questioned Blumenthal’s information, emailing aides to say that memo “strains credulity.”
Blumenthal has agreed to testify in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi by June 3.
“From time to time, as a private citizen and friend, I provided Secretary Clinton with material on a variety of topics that I thought she might find interesting or helpful,” Blumenthal said in a statement provided by his attorney after he agreed to the deposition.
“The reports I sent her came from sources I considered reliable. I have informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi that I will cooperate with its inquiry and look forward to answering the committee’s questions.”
Clinton brushed aside the connection with Blumenthal in her initial comments to reporters last week in Iowa, where she referred to him as an “old friend” who sent “unsolicited emails.”
“I have many, many old friends, and I always think that it’s important when you get into politics to have friends that you had before you were in politics and to understand what’s on their minds. He’s been a friend of mine for a long time — he sent me unsolicited emails, which I passed on in some instances, and I see that that’s just part of the give-and-take,” she said.
“When you’re in the public eye, when you’re in an official position, I think you do have to work to make sure you’re not caught in the bubble and you only hear from a certain small group of people, and I’m going to keep talking to my old friends, whoever they are.”