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Buttigieg releases McKinsey client list, includes Best Buy and Defense Department

Buttigieg worked with ten clients, including Best Buy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several government agencies.
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Responding to calls for transparency, Pete Buttigieg released a list of the clients he worked for at McKinsey & Company on Tuesday night.

Buttigieg's clients at the international consulting firm included Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Best Buy, and the Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws. It also included non-profits the National Resources Defense Council and the Energy Foundation, and numerous government agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic presidential candidate released the list after he said McKinsey had released him from a non disclosure agreement.

"Now, voters can see for themselves that my work amounted to mostly research and analysis. They can also see that I value both transparency and keeping my word," Buttigieg said in a statement. "Neither of these qualities are something we see coming out of Washington, especially from this White House."

Buttigieg told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow Tuesday night that the non-disclosure agreement left him torn, and "it put me in this position where I felt like I had to choose between two things that I care about," which he said were transparency and keeping his word.

"I think it's important to keep that word, even though, as you've seen, there's nothing particularly sizzling about the list of clients that I served," Buttigieg said. "And so I'm glad that I was not left in that untenable position."

Buttigieg worked for the company between 2007 and 2010, and was pushed to disclose more about his work there following stories about McKinsey's work with controversial clients like the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In an interview with the Atlantic on Tuesday, Buttigieg said McKinsey "is as amoral as the American business community in general, or at least the corporate community, can be." But, he added, "I never worked on or was asked to work on things that I had a problem with."

Buttigieg had publicly called on McKinsey to release him from his NDA in an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio last week.

"Maybe they're not used to doing that, but they're not used to having somebody who used to work there being seriously considered for the American presidency," Buttigieg said. "This information should come up and I'm happy to speak to it when it does."

In his statement Tuesday, Buttigieg's campaign described Blue Cross as his first client, and said he worked for the company in 2007. "He was assigned to a team that looked at overhead expenditures such as rent, utilities, and company travel. The project he was assigned to did not involve policies, premiums, or benefits," the campaign said.

The Michigan insurance company announced in January of 2009 it was cutting up to 1,000 jobs, the New York Times reported.

Buttigieg said on MSNBC that he doubts that his work led to the job cuts.

"I don't know what happened in the time after I left — that was in 2007, when they decided to shrink in 2009," he said. "Now, what I do know is, there are some voices in the Democratic primary right now who are calling for a policy that would eliminate the job of every single American working at every single insurance company in the country."

Buttigieg worked with Best Buy in 2008, where he was involved in a project looking at "opportunities for selling more energy-efficient home products in their stores," the campaign said.

His work for energy and environmental companies and agencies included researching opportunities "to combat climate change through energy efficiency," the campaign said.

His work for the Defense Department included going to Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a project "focused on increasing employment and entrepreneurship in those countries’ economies," the campaign said.

Buttigieg joined the Navy Reserve that same year, 2009. He was later deployed to Afghanistan, where he did a six month tour in 2013.