Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D) on Friday pressed White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Pelosi plows full speed ahead on jam-packed agenda Blumenthal calls on Buttigieg to investigate American Airlines-JetBlue partnership LGBT film festival to premiere documentary about Pete Buttigieg MORE to break his nondisclosure agreement (NDA) with McKinsey & Company so he can have the “moral authority” against President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE.
"Shouldn't you break that NDA so that you have the moral authority and the high ground against somebody like Trump, who hides behind the lack of transparency to justify everything that he's doing?" she asked Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Ind.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot: "Shouldn't you break that NDA so that you have the moral authority and the high ground against somebody like Trump, who hides behind the lack of transparency to justify everything that he's doing?"— The Hill (@thehill) December 7, 2019
Pete Buttigieg: "So, here's what I'm doing..." pic.twitter.com/0BP7RUOyd2
Buttigieg pointed to a statement he released earlier Friday that outlined the type of work he did during the three years he was employed by the consulting firm, though he did not disclose his specific clients.
The question from Lightfoot, asked at a forum hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Accelerator for America in Waterloo, Iowa, underscores the pressure Buttigieg is under to increase transparency over his tenure in the private sector.
Buttigieg says he cannot disclose his clients from McKinsey because of an NDA he signed with the firm, but he asked the company to release him from the agreement.
"But right now, I am calling on McKinsey to release that information. Maybe they're not used to doing that, but they're not used to having somebody who used to work there being seriously considered for the American presidency," he said earlier Friday. "This information should come out and I'm happy to speak to it when it does."
Buttigieg’s ties to McKinsey have been thrust into the 2020 spotlight after reports surfaced of the firm’s work for controversial clients.
One of those clients includes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a top target for Democrats over its role in the Trump administration’s now-scrapped “zero tolerance” immigration policy that increased family separations at the border.
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' The Trojan Horse of protectionism Federal Reserve officials' stock trading sparks ethics review MORE (D-Mass.), one of Buttigieg’s top rivals in the crowded 2020 primary field, has called on the mayor of South Bend to disclose his clients, saying Thursday, “I think the voters want to know about possible conflicts of interest.”
While Buttigieg told NBC News that he had no regrets about his time at McKinsey, he said Friday that the reports of McKinsey’s dealings with ICE were "disgusting" and a sign of the "amoral turn of mind that increasingly dominates corporate America."