Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras contacted former U.S. president Bill Clinton before Greece’s July 2015 referendum on bailouts but only spoke to U.S. President Barack Obama afterward, a Greek government source told the Athens-Macedonian New Agency (ANA) on Thursday.
The source was responding to ANA questions about the revelations recently made by Wikileaks in the “Podesta e-mails” posted on October 7. These revealed that Obama’s office had reached out to Bill Clinton via John Podesta, Clinton’s former chief of staff, asking whether he might be able to persuade Tsipras to sign a bailout deal.
In the leaked e-mails John Podesta, who currently heads the Hillary Clinton campaign, is shown contacting Clinton’s office to ask whether the former president, referred to as WJC for Willian Jefferson Clinton, was willing and able to step in.
“i’m on a train and hard to talk by phone. White House asked me whether WJC had enough of a relationship with PM Tsipras to call him and counsel him to make a deal. Can you ask him whether that’s in the realm of possibility. If yes, I can talk to him after I’m off the train and explain their thinking and what they are hoping to accomplish. Thanks.”
Clinton’s office sent a message back indicating that Clinton was initially amenable but requesting additional information, including whether the same pressures would be applied to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.