Doug Band: Confessions Of A Clintonworld exile

basquebromance

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It's a damn shame this lovely damsel never became president!

"But Hillary didn’t want to work for Obama. 'She wasn’t over the primary loss...She was bitter, angry, and believed he didn’t deserve to be president.'”

And you wonder how the Russian collusion nonsense got started ..

"But Hillary didn’t want to work for Obama. 'She wasn’t over the primary loss...She was bitter, angry, and believed he didn’t deserve to be president.'”
 
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basquebromance

basquebromance

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"There were years that Clinton spent more time with Band than with any other person—including Hillary and Chelsea"

"But when I met Band last February, he hadn’t been in a room with Bill Clinton in nearly five years. He couldn’t remember the last time they had spoken. “I don’t want anything to do with that whole world,” Band said after we’d been talking for nearly an hour."
 
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basquebromance

basquebromance

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"Those critics include the Clintons themselves, who offered a caustic assessment of Band when asked for comment. “No staffer has ever used their role to serve their interests as much as Doug Band,” a Clinton family spokesperson told me. “For many years he was a valuable member of President Clinton’s team and supportive of Clinton Foundation programs. Until he wasn’t. He put the foundation at risk by leveraging a world-class philanthropy for his own financial gain. It’s as disappointing a story as it is a sad one and ultimately why Doug Band and the Clintons parted ways.”
 
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basquebromance

basquebromance

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" Band told me he voted for John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. (He wouldn’t tell me who he voted for in 2016 and 2020.)"
 
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basquebromance

basquebromance

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final excerpts:

"At the time, Band attributed Bill’s mistakes to aftereffects of his 2004 heart attack, rustiness from not having run a national campaign in over a decade, and a visceral dislike of Hillary’s opponent. “Obama drove him nuts,” Band said. Looking back, however, Band thinks Bill may have consciously or unconsciously not wanted Hillary to win. “He was used to it being all about him, and if she won, it would be all about her. That’s not how he lived his life for the four decades leading up to that election,” he said. “In her White House, he would be back under a microscope but without the benefit of being the one in charge.” A Clinton spokesperson said: “That’s ridiculous. President Clinton did more than 300 events on her behalf, and very much wanted her to win.

Hillary’s team faulted Band for failing to rein in his boss. “The view was Band was an enabler of Bill’s behavior,” a Hillary adviser told me. It’s a critique that still grates. “The idea that anyone can control a person, especially a former president of the United States, is completely ridiculous,” Band said.”
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With Ling’s and Lee’s freedom secured, the mission was shaping up to be a humanitarian and public relations triumph. But on the flight to California, Band learned from Lisa Ling that the White House didn’t want Clinton to deplane with the freed hostages in front of the cameras. Band saw it as the Obama administration’s petty way of denying Clinton a P.R. win. “It wasn’t lost on me what the moment would mean in terms of erasing all the dumb stuff Clinton did in the 2008 campaign,” Band recalled.

Band got on the phone with Denis McDonough at the National Security Council and told him Clinton would do what the White House wanted, but Band thought Obama was being ridiculous. “I’m saving you from yourself here,” Band recalled saying. “People are going to be like, ‘How small are you guys?’ ” Clinton got his photo op.
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Initially, Band wasn’t threatened by Chelsea’s new role. Separated by seven years, they related to each other almost like half siblings. When Chelsea was in her 20s, Band helped get her concert tickets and restaurant reservations. Once, Band sent a letter to the owner of Osso Bucco on Chelsea’s behalf demanding the Manhattan restaurant take down a photo of Chelsea displayed out front. “While she may have dined at your restaurant, this does not serve as an endorsement,” Band wrote on Clinton letterhead. (Owner Nino Selimaj declined the request.) In 2010, Chelsea sent Band an effusive Christmas card. “I love you and am thankful beyond words for all you have done and do for my father,” she wrote.

