Chelsea Clinton Reportedly Called In Favor To State Department For Presidential Pollster Friend After Visa Denial

Tara West - Author
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Oct. 31 2016, Updated 8:49 a.m. ET

Campaign group Citizens United has been involved in lengthy litigation with the State Department which has resulted in the release of a number of emails sent to and from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the batch of emails released today, a string of emails suggest that Chelsea Clinton used her mother’s position of power at the State Department to help a friend who had his visa denied. Chelsea reportedly begged her mother and her tops aides for help on the matter, noting that his problem is “firmly in your world.” The friend is now a major pollster for the U.S. presidential election acting as editor-in-chief of YouGov.

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In a batch of emails released by Citizens United today, on page 117 of the document, an email is sent from Chelsea Clinton’s email alias Diane Reynolds to Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills. In the email, Chelsea begged her mother, then secretary of state, and the State Department for help after a British friend had his visa denied. Chelsea noted that her “distraught” friend had a “visa conundrum” and need their help.

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Though the friend’s name is redacted in the documents, the Daily Mail reveals that the friend in question is Freddie Sayers, a friend who attended Oxford with Chelsea. Sayers noted that the problems began after he attempted to get a visa to travel to and from the United States to work with YouGov, a marketing research firm based in the U.K. with offices around the world. He noted that he is launching YouGov America and needs to be able to travel between the United States and the U.K. so he thought a standard visa would be best. However, upon denial, he realized a visa waiver may have been a better option given he would not be staying in the United States for more than two months at a time.

Sayers questioned whether he would run into issues since he had a visa denial when attempting to exit and re-enter the United States on future dates. “Chels,” as Sayer’s refers to Clinton in the email, quickly forwarded the email and Sayer’s “story” to her secretary of state mother for advice. She noted that the matter is urgent and that any advice is appreciated.

Cheryl Mills responded by copying in Nora Toiv, then a special assistant to the counselor/chief of staff at the State Department. Toiv replied to Chelsea that she will “see what’s possible.” The outcome of the exchange and of Sayers’ visa application is not known; however, the issue has not prevented Sayers from his work here in the United States.

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In fact, Freddie Sayers is a prominent pollster for the United States presidential election working as editor-in-chief for YouGov, the research firm he mentioned to Chelsea in his initial visa request email. YouGov currently has Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by five points with the publication noting that little has changed in the U.S. election over the past few weeks.

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While Chelsea did note in her email that if nothing could be done she understands, many have claimed that the request itself was unprofessional given Hillary Clinton’s position as secretary of state.

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What do you think about Chelsea Clinton asking the State Department for help with a friend’s visa issue? Was it inappropriate or a basic request?

[Featured Image by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images]

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