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Trump raises questions about Chicago trader’s top secret gig



Rajiv Fernando (2nd from right) next to former President Bill Clinton | Fernando website photo

CHICAGO – The day before the Orlando shooting, news broke about the founder of a Chicago trading company that was mysteriously appointed to serve on the International Security Advisory Board in 2011.

The assignment gave Rajiv Fernando – CEO of Chopper Trading – top secret access.

Fernando was found to have been a fundraiser for the Clinton Global Initiative and for candidate Hillary Clinton – a topic Donald Trump brought up in his speech Wednesday afternoon about Hillary Clinton's alleged corruption. 

In his speech, Trump mentioned Fernando, though not by name, saying Clinton appointed a top donor to a national security board with top secret access. “Even though he had no national security credentials, although he did make a very large campaign contribution,” Trump said.

But Trump isn't the first to have raised questions about the appointment.

Citizens United found a reference to the appointment in some Secretary of State Clinton emails they obtained through a FOIA request. McClatchyDC reports:

On the board, Fernando was to advise Clinton on nuclear weapons and other security issues alongside nuclear scientists, former cabinet secretaries and former lawmakers, including former Defense Secretary William Perry, Lt. Gen. Brent Scowcroft, a former National Security Adviser to two presidents; and former Sen. Chuck Robb of Virginia.

A top aide mocked the appointment of a major Democratic donor with little experience to a sensitive government intelligence board allowing him the highest levels of top secret access, according to McClatchyDC:

In September 2012, after ABC News again questioned the State Department about Fernando’s appointment, senior adviser Heather Samuelson sent [Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe] Reines a response provided to ABC News explaining why he was chosen. Chief of staff Cheryl Mills was copied on the emails.

“As president and CEO of Chopper Trading, Mr. Fernando brought a unique perspective to ISAB. He has years of experience in the private sector in implementing sophisticated risk management tools, information technology and international finance,” the response said.

Reines responded to Samuelson: “Not the most compelling response I’ve ever seen since it’s such a dense topic the board resolves around. Couldn’t he have landed a spot on the President’s Physical Fitness Council?”

More at McClatchyDC


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