But in every family, rivalries and jealousies can fester. Clintonworld sources told me that Chelsea grew to resent Band. “Chelsea hated Doug because he was like a son to her father,” a Clinton friend said. Band took offense that Chelsea treated him at times like hired help. It was a combustible mix that was about to explode into personal grievance. “As a board member, Chelsea had a responsibility to ask questions about Foundation activities she didn’t understand or had reservation about. For some reason, Doug seemed to resent that,” a Clinton spokesperson said.

Around the time Band launched Teneo in June 2011, Chelsea summoned Band and his cofounder Declan Kelly to the Clinton office in Harlem. Band walked in to find Bill flanked by Chelsea and her husband, financier Marc Mezvinsky. According to Band, Chelsea said Band’s $2.5 million offer to put her dad on Teneo’s advisory board wasn’t enough. She wanted Band to give her and Mezvinsky an ownership position in Teneo. To Band, it felt like a shakedown. “I thought she was kidding or deeply sick,” he told me. Band looked across the table at Bill, but he sided with Chelsea. Band refused to give up an equity stake. The meeting ended badly. A Clinton family spokesperson denies that Chelsea asked for equity.

Band, meanwhile, told foundation staff that Chelsea was vastly underqualified to be in charge. He found it especially galling that Chelsea accused him of cashing in on his Clinton connections when, in his view, Chelsea benefited far more from her famous last name. He told people she got paid $1.2 million by NBC, not $600,000 as was reported. She had a driver, security, a $10 million apartment, a wedding that cost $5 million, and traveled on private planes. “Every job she received was based on her name,” Band said, still vexed. “Mine was based on my reputation, experience, and what I had done.” (A Clinton spokesperson denied Chelsea was paid $1.2 million by NBC.)

Chelsea had ties to Epstein and Maxwell, Band said; he showed me a photo of Bill and Chelsea posing with Epstein and Maxwell at the King of Morocco’s wedding. Chelsea remained friends with Maxwell for years after the press revealed Maxwell was a close associate of Epstein’s. For instance, Chelsea invited Maxwell to her 2010 wedding at the Brooke Astor estate in Rhinebeck, New York, after Epstein had pleaded guilty in Florida to procuring sex from a minor.

“Ghislaine had access to yachts and nice homes. Chelsea needed that,” Band told me.

A Clinton family spokesperson said Chelsea was on friendly terms with Maxwell because of a mutual friend (Gateway computer founder Ted Waitt) and only took one yacht trip with Maxwell in 2009: “It wasn’t until 2015 that Chelsea became aware of the horrific allegations against Ghislaine Maxwell and she hopes that all the victims find justice. Chelsea was friendly with her because of Maxwell’s relationship with a dear friend. When that relationship ended, Chelsea’s relationship with her ended as well.”

The Clinton Foundation retained the law firm Simpson Thacher to conduct an independent audit of the foundation, which Band saw as a pretext to investigate him. He had just launched Teneo and was worried that lawyers sniffing around could scare off potential clients, killing his new company in the crib. “I had already started my new life,” Band said. “She tried to shoot me, in the back, to justify her own power grab.”

A Clinton spokesperson said Chelsea wasn’t motivated by personal animosity: “Chelsea was concerned about Doug’s behavior and grew to distrust him.”

Then Band said the unsayable: If Clinton wanted to have girlfriends, he should divorce Hillary and move on with his life. Band later told friends he said it was the honorable and right thing to do. Clinton listened in cold silence, biting his lower lip. Band’s relationship with his mentor never was the same after the trip."
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"I recently asked Band if he thought he would ever reconcile with Clinton. “I will always be enormously grateful for the opportunity to serve, have great respect for his impact on the world, and have enormous personal affinity towards him,” he said. “We will always have shared a certain amount of life together that only he and I can or will ever understand. I harbor no negative feelings or anger towards him whatsoever.”

The years apart, though, have given Band clarity about what his life was for so many years. “It’s like a cult, that world,” he said. “It’s hard to get yourself out and difficult to see outside of it. And it’s even harder to understand that when you’re inside.”
 

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