Far from providing just “unsolicited” advice to Hillary Clinton,Sidney Blumenthal appears to have authored a draftofÂ at least one of theÂ Democraticpresidential frontrunner’s speechesÂ during hertime as secretary of state at her behest.
Blumenthal has drawn controversy for the stream of emails hesent to Clinton during her time as secretary of state, especiallythose providing supposed intelligence on Libya. After serving as anadviser during Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign,Blumenthal was barred by the Obama administration from working withClinton when she was confirmed as secretary of state.
But, according to new emails released by the State Department,Blumenthal sent a draft of a speech to Clinton and her chief ofstaff Cheryl Mills on July 9, 2009.
A separate emailÂ from Blumenthal commenting on thedraft sent on the same day suggests he was modifying a previousdraft of a speech that was sent to him by Clinton or one of heraides.
Blumenthal’s draft speechÂ has manyparallelsÂ with a speechÂ Clinton gave on July 15, 2015 to the Council on ForeignRelations inÂ Washington, D.C. Â Indeed, inthe second email Blumenthal sent accompanying his draft speech, heconfirms that that’s the speech he was working on.
While the text of the speech Clinton gave on July 15, 2009 wasclearly modified, it appearsÂ Blumenthal’s draftwas used as a guidepost, with language sometimes appearingverbatim.
“A central purpose of the Quadrennial Diplomacy andDevelopment Review that I announced last week is to explore how toeffectively design, fund, and implement development and foreignassistance as parts of a broader foreignpolicy,”Â Clinton said in her July 15 speech.
Here is what Blumenthal wrote is in his draft:
In her July 15 speech, Clinton said: “As we seek moreagile, effective, and creative partnerships for development, wewill focus on country-driven solutions such as those we arelaunching with Haiti on recovery and sustainable development andwith African states on global hunger.”
Here is what BlumenthalÂ sent her:
In her July 15 speech, Clinton said: “Just as we wouldnever deny ammunition to American troops headed into battle, wecannot send our civilian personnel into the field under-equipped.If we don’t invest in diplomacy and development, we will endup paying a lot more for conflicts and their consequences. AsSecretary Gates has said, diplomacy is an indispensable instrumentof national security, as it has been since Franklin, Jefferson andAdams won foreign support for Washington’s army.”
Here’s what Blumenthal draftedÂ in his July 9email to the secretary of state:
Near theÂ end of her speech, Clinton said,“More than 230 years ago, Thomas Paine said, ‘We haveit within our power to start the world over again.'”
Near the end of Blumenthal’s draft, he wrote:
The draft speech Blumenthal sent Clinton on July 9 was certainlyedited before Clinton delivered it, likely by someone onClinton’s speechwriting team. But major portions of his draftwere clearly incorporated into the speech.
The second email accompanying Blumenthal’s draft alsomakes it clear that Blumenthal was asked by Clinton or her peopleto modify an existing draft of the speech, casting doubt onClinton’s repeated claims that Blumenthal’s advice wasalways “unsolicited.”
A request for comment from Hillary Clinton’s campaignwasn’t immediately returned.
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