“H: Yes, there is a vast right wing conspiracy. Sid”
So read an Aug. 23, 2010, email sent to Hillary Clinton’s private email address from her confidant, Sidney Blumenthal.
The Hillary adviser and former aide to President Bill Clinton forwarded an extensive New Yorker article on the Koch brothers titled “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”
“A must read piece that looks at the Koch brothers’ control and funding of the tea party and right wing,” Blumenthal wrote.
“Ah, a little lite vacation reading!” Clinton replied.
The emails were among the 7,000 released by the State Department Monday night. The latest release included about 150 that have been censored because they contain information now designated as classified.
In 1998, Clinton famously claimed a “vast right wing conspiracy” was behind the surfacing of her husband’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky as well as other controversies plaguing his administration.
She first used the term publicly on Jan. 27, 1998, in an appearance on NBC’s “Today” show.
Host Matt Lauer had stated, “You have said, I understand, to some close friends, that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here.”
Clinton replied: “Well, I don’t know if I’ve been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this – they have popped up in other settings. This is – the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”
Contrary to Blumenthal’s claims in the email, the New Yorker article does not document direct Koch funding to the tea-party movement.
In fact, the article quotes Melissa Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for one of the brothers’ companies, denying the Kochs had direct links to the tea party.
“No funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, or Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the tea parties,” she said in a statement.
David Koch told the New Yorker: “I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me.”
The brothers did donate heavily to Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group that has worked closely with the tea party.
Without citing evidence, the New Yorker article quoted an unnamed Republican campaign consultant who purportedly conducted research on behalf of Charles and David Koch as saying of the tea party: “The Koch brothers gave the money that founded it. It’s like they put the seeds in the ground. Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud – and they’re our candidates!”