Newly leaked emails pull the curtain back on internal deliberations concerning Teneo Strategies, a Clinton-connecting consulting firm that has been the source of major headaches for Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The emails, which were hacked from the Gmail account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and published by Wikileaks on Monday, show that the strife led Doug Band, one of Bill Clinton’s closest aides, to call Chelsea Clinton a “spoiled brat kid” in a Nov. 2011 email.
And messages exchanged the next month show Band was so worried about Teneo’s and Bill Clinton’s image that he sought a “lower key” role for the former president that needed to be “handled privately and properly.”
The drama appears to have kicked off, at least via email, on Nov. 12, 2011.
“I don’t deserve this from her and deserve a tad more respect or at least a direct dialogue for me to explain these things,” Doug Band wrote to Podesta and Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s State Department chief of staff, of Chelsea.
The former first daughter had started taking a more active role in the Clinton Foundation in 2011. She is currently vice chair of the non-profit.
“She is acting like a spoiled brat kid who has nothing else to do but create issues to justify what she’s doing because she, as she has said, hasn’t found her way and has a lack of focus in her life,” Band said of Chelsea.
The two seemed to be at odds over the trajectory of the Clinton Foundation and its relationship with Teneo, which Band co-founded earlier in 2011 with former State Department official Declan Kelly.
Bill Clinton was paid millions as an honorary chairman for the firm, which consults major corporations and helps with merger and acquisition matters. Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, went to work for the group in 2012, splitting time between it, the Clinton Foundation, and State Department.
In his email, Band appears to have been concerned with a news story that was set to be published drawing connections between Teneo and MF Global, a scandal-ridden global commodities firm that went belly-up in 2011.
“I’m also starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed,” Band wrote to Podesta and Mills.
“[Declan Kelly] and I built a business. 65 people work for us who have wives and husbands and kids, they all depend on us. Our business has almost nothing to do with the clintons, the foundation or [Clinton Global Initiative] in any way.”
Chelsea Clinton’s concerns with Teneo’s relationship to the Clinton Foundation are laid out in a Dec. 6, 2011 email to Podesta, Clinton Foundation CEO Bruce Lindsey and longtime Clinton crony, Terry McAuliffe.
She said that when she was in London for a Clinton Foundation event, several people “separately voiced concerns directly to me about Teneo.” One Teneo insider “has called Members of the House and Members of Parliament, ‘on behalf of President Clinton,'” Clinton wrote.
She said the calls were placed without her father’s knowledge, something that “would horrify my father.”
Clinton also wrote that Sara Latham, who currently works for the Clinton campaign, had complained to her about her time at Teneo. Clinton said Latham “recently stopped because she was so upset, partly because of what Doug and Declan asked her to do/ pretend was happening for their clients at Davos.”
Cheryl Mills intervened to provide a solution to the dilemma, proposing a new infrastructure model to restructure Bill Clinton’s office to demarcate between his work for the Clinton Foundation, Teneo, and his personal affairs.
In a response email, Band said that a Clinton Foundation official was pushed to the brink of suicide over the internal strife.
“She called me to tell me the stress of all of this office crap with wjc and cvc as well as that of her family had driven her to the edge and she couldn’t take it anymore,” Band wrote of Laura Graham, the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer.“Bruce [Lindsey] said the stress of specifically the office had caused his very serious health issues as you both know,” Band added. “But I’m sure chelsea is more concerned with a mostly false story in the distinguished ny post about mf global and teneo not her role in what happened to laura/bruce, what she is doing to the organization or the several of stories that have appeared in the ny post about her father.” (RELATED: WIKILEAKS: Bill, Chelsea’s ‘Office Crap’ Made A Top Clinton Official Suicidal)
Band concluded that it would hurt Teneo to continue to have Bill Clinton on its advisory board any longer. But he seemed to suggest that Clinton would still have a role with Teneo, just “lower key.”
“But we need come up with a reorg concept for the relationship with wjc and teneo that is lower key and handled privately and properly.”
Mills chimed in on the email thread, saying that she wanted to connect with Band “to download my hrc convo.”
Band left the Clinton Foundation last year, just after Hillary Clinton announced her run for president.