Apparently a president asking a foreign leader for help in an upcoming election dates back to at least 2000, when former President Bill Clinton asked then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair for help resolving a dispute involving British Airways, USAIR and American Airlines.
As Tucker Carlson reported on Fox News, Clinton’s request came on February 8, 2000, as the political race was heating up and Clinton knew Vice President Al Gore would be running to succeed him.
The relevant portion of the conversation, as reflected in declassified documents from the Clinton Digital Library, followed a discussion the two men were having about Ireland. The exchange went like this:
Clinton: No. No. I think about this more than anything else, besides he screw-ups in the Middle East. Let me ask you something on a much more mundane issue. Yesterday, I met with some cabinet members and Rodney Slater said we put some more ideas down to resolve the airport dispute we have with British Airways, USAir and American Airlines. Would you take another look at that and see if we can get it done?
Blair: I’m not completely familiar with that.
Clinton: I know you’re up to your ears in other things but we’ve been dealing with this for years and it’s sort of a big deal here. Rodney told me he put some more stuff down on the table. In a political season, it would be big over here to get this open sore resolved. If you could have somebody take a look at it. I have never seen him more agitated about anything. He is just trying to get it resolved.
Blair: Sure, I will have a look. – READ MORE