The Note: What The 'Clinton Cash' Author Is Saying

April 27, 2015, 8:46 AM


--'CLINTON CASH' AUTHOR PLAYS DEFENSE: The author of a forthcoming book on Hillary Clinton and foreign donations made to her family's foundation defended the accuracy of his research, saying in an interview on ABC's "This Week" Sunday that while he found "no direct evidence" she took official action at the State Department to benefit donors to her family's foundation, the "smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior." Peter Schweizer's book, "Clinton Cash" highlights instances in which domestic and foreign companies with pending interests before the State Department made large donations to the Clinton's charitable enterprises or, in some cases, helped underwrite the former president's speeches. "I think the real question here is...when you ever have an issue with the flow of funds to political candidates, whether that's to campaigns, whether that's to private foundations, whether that's to their spouse - is there evidence of a pattern of favorable decisions being made for those individuals?" Schweizer told ABC's GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS. "I think the point that we make in the book is that there is a troubling pattern." ABC's LIZ KREUTZ has more.

--HILLARY CLINTON POPS UP IN THE DES MOINES REGISTER: In an Op-Ed in the newspaper today, she writes: "When I came to Iowa, I wanted to do something a little different. No big speeches or rallies. Just talking directly with everyday Iowans. Because this campaign isn't going to be about me, it's going to be about Iowans and people across our country who are ready for a better future. It's not enough to just get by, you deserve to get ahead and stay ahead. And everywhere I went, I met Iowans with great ideas for how we can get there." READ MORE:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: "Was she here?" former Gov. Martin O'Malley asked, quite rhetorically, after speaking to the South Carolina Democratic convention Saturday, according to The Washington Post. Everyone there, of course, knew that Hillary Clinton was represented in Columbia only by staffers and surrogates, plus a glitchy video message that appeared to run at the wrong time of day, as Philip Rucker and John Wagner report. Those are the kinds of details that will either live forever or be entirely forgotten in nine months or so. Team Clinton is rolling out its candidate on its own terms, calculating that grumbles from early-state activists will be forgotten as soon as those same folks get a chance to cheer Clinton in person. That's almost certainly correct, but only almost. The left is anxious for action, as the trade debate is demonstrating in too-vivid terms. And a Clinton vacuum, however brief, will be amply filled by the very many candidates in both parties who see an upside in taking her down a notch.



5 STORIES YOU'LL CARE ABOUT IN POLITICS THIS WEEK. ABC's RICK KLEIN highlights the five stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead.

OBAMA EMAILS CAUGHT UP IN RUSSIAN HACK. The more authorities dig into the hacking of the State Department and the White House, it's becoming increasingly clear that the Russians were hunting for weaknesses. Sources tell ABC News that some of President Obama's emails were caught up in the Russian cyberattack last October that led to a partial shutdown of some White House computers. While the attack did not involve top secret information, a number of officials say it shows an intense level of aggression by Russian operatives, who appear to be stepping-up hacks against the United States, ABC's PIERRE THOMAS reports.

TED CRUZ FACEBOOK INTERACTIONS MORE THAN DOUBLE THOSE OF JEB BUSH NATIONALLY. Interactions on the social platform Facebook related to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas more than doubled those of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush during a period measured earlier this month according to data -- which is approximate -- provided to ABC News by Facebook. Facebook, which measured the data from April 17 to April 23, reported 2.2 million interactions related to Cruz and about 1 million interactions related to Bush, ABC's BENJAMIN BELL notes. Facebook defines "interactions" on the social platform as posts, comments, likes and shares. Interactions related to Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul were 1.8 million and 1.3 million for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' DINNER RECAP: THE PRESIDENT'S BEST ONE LINERS. President Barack Obama once again brought jokes to the 89th annual White House Correspondents' Dinner. From cracks about his birth certificate to jabs at his vice president, Obama has always been willing to go the distance to get laughs from the White House press corps and their Hollywood guests. This was Obama's second to last dinner - or "nerd prom," as it has been dubbed in the capital - and the president wasted no time throwing out the comedic punches at the Washington Hilton Hotel, ABC's MOLLY MITCHELL notes. WATCH:

--BEHIND THE SCENES CELEBRITY-POLITICIAN MEET UPS. Arguably the best part of the annual White House Correspondents' Dinner isn't the president becoming Comedian-in-Chief for the night -- but the odd couple pairings of Hollywood stars hanging with political power players and media heavy hitters. This year's "Nerd Prom" was no exception, producing a bevy of interesting moments, ABC's MOLLY MITCHELL writes.


MATT LLOYD RETURNS TO THE PENCE FOLD. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced that Matt Lloyd will be joining the governor's office as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Strategy in late May. According to a release shared with The Note: "Lloyd served as Communications Director on Pence's congressional staff for 10 years. He served in the top communications role for Pence when he was chairman of the House Republican Conference as well as when he chaired the House Republican Study Committee. He also served as a senior advisor to Pence's gubernatorial campaign. He currently serves as Director of Communications for Koch Industries in its Washington, D.C., office."


@mateagold: Never before have so many candidates entered a White House race with so much money. My latest w/ @edatpost:

@politico: There are presidents all around us. |

@WSJPolitics: This week you will hear a lot about trade. WSJ's @GeraldFSeib will interview Obama today on the Pacific trade deal

@AmyArgetsinger: White House Correspondents' weekend: Now with even more empty calories!

@AshleyCodianni: Boyz II Men co-founder launches campaign to help homeless Capitol worker

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