This is an excellent article about the time Secretary Chao spent in private meetings from 02/17-03/18, but I’m going to dig a little more deeply into the individuals she met with or called, according to her FOIA’ed schedule. (1)
It may be useful to keep this in mind. (2)
Here’s the link to the schedule. Threads are painful enough without screenshots, so I’ll simply reference dates. I may come back to expound on an entry, and please feel free to do the same.
I’ve only made it through 8/17 so far, but it’s a start. (3)
(See Crowley Maritime and China.) (5)
Duberstein is the former Reagan Chief of Staff whose firm was hired to lobby against the Magnitsky Act. (6)
1. Steve Schwarzman/Partnership for NYC (White House).
2. National Security Council principals meeting, re: U.S./China Dialogue (WH Situation Room).
3. Coffee with Ivanka Kushner. (15)
1. Meeting with GOP pollster, Frank Luntz.
2. Meeting with Mike Burke, AECOM. (See: AECOM and China)
3. Meeting with Qi Bin, EVP of China Investment Corporation (CIC).
CIC’s history with the Chao family will get its own thread. Moving on... (19)
A lot of familiar names here. Feel free to add whatever you have.
May 23, 2017: Meeting with GOP pollster, Frank Luntz; Secretary Chao’s second meeting with Luntz in 22 days.
August 7, 2017: Meeting with Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures. (30)
Coincidentally, Chao’s meeting with Khosla occurred shortly after his firm and her brother in law’s firm, Breyer Capital, invested in a $65M round for Kushner brothers’ Cadre. (31)
Thiel, Breyer, Stephen Schwarzman, and Oleg Deripaska were featured in the press releases for the 2015 China Development Forum. (33)
Both Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer were featured at last October’s Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. (34)
August 7, 2017: Meeting with Sequoia Capital. (35)
Sequoia Capital China is teaming up with a state-owned venture capital (VC) fund and e-commerce powerhouse JD.com to raise up to 40 billion yuan ($5.81 billion) for a new investment firm to focus on...https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1KZ0FQ
August 2, 2017: Meeting with former congressman, Jack Kingston.
A former Republican congressman suggested that left-wing groups could exploit the grief and efforts of students who survived last week's shooting in Florida.https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/02/20/politics/jack-kingston-parkland-victims-cnntv/index.html
August 10, 2017: Another call with Richard LeFrak of Vornado. (38)
Infrastructure council members Steve Roth and Richard LeFrak talked about Trump's $1T plan at a panel hosted by Bloomberg and the Chinese chamber of commercehttps://www.google.com/amp/s/therealdeal.com/2017/04/25/lefrak-roth-dish-on-trumps-lofty-infrastructure-goals/amp/
September 1, 2017: Call with former senator, David Karnes of The Fairmont Group.
Karnes would later be appointed to an FAA advisory committee. (39)
September 8, 2017: Call with Carl Icahn. (40)
September 12, 2017: Private dinner hosted by Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO. (41)
Before I forget, here’s a little more on frequent caller, Richard LeFrak. (42)
September 14, 2017: Meeting with Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Capital. (43)
-Meeting with Jose Maria Aznar.
-Meeting with Alvaro Uribe Velez.
Both Uribe and Aznar are News Corporation directors, and this was Secretary Chao’s second meeting with Aznar in six months. (44)
September 28, 2017: “Greeting (China’s) Vice Premier Liu (Yandong) and delgation.”
More on Secretary Chao and her history with Vice Premier Liu, the former head of the United Front Work Department:
Interesting information regarding the PRC-backed Confucius Institutes that Secretary Chao and former Vice Premier Liu support. (48)
The tide may be turning for the Chinese government-funded centers of Chinese language and cultural education as universities grapple with calls from Washington to close the institutes down. Over pasthttps://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/09/colleges-move-close-chinese-government-funded-confucius-institutes-amid-increasing
This just popped up in my feed. Seems an opportune time to mention that Chinese-American real estate transactions aren’t subject to tariffs. (50)
Bank stocks led the Dow's decline on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve slashed its rate-hike outlook for 2019 to zero.https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/03/20/stock-market-us-stocks-focus-on-fed-rate-decision.html?__twitter_impression=true
October 4, 2017: Dinner in honor of Saudi Ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman. (52)
Secretary Chao was a director for Protective Life Insurance from 2011-2015. Her relationship with Fidelity isn’t clear. (54)
October 24, 2017: Meeting with UAE Ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba. (55)
Secretary Chao’s friend (and the chairman of the corporation whose board her brother in law sits on) Stephen Schwarzman, meeting with al-Otaiba’s boss while serving on a Trump advisory council:
Secretary Chao’s brother in law is a Gold Patron of the “Academy of Achievement.” Al-Otaiba, David Bonderman, Francine LeFrak, and Stephen Schwarzman are Patrons. (57)
I thought the Secretary was finished with the insurance business? (59)
Note: Schwarzman was no longer a member of any Trump advisory council at this point in time, although he did watch the 2018 midterm results at the White House one year later. (60)
November 16, 2017: “Federalist Society 2017 Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner.” The Secretary was a longtime Federalist Society advisor. (62)
November 29, 2017: Lunch with Ma Jing and Sheryl Gao of China Global Television Network.
