A Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire who donated millions to Clinton-family nonprofits was denied a visa to enter the United States last year on terrorism-related grounds, according to a new report.
Gilbert Chagoury, who donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and in 2009 pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative, was denied entry last summer amid a review of his ties in Lebanon to Hezbollah, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.
The Trump campaign quickly renewed its call for a shutdown of the Clinton Foundation.
“The fact a major Clinton Foundation donor was denied entry into the US over ties to the terrorist group Hezbollah is deeply troubling, especially when this individual had access to top aides at Hillary Clinton’s State Department,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Sunday, calling for the release of Clinton’s schedules and the shutdown of the charity.
The Trump team also released a new Web ad Sunday accusing the Clinton Foundation of being a “slush fund” that “sold access to the State Department.”
“Hillary Clinton’s corruption has been exposed again,” the ad says.
Chagoury, who owns Africa’s largest construction company, had unique access to the State Department, Hillary Clinton’s e-mails revealed.
The billionaire was on the Department of Homeland Security’s no-fly list in 2010 and was pulled off a plane. He’s now on the “selectee” list that allows him to fly with extra scrutiny. Chagoury has denied any support for the terrorist group.
Clinton maintains she never took action as secretary of state because of any donations to the foundation. The Clintons have announced they will stop accepting foundation donations from foreign interests if Clinton wins the White House.
Meanwhile, new e-mails show a top Clinton Foundation official, Doug Band, handpicked mega donors to attend a State Department lunch with then-Chinese President Hu Jintao in January 2011, ABC News reported.
Band e-mailed Clinton aide Huma Abedin in December 2010 suggesting names of Clinton Foundation donors to attend the high-profile event: Bob McCann, the then-president of wealth management at UBS; Dr. Judith Rodin, the president of The Rockefeller Foundation; and Hikmet Ersek, the CEO of Western Union.
He asked if one guest could be seated by Vice President Joe Biden. “I’ll ask,” Abedin replied
It wasn’t clear if the special favor for Clinton donors resulted in their attendance at the luncheon.
Asked about the revelation, current Democratic National Committee leader Donna Brazile, a longtime supporter of the Clintons, told ABC, “I don’t see where the smoke is.”
It’s normal for donors to request access to government officials, the DNC chair said.
“I’ve been a government official,” Brazile told “This Week.” “So, you know, this notion that, somehow or another, someone who is a supporter, someone who is a donor, somebody who’s an activist, saying, ‘I want access, I want to come into a room and I want to meet people’ — we often criminalize behavior that is normal,” Brazile said. “I don’t see what the smoke is.”