All In   |  September 23, 2013

CGI kicks off, now with Hillary on board

Hillary Clinton gives her first interview since leaving her post as Secretary of State just as a blockbuster expose on Doug Band, longtime confidante and aide to Bill Clinton, is published by The New Republic. Chris Hayes talks with reporter Alec MacGillis about his findings. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> you may not know it, but today is clinton day. it's the first monday of the last week of september, which means it's the kickoff to the clinton global initiative , a gathering of global bold-faced names in new york, so headline headline-grabbing, it overshadows the meeting of the world leaders over at the u.n. look at it as a week-long apple product rollout, and this year it's as hotly anticipated as any in recent memory, and that's because hillary clinton is now working for what has been called the family business , the nonprofit that once used only her husband's name but now has been renamed the bill, hillary and chelsea clinton foundation. to compliment her new role, mrs. clinton also gave her first interview since leaving her post as secretary of state. "new york" magazine tried to convince the public that she and bill are just kicking back and taking it easy. "we laugh at our dogs, we watch stupid movies, we take long walks." and yes, she is also considering running for president, adding "i will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other." complicating matters, a new blockbuster expose from "the new republic" on some pretty suspect dealings within the clinton foundation . at the center of it, a guy named doug want, bill clinton 's former bodyman, longtime confidante. bant oversaw the clinton global initiative and founded his own consulting firm dependent on his relationship with clinton . as alec mcgillis writes "for corporations attaching clinton 's band, the social incentives helped the move and they could hope for a kind word from clinton next time they landed in a sticky spot." they would come to the president and say, we need your help on this. "negotiating these relationships and the trade-offs they required can involve some gray areas, but for that, clinton had band." as a former clinton white house colleague put it, he was a gatekeeper who charged tolls. but now he and clinton only see each other a few months band's position in the foundation is being taken over by chelsea clinton , but the former first daughter and her mother are reportedly wary of band. band's former bus publicly defended him earlier.

>> there's nothing wrong with him starting a business for people he met working for me. that's the only way he could have met people he could do business with. i'm grateful for the role he played when we started out, and i wish him well. i think it was necessary, and i believe he came to see it was necessary to make a clean break because his business grew more quickly than i think he thought it was.

>> alec mcgillis wrote that piece on the clintons for "the new republic." how did the piece come about?

>> it came about a long time ago, back in, gosh, i think before the 2012 election. one of my editors approached me and said we think it's time to do a good profile of doug band . he's been in the background of a lot of stories in the last decade or so. his profile's been growing, but he's never been focused on. so, i started making calls. basically, the day after the election. it's been a long slog. clinton land is locked down more than ever before, so it's been on and off for ten months now.

>> so, explain who this guy is and the role he plays.

>> he's a fascinating figure. he's just a very complicated and fascinating figure. he was the guy who carried -- he was the body man for bill clinton , the character we know from " west wing " as charlie young , who he helped tutor to play that role. so, he comes in as the last bodman for bill clinton in 1999 - 2000 , carries the bags, carries the cigar case , carries the cokes, diet cokes, and then after president clinton leaves the white house , he stays with clinton . he headed off for goldman sachs , he could have taken a regular, successful business route . he stays with president clinton , stays in that role of assistant, travels all around the world with him, just hundreds of cities, dozens of countries, on the private jets for all these years and becomes basically the main guy.

>> yeah. if you want to get bill clinton to come to your event or get him, you go through doug band , basically.

>> exactly.

>> so, what's the problem here? scandal is in the headline of your piece. like, to justify the use of that word to me.

>> well, the use of scandal was a bit of a headline writer's irony, but no, but there is a problem, and the problem is that there's been increasing overlap, really, between both for doug band and for sort of bill clinton and clinton land as a whole, overlap between the great public good that they've been doing, including doug band . doug band helped come up with the clinton global initiative , which has distributed billions of dollars around the world.

>> does amazing stuff.

>> does amazing stuff, but there's been increasing overlap between that public good and private benefit.

>> there's two stories i want to get out of you from the piece. one is about the post office , which, it was a jaw-dropping story to me. what happened with the post office ?

>> so, in 2009 , doug band 's family owns the post office in sarasota . his dad's a very successful real estate --

>> they own the building the post office leases from.

>> exactly, the main post office in sarasota , where doug is from. the postal service , desperate to get its finances in better shape, wants to buy this building back from the family. they have sort of a lease-to-buy arrangement. the family objects to the terms that the postal service --

>> the price.

>> the price. the postal service offers $800,000 for this building. the family wants a lot more. so, doug places a call in the summer of 2009 to a longtime clinton fund-raiser who happens to sit on the postal service board of governors , the board that's supposed to be looking out for the interests of the postal service and the taxpayer and all that. and places the call and this guy, this man, a philadelphia lawyer , allen kessler, jumps into action, just makes calls, e-mails all around the postal service saying please fix this. doug band could go to capitol hill and cause problems for us. doug band is so-and-so, and --

>> we need to buy, we have to pay more money for this post office in sarasota because the right-hand man of the ex- president of the united states called me on the phone and said so.

>> exactly, and there's a wonderful exchange of e-mails i got in a freedom of information request through chatter about chelsea's wedding and a lot of sort of clinton land --

>> isn't this just the way that all of the 1% roll? like, couldn't you just do the same thing on the bushies, on any prominent -- like, this moving back and forth between public and private, that's just how everyone works, right?

>> it is how washington works these days and that's a real problem. what i think sets this apart is the scale of it. the amounts of money involved that are sort of swirling around doug and clinton land are just enormous.

>> i want to talk about that. we should also say we reached out to the clinton global initiative and doug band for comment. neither got back to us. we will be back with someone who wrote a piece on the clintons only to have it spiked from the magazine. but