Arthur Brooks, president of the conservative nonprofit American Enterprise Institute, helped billionaire Clinton donor Lynn Forester de Rothschild secure the support of Republicans for Hillary Clinton, Rothschild claimed in an email to John Podesta exclusively reviewed by The Daily Caller.
An AEI spokesperson confirmed that Rothschild and Brooks know each other but strongly denied that Brook helped or was in contact with the Clinton campaign in any way, claiming Rothschild misunderstood Brooks’ words.
On June 28, almost two months after Donald Trump had clinched the Republican nomination, Rothschild forwarded an email chain between herself and Brooks to Clinton campaign manager John Podesta and former Walmart executive Leslie Dach. As noted by Politico, Dach was in charge of bringing disaffected Republicans into the Clinton camp.
Rothschild told Podesta and Dach that Brooks was “helping me with many Republicans.” The email chain between Rothschild and Brooks shows Rothschild pushing Brooks over how best to “engage you with Hillary” and Brooks replying that he would be “delighted to talk with Hillary or her campaign people.”
The email chain between Brooks and Rothschild started with a June 27 email from Rothschild informing Brooks of Republicans and “business leaders” lining up behind Hillary.
She then added, “I know what we talked about on our call, but I am wondering whether we could talk again about how to engage you with Hillary?? Please let me know if I can call you again without becoming a nuisance!!!”
“I trust you agree that this is a vitally important election and that Donald Trump does not represent the values of the Republican Party that our country needs,” she continued.
“Of course I am delighted to talk with Hillary or her campaign people. We are dedicated to helping whomever we can to build good policy, and in a totally nonpartisan way,” Brooks replied. “Lots of Democrats seek out our scholars for advice!”
“I know. I am working on that. All we have left is bipartisanship….it is either crazy or not crazy!!!” Rothschild replied. “I cannot believe where we are with this election.”
“It’s an interesting time and there are a lot of opportunities for people to come together around key values,” Brooks said in reply. “For what it’s worth, I think the crossover support for Hillary will abruptly cease if she chooses Elizabeth Warren as her VP.”
Rothschild then forwarded the email exchange to Podesta and Dach, saying, “Arthur is an unlikely friend of ours…..but he is….could we talk about this? He is helping me with many Republicans.”
AEI spokeswoman Judy Mayka issued a brief statement on behalf of Brooks in response to a list of questions submitted by The Daily Caller.
“Dr. Brooks knows Mrs. Rothschild, but had no contact with anyone in the Clinton campaign and provided no assistance of any kind,” Mayka said.
When asked whether Brooks ever worked to convince Republicans to back Clinton, Maya replied, “Dr. Brooks never worked to bring any Republicans to Clinton’s ‘side’ at any time. Any assertion to this effect is mistaken.”
After viewing the relevant email exchange, Mayka issued a longer statement.
“In the exchange below Arthur shared what is the AEI policy as a non profit, non partisan, public policy institution. That AEI scholars and staff are happy to brief those who wish to hear from us on issues of public policy regardless of ideology or political affiliation. In this instance no such briefing ever took place,” Mayka said.
“Nowhere in the exchange does Arthur offer help in recruiting republicans but rather is polite and offers his thoughts on the likelihood of any crossover in the event of a Warren pick. This in no way demonstrates that he was aiding in the recruitment or support of Clinton. The only mention of that is from Mrs Rothschild who acknowledged she was potentially becoming a nuisance. The polite willingness to speak with those interested in public policy was obviously misconstrued as support,” she continued.
“Dr. Brooks never worked to bring any Republicans to Clinton’s side under any circumstances and had no contact with the Clinton campaign and provided no assistance of any kind.”
Brooks and Rothschild’s conversation came a little under two months after Texas Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the Republican primary, ending what little hope remained that the nominee would be anybody other than Trump.
The day after Trump’s election, Brooks penned a relatively pro-Trump opinion article for The Wall Street Journal, titled, “How Donald Trump Filled The Dignity Deficit.”
Rothschild was a major Clinton backer and hosted a fundraiser for Hillary at Martha’s Vineyard that cost $100,000 per couple. She is not, however, a fan of President Obama, once stating that “the class war that Barack Obama would like to declare in this country to divide people is so wrong.”