POLITICS

Emails show Obama donor discussed Solyndra with WH

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Philip Klein

Newly obtained emails released by House investigators suggest that George Kaiser, a billionaire Obama donor and chief investor in bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, discussed the company with White House officials, directly contradicting earlier accounts.

In a letter to the White House, House Energy and Commerce committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich, and oversight panel chair Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., disclosed the emails including one from March 5, 2010 between Kaiser and Steve Mitchell, Kaiser’s venture capital firm Argonaut.

"BTW, a couple of weeks ago, when Ken and I were visiting with a group of Administration folks in DC who are in charge of the stimulus process (White House, not DOE) and Solyndra came up, every one of them responded simultaneously about their thorough knowledge of the Solyndra story, suggesting it was one of their prime poster children."

Yet both Kaiser and the White House previously denied Solyndra was ever discussed in any of his 17 visits to the White House.

Last month, ABC reported:

Kaiser has "said publically that Solyndra was not discussed at these meetings, and we have no reason to dispute that," the White House official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he had not been given approval to discuss the matter. "We understand that the conversations in these meetings were focused on the general policy priorities of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, including early childhood education and poverty, health care policy and energy policy."

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the Obama administration.

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