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Hillary's farewell 'Global Townterview' cost taxpayers $85,000

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Politics Digest

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's farewell online town hall, complete with live audiences and interactive connections around the globe, cost taxpayers $85,000, according to federal contract documents.

The January 29 town hall, dubbed a "Global Townterview" and held at the Newseum, came after a virus sidelined President Obama's top diplomat, forcing her to cancel several trips a few weeks before she turned over the keys of the department to former Sen. John Kerry.

"Due the unexpected and unforeseen cancellation of several foreign policy trips scheduled to further diplomacy abroad with key global partners as well as international audiences in key regions of the world, and due to the fact that significant time was lost, it was imperative to carry forward the foreign policy messages by connecting SecState with as many audiences as possible," said the contract.

"Timing was of essence as this was a matter of days before SecState's departure," added the contract.

State said that the interactive interview, in which Clinton took questions from participants in Australia, Britain, Colombia, Japan, India and Nigeria, was required "to engage the secretary directly with the international and domestic publics on foreign policy issues and allow the audiences to have their questions answered directly by the secretary on current foreign policy 'hot button' issues."

Washington-based FaceTime Strategy won sole source contract. State has worked with FaceTime before and felt confident they could pull off the event.