A controversial new book on foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation is a politically motivated “cheap publicity stunt” to defame Hillary Clinton as she tries to break the glass ceiling in the 2016 presidential elections, Indian-American hotelier Sant Chatwal said on Thursday.
Named prominently in the book titled Clinton Cash by author Peter Schweizer, New York-based Chatwal strongly refuted the allegations that the donations made by him to the Clinton Foundation was instrumental in Hillary to vote in favour of the India-US civil nuclear deal in 2008.
“This is 100 per cent wrong. There is not even an iota of truth in it,” he told PTI in an interview.
Chatwal, who was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Indian government in 2010 for his contribution in the nuclear deal, asserted that his fund raising efforts and his campaign in favour of the historic nuclear deal had nothing to do with the decision making process of Hillary, who was then a senator.
The allegations were also refuted by the office of Hillary, 67, who last month announced her second presidential bid.
In his book, Schweizer alleged that the Indian government rewarded Chatwal with one of its highest civilian awards for getting Hillary’s support the civilian nuclear deal.
“All an act of fiction. The book has been written only because she is running for president. And there are certain people who do not want a woman to be the president of the US. That’s the reason for such a malign campaign against her,” Chatwal said.
Chatwal, who has been a family friend of the Clintons for the past several decades, showed a series of letters written by senators and Members of the House of Representatives during the civil nuclear days in 2008 to prove his point.
On May 17, it was the then four Senators -- Joe Biden, now the US vice president, Lamar Alexander, Charles Schumer and John Cornyn -- who wrote a dear colleague letter urging other senators to participate in an informal discussion with some top Indian businessmen.
And a week earlier, Joe Crowley wrote letters to other members of the Congress inviting them for a similar reception involving Chatwal, according to a copy of the letter provided by him.
Chatwal also refuted the description in the book that Amar Singh, the Indian politician, was involved in talks with US lawmakers or with Hillary on the civil nuclear deal.
In 2008, Clinton Foundation said Amar Singh donated between $1-5 million.
“He (Singh) had no role at all (in the US). He was never part of our team that worked on the civil nuclear deal,” Chatwal added.
Singh has denied any wrongdoing and has claimed he was a victim of “assumptions and rumour-mongering”.