Atlantic Council releases list of foreign donors for Hagel

The Atlantic Council on Friday released a list of its foreign donors after Republicans demanded the financial information from Defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, who is chairman of the think tank.

The Atlantic Council’s president and CEO sent a seven-page letter to Hagel Friday that included a list of foreign corporations,  governments and government entities that fund the organization.

The list includes roughly 100 corporations and 15 foreign governments, as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The amount of funding from each entity is not listed.

A Senate GOP aide said that the disclosures from the Atlantic Council did not sufficiently address the concerns of Republican senators.

"One problem with the Atlantic Council letter is that it omits individual contributors, which were specifically requested," the aide said.

"We have no idea if funds came through individuals from foreign nations that could create conflicts of interest," the GOP aide said. "He doesn’t have a right to keep such potential conflicts hidden."

The letter also did not address the funding sources of other organizations connected to Hagel, the aide said.

A group of 25 GOP senators called this week for Hagel to release the foreign funding information of eight entities he was affiliated with since leaving the Senate in 2009, including the Atlantic Council.

Hagel had written to the GOP senators that he could not to provide the financial information from those organizations because it was "legally controlled by the individual entities and not mine to disclose."

ADVERTISEMENT
The GOP demand for additional financial information from Hagel led to a delay in his confirmation vote, which Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) had hoped to hold Thursday.

Levin wrote a letter to ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) Friday calling the financial information request “unprecedented,” and he said that a new standard should not be mandated of the former Nebraska Republican senator.

Levin said that a vote will be held on Hagel’s confirmation “as soon as possible.”

Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe wrote in the letter that the released information was in response to a Thursday letter from Hagel asking whether the think tank could provide the Senate the funding information.

Kempe wrote that Hagel does not receive any salary from the Council as its chairman.

The letter also outlines the ethical guidelines the Council follows when it receives foreign funding, and that donors must agree that the Council retains intellectual independence and control over any content.

--This report was updated at 9:35 p.m.