Emails from after the 2010 earthquake show that "Friends of Bill" were treated differently than others in the relief effort.
A State Department aide to Hillary Clinton gave separate attention to “Friends of Bill” when coordinating with the Clinton Foundation to help Haiti after a devastating 2010 earthquake, according to a report.
Senior advisor Caitlin Klevorick repeatedly referenced “FOBs” and “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs) in email exchanges given to ABC by the Republican National Committee.
The messages show Klevorick communicating with the Clinton Foundation’s Amitabh Desai as he sends her offers from those interested in giving aid to the island nation where more than 200,000 died.
She asks Desai to identify those close to the former President and at one point says “Is this a FOB! If not, she should go to” the Center for International Disaster Information’s website.
Klevorick told ABC that she coordinated with many organizations and that she asked questions about Bill Clinton to see if those wanting to give had experience working after disasters that could benefit Haiti.
Among messages of interest in the earthquake recovery are an email from billionaire Clinton Foundation donor and “WJC VIP” Denis O’Brien about problems using his telecoms company to bring communications back to the island, which was sent by Klevorick to a relief officials at USAID.
Another email sees Clinton Foundation donor and “friend of WJC” Garry Mauro with an offer from an emergency relief company that now says it assisted in the effort.
Bill and Hillary Clinton pose with workers at the grand opening cermony of the new Caracol Industrial Park in Caracol, Haiti, in 2012.
Clinton Foundation chairman Bruce Lindsey told ABC that “no special treatment was expected or given.”
The Clintons, who vacationed in Haiti shortly after being married, have long been involved with the island, and Bill Clinton was appointed U.N. special envoy to the country in 2009.
Efforts to aid the earthquake recovery, which include a fund pushed by the former president and George W. Bush, were initially praised, but have since come under scrutiny for allegedly prioritizing the needs of donors rather than getting resources to the Haitian people.
The Clinton Foundation has spent more than $30 million in Haiti and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund distributed $54.4 million in the two years after the 2010 quake, according to Washington Post report from last year.
The Haiti-focused email exchanges reported Tuesday come as others in the Clinton camp such as campaign chairman John Podesta have seen their messages published in leaks that have been attributed to hackers.
ABC reports that the Republican National Committee received the emails through the Freedom of Information Act.