Chicago mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said he doesn’t recall anything about the Obama administration’s $535 million loan to the recently bankrupt solar company Solyndra.
Speaking to Chicago radio station WLS 890AM at a news conference about a new wellness initiative, Emanuel said he didn’t remember anything about the failed investment loan by the Department of Energy, which critics say was fast-tracked to fit the White House’s political agenda.
“Ya know, I’m focusing on a major announcement today for the City Of Chicago,” Emanuel said. “I don’t actually remember that or know about it. So, what I’m dealing is with what I’m dealing with here today.”
Emanuel was Obama’s chief of staff during the administration’s green energy initiative in 2009, when the Solyndra loan was finalized.
E-mail communications from the White House obtained by the House Energy and Commerce Committee point to more involvement in the deal than perhaps Emanuel would care to remember.
The vice president was scheduled to announce the closure of the Solyndra deal on Sept. 4, and several e-mails show pressure from the White House to approve the loan.
In one e-mail, an assistant to Emanuel wrote on Aug. 31, 2009 to the Office of Management and Budget about the administration’s upcoming announcement on Solyndra and asked whether “there is anything we can help speed along on OMB side.”