Why a private lunch with employees of a People’s Republic of China-operated media organization—one of whom was recalled to China over security concerns? (63)
Pressed to explain its connections to Beijing, the American arm of China’s state broadcaster claimed independence. Now, key employees have been recalled to China.https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/business/china-state-tv-us.amp.html
December 12, 2017: Meeting with The Related Companies; the Secretary’s second meeting with this corporation in eight months.
Within the article: “Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo are putting together a five-year ($2.5B) mortgage...”
Related Companies is in advanced talks to secure a $2.5 billion financing package for 50 Hudson Yards, including a $1.8B construction loan and $700M in equity.https://www.google.com/amp/s/therealdeal.com/2017/05/11/related-nearing-deal-for-2-5b-financing-package-at-50-hudson-yards-sources/amp/
Secretary Chao’s meetings with The Related Companies are especially intriguing for me, as her sister, Angela Chao—Blackstone director Jim Breyer’s wife—is a Bank of China independent director. (65)
A few of Blum’s holdings; note the top line. (66)
This may or may not refer to Confucius Institutes, which I covered earlier. (67)
January 21, 2018: Oddly missing from her schedule is Secretary Chao’s private dinner with Justice Gorsuch, Judiciary Committee member Cornyn, Senator Alexander, and “other Senate colleagues.” (69)
January 24, 2018: “Tea with Jack Ma.”
Secretary Chao’s brother in law is an acquaintance, and—like Ma—has investments in the Chinese AI space. (70)
Some Cabinet members meet media personalities for interviews; Secretary Chao meets with their leadership. (74)
Suzanne Scott, the Fox News Channel programming boss who has been with FNC since it launched, has been named CEO of Fox News.https://www.google.com/amp/s/deadline.com/2018/05/fox-news-channel-suzanne-scott-new-ceo-jay-wallace-president-1202393099/amp/
February 15, 2018: “Dinner with Jared and Ivanka Kushner” (their second). Recall that the Secretary’s brother in law is a Cadre and Oscar investor. (76)
March 27, 2018: Call with Donald Tang. (77)
...is that Trump’s nominee to be Secretary Chao’s Assistant Secretary, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, omitted a donation to Comstock in her written nomination testimony. (79)
Here’s a list of many of the individuals who are annotated on the schedule as having spoken with or met with Secretary Chao during the covered period of February 2017-March 2018. (81)
A few more things to touch on before I close this out...
Recall that Secretary Chao reortedly chose not to divest completely from Vulcan Materials after she resigned her directorship prior to her Senate confirmation. (82)
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, a leader in the Trump administration's effort to inject $1 trillion into America's crumblinghttps://www.wunc.org/post/elaine-chao-champion-trumps-infrastructure-plan-chose-keep-stock-building-company
I noticed today that the hedge fund managed by Secretary Chao’s brother in law, Jos Shaver—from which she divested $1M-$5M prior to her confirmation—reported adding ~$11M and ~$9M in Vulcan and Golar LNG holdings, respectively, in its February filing. (83)
This is the same fund that coincidentally shed $50M in Tesla (think “green”) holdings just prior to Trump’s Paris Agreement withdrawal speech. (84)
As to LNG...and Bank of China, and China Investment Corporation:
...and Golar LNG:
China Investment Corporations features prominently in deals that Secretary Chao is adjacent to, from a $43B deal with Bank of China (Angela Chao, Director) for Alaska LNG... (89)
China's biggest state oil company Sinopec, one of the country's top banks and its sovereign wealth fund agreed on Thursday to develop a $43 billion natural gas project in Alaska, as the cash-poor...https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN1D90C1
...to her friend Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone... (90)
...to her friend Wilbur Ross’s Invesco. (91)
I’m very curious to know more about the nature of Secretary Chao’s many meetings with investors—many of whom have financial connections to her friends and family members; with political operatives from both China and the U.S.; with News Corporation and... (92)