A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is back on the campaign trail today with a rally in North Carolina and a dinner speech in Washington tonight after collapsing at a 9/11 memorial service in New York on Sunday. The incident was captured on video and shows her appearing to blackout and losing a shoe as she stumbles and is whisked into her security van. The image is particularly worrisome for Clinton and her team who had vigorously assailed the motives of anyone questioning the former secretary’s health as playing into rightwing “conspiracy theories.” Worse yet for Clinton is that her team failed to acknowledge that she was allegedly diagnosed with pneumonia a couple of days before, and blamed the fainting spell on the day’s heat before coming out with the pneumonia diagnosis a few hours later. Both Secretary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, may have compounded the speculation regarding her health by admitting that Hillary Clinton has had prior fainting episodes on “more than one occasion” and Clinton herself told CNN, “It is something that has occurred a few times over the course of my life.” Clinton’s 9/11 episode came just days after she told a group of wealthy supporters at an exclusive, private fundraiser featuring Barbara Streisand that “half” of Trump’s voters could be categorized in what she calls a “basket of deplorables,” tarnishing them as bigots, racists and homophobes. She later said she regretted the remark.
- Meanwhile, emails out of Washington continued to be a major source of the news cycle this week but in an unexpected twist, these ones are from former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The former top general and diplomat apparently doesn’t care for a lot of people and ripped into both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in several personal emails over the years, according to a document dump of hacked emails on the website DCLeaks.com. Powell wrote that Donald Trump is “an international pariah” and said of Clinton “for good reason she comes across as sleazy.” Powell admitted the emails were authentic but had no other comments on the hack. While Powell served in numerous Republican administrations, he most recently supported Barack Obama.
- The Powell hack overshadowed what might have otherwise been the week’s email-focused news Tuesday when two employees for the tech firm that managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server invoked their Fifth Amendment rights not to incriminate themselves during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. One of them, Paul Combetta, is the tech that deleted Clinton’s email archive with Bleachbit weeks after Clinton’s home rigged email system was first reported and after Congress had subpoenaed all of Clinton’s email records. Both technicians work for Platte River Networks (PRN), a Denver-based tech firm that Clinton hired in 2013 to manage her private email setup. Combetta and Bryan Pagliano – a former Clinton campaign staffer who worked for her at the State Department off the books – both were granted immunity by the Justice Department in order to cooperate with the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s server. Pagliano ignored the Oversight Committee’s subpoena to appear on Tuesday. Democrats on the committee maintain the continued investigation into Clinton’s private email server for the time she served as Obama’s top diplomat is designed singularly to hurt her presidential campaign.
Weeks in Washington
The last two weeks have seen your former US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, spending plenty of time in the US capital city.
This week he had a bevy of meetings on Capitol Hill and it was wonderful to see members of the South Carolina Congressional delegation including both Senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham, as well as Congressmen Tom Rice, Mark Sanford, Jeff Duncan, Joe Wilson, Mick Mulvaney, Trey Gowdy and Jim Clyburn.
It was also great to catch up with Congressman Peter Roskam (R-IL).
The prior week was just as busy with Team Wilkins in DC with the Upstate Chamber Coalition – a group representing 13 chambers of commerce and some 8,000 businesses from across the upstate of South Carolina.
Last Wednesday this formidable group received a day of briefings and insight from the top notch staff at the prestigious US Chamber of Commerce.
Talking business at the US Chamber of Commerce in DC last week!
The next morning it was a jammed-packed day that kicked off early at the Capitol Hill Club and a delegation breakfast emceed by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
Congressman Trey Gowdy and David Wilkins talk US politics in DC!
The South Carolina business crowd got to hear from their representatives on a host of critical issues like tax, immigration and trade from Congressmen Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Mick Mulvaney, Tom Rice and Mark Sanford.
Congressman Mick Mulvaney talks deficits and spending.
Gowdy invited a very special guest to address the room – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT). That committee has been investigating Hillary Clinton’s private email server among other high profile issues.
Chairman Jason Chaffetz talks about his committee’s investigative work.
From there it was off to more briefings at the US Capitol Visitor Center and a group photo.
A strong alliance! The Upstate Chamber Coalition!
This group was fortunate big time because into the middle of their photo stepped none other than the Speaker of the House himself, Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan is a friend of Rep. Gowdy’s who introduced him for a brief talk.
Speakers in the House! Congressmen Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan.
Senator Lindsey Graham also discussed the state of foreign affairs and retired CBS newsman Bob Schieffer offered his view of US politics and the “unusual” presidential race.
The day concluded with a wonderful reception at one of the most beautiful and hospitable locales in all of Washington, DC – the majestic Canadian Embassy.
Wilkins welcomes the South Carolina crowd to the glorious Canadian Embassy and thanks his gracious hosts!
Congressman Jeff Duncan and Upstate Chamber VP of Public Policy Jason Zacher enjoy their evening at the Canadian Embassy.
The US Chambers’ Patrick Kilbride and David Wilkins.
Up on the Canadian roof! David Wilkins and Congressman Joe Wilson.
So Long Justin!
Our talented and super-cool Canadian colleague, Justin Meyers, is leaving Team Wilkins and Washington, DC and headed home to Calgary after many years working here south of the border. We wish him well in his next professional endeavor and expect our paths will continue to cross again and often!
They Said What?
- "I hope she gets well soon," – GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump Monday morning on Fox News following Hillary Clinton’s collapse at the 9/11 ceremony Sunday morning.
- “If you can’t trust her about how she feels, what can you trust her about? This was not simply a lack of transparency yesterday, this was borderline deception,” – ABC’s Jon Karl on Good Morning America Monday regarding Clinton’s health crisis.
- “Peter, I am back from the Bohemian Grove. Surprise, surprise, I sat next to Stephen Harper a couple of times and had a nice discussion. Grove attendees know that Trump is a disaster…”– hacked email from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to Peter MacKay, former Canadian Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defense, and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
- "To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it,” – Hillary Clinton at an exclusive fundraiser last Saturday her supporters paid $50,000 each to attend.
- "Am I a deplorable?” – General Michael Flynn, a Trump supporter, pushing back on Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” comment regarding American voters.
If you are interested in the possibility of having Ambassador Wilkins speak at an event, please contact Christy Cox at Christy.Cox@nelsonmullins.com or call 803.255.9470.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.