McKinsey Releases Pete Buttigieg From NDA, Allows Him To Disclose Clients

Democratic presidential candidate, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Nevada Democrats' "First in the West" event at Bellagio Resort & Casino on November 17, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has been facing scrutiny as his campaign continues to rise. Rival candidate Elizabeth Warren pressed the South Bend, Indiana, mayor to disclose his clients at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, which prompted Buttigieg to release a timeline of his work without a detailed list of these individuals. He pointed to a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) between him and the firm as the reason for not providing a complete client list, but now, it appears that the 37-year-old candidate is free to do so — according to Politico, McKinsey has released the mayor from his NDA.

“We recognize the unique circumstances presented by a presidential campaign,” a McKinsey spokesman said in a statement.

“After receiving permission from the relevant clients, we have informed Mr. Buttigieg that he may disclose the identity of the clients he served while at McKinsey from 2007 to 2010.”

Buttigieg’s campaign previously revealed that he worked with a “nonprofit health care provider” and an “environmental nonprofit,” and his description of his time at the firm was confirmed by McKinsey.

“We can further confirm that the clients Mr. Buttigieg described in his statement on Friday, December 6 are all of the clients he served during his time at McKinsey,” the spokesman said.

Buttigieg has also faced pressure from Warren to allow reporters into his closed-door fundraisers. Politico reported in a separate story that the rising Democratic star said Monday that he would do so. According to Mike Schmuhl, Buttigieg’s campaign manager, the presidential candidate is the only one to reveal the names of the people raising money for his campaign.

“Moreover, he will be one of the few candidates to allow reporters access to his fundraising events.”

The focus on Buttigieg’s work for McKinsey likely stems from the firm’s controversial reputation. Writing for Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson claims that McKinsey makes the news “almost every week” for a “new horrendous deed.” He went on to note some examples, including advising Purdue Pharma how to “supercharge” their OxyContin sales and “counseling dictators worldwide” on how to increase the efficiency of their autocracies. Robinson also pointed to the publication’s lengthy exposé of the firm’s crimes, which concluded that the firm is “capitalism distilled,” seeks profits at all costs, and sticks to solutions that “preserve the status quo.”

The attacks on Buttigieg began following a political ad that took aim at tuition-free college — a policy backed by both Warren and Bernie Sanders. In addition to Warren’s calls for the South Bend mayor’s transparency, Sanders’ Senior Campaign Adviser, Jeff Weaver, attacked the candidate, calling him the “same old product” and suggesting that voters are ready for a change.