Ex-Army Chief Quietly Hired By Firm With Close Clinton Ties

Ron Brynaert Freelance Reporter
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A little over a month ago, at a private Republican “Congress of Tomorrow” retreat, retired four-star General Ray Odierno helped lead a “national security breakout session” that “was sobering for many members,” The New York Times reported. “As such, defense hawks appear to be gaining ground on the budget hawks in discussions over national security and spending.”

It was “mostly closed to reporters and the public,” so Politico relied on sources for its Jan. 14 article on the annual retreat. “House Speaker Paul Ryan told a private meeting of congressional Republicans that they need to be a better ‘proposition party’ by picking smarter fights on Capitol Hill and laying out a positive vision for the country.”

But while they, no doubt, were aware that the former chief of staff of the Army now consults for top U.S. bank JPMorgan Chase, they probably didn’t know he had recent been hired by a firm with close ties to Clinton allies.

Four days before Christmas last year, Teneo Holdings — a consulting firm co-founded by former President Clinton’s “body man” Doug Band and two top Hillary Clinton fundraisers, one of which she appointed as U.S. economic envoy to Northern Ireland — hired Odierno as a senior adviser, and not one media outlet reported on it.

Teneo co-founders, former envoy Declan Kelly and Paul Keary, raised at least $1.5 million for Hillary Clinton’s losing presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008, while Band helped found the Clinton Foundation and worked on the former secretary of state’s transition team. Clinton 2016 vice chairwoman Huma Abedin worked simultaneously for Teneo, the Clinton Foundation, the State Department and for Hillary from mid-2012 to early 2013.

Former President Clinton was a paid Teneo adviser in 2011, the New York Times reported.

“The firm recruited clients who were also Clinton Foundation donors, while Mr. Band and Mr. Kelly encouraged others to become new foundation donors,” the Times reported. “Some Clinton aides and foundation employees began to wonder where the foundation ended and Teneo began.”

“Throughout the course of his career, General Odierno has gained remarkable expertise in a wide range of issues, from cybersecurity and risk management, to acquisition and global crisis management,” Teneo announced on Dec. 21, 2015.

Last August, less than a week after retiring from the Army, Odierno was hired as a consultant by JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in the United States, and it has contributed more than $620,000 to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns. Bloomberg News reported that Odierno was hired “to advise Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon on issues including international risks and cyber security. Odierno, 60, a former four-star general, also will provide counsel to the bank’s board and operating committee and represent the New York-based bank with clients, government representatives and policy makers.”

Lexington Institute consultant Loren Thompson explained the move in an interview with Defense News.

“The appeal of retired general officers in the financial community comes down to three things: first of all, broad experience because of their frequent career rotations; discipline, which enables them to be organized and more focused than many people who have never served; and thirdly, prestige…I think you can’t overlook the prestige quality that a former chief of staff of the Army confers on a financial institution or a stock trader. Chief of staff of the Army is a title that grows with celebrity the farther you get from Washington.”