March 23rd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Passport contractor exec is Obama supporter

Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.
Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly accessing the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Obama campaign, a source familiar with the firm said Saturday.

John Brennan, president of The Analysis Corporation (TAC), advises the Illinois Democrat on foreign policy and intelligence issues, the source said.

Brennan briefed the media on behalf of the campaign earlier this month. The executive is a former senior CIA official and former interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He contributed $2,300 to the Obama campaign in January.

When asked about the contribution, a State Department official told CNN's Zain Verjee, "We ethically awarded contacts. Political affiliation is not one of the factors that we check."

The department does not check the "personal activities of that nature of the officers of the corporation." Contracts are "competitively awarded," the official added.

On Friday, the department revealed that Obama's passport file was improperly accessed three times in 2008, and the passport files of the two other major presidential candidates - Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain - had also been breached.

Three contractors are accused in the wrongdoings, including the one who works for TAC, who was disciplined. That contractor accessed McCain's file in addition to Obama's. None of the contractors was identified.

The other two contractors, who worked for Stanley Inc., were fired. Stanley has had contracts with the department since 1992, and was recently awarded a $570 million contract to continue providing support for passport processing. Its CEO, Philip Nolan, contributed $1,000 to the Clinton campaign.

Stanley officials confirmed Friday that two of its employees had unauthorized access to Obama passport files. Both individuals were fired, according to a company statement.

"While this is a rare occurrence, we regret the unauthorized access of any individual's private information," the statement said.

The department official said the three contractors worked in three different offices in the Washington area that are involved in various functions. One office does consular work and visas on evenings, holidays, weekends and overnights; another office issues passports; the third office scans and files materials.

The source said there has been no problem "at all" in the past with the TAC employee, who has "extensive" experience. The worker has been at TAC for years, and during that time has always worked under a State Department contract.

Explaining that the department had "complimented" this person for work in the past, the source said the individual is considered a "terrific" employee, except for this one instance, which the source characterized as an "aberration."

The department asked TAC not to take any administrative action against the employee while the investigation is under way.

On Friday, the company released a statement saying it would fully cooperate with the federal probe. The source said TAC has told the employee to do the same.

Echoing the State Department spokesman Friday, this source said there is no indication the motivation was anything but idle curiosity.

The source said TAC first learned of its employee's actions Friday morning when it received a call from the State Department. In its statement, the firm confirmed that one of the contractors was an employee, and called it "an isolated incident."

The Washington Times - which first broke the story Thursday night that Obama's records had been improperly accessed - on Saturday reported that the State Department investigation is focusing on the TAC employee, and that the investigation by the department's Inspector General will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to determine if there was any political motive.

The department spokesman on Saturday said he would not comment on whether the
department was polygraphing employees in connection with the investigation.

Related: Watch Kate Bolduan on the passport breach developments

– CNN's Kate Bolduan and Zain Verjee

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Laura Charlotte NC

    Aren't we all surprised that Obama has a link to this. Typical politician, talk about lying and cheating.
    This guy is the KING.

    March 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. MCNEIL

    WOW I WONDER WHAT OBAMA HAS TO SAY NOW..IF THIS WAS CONNECTED TO THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN WE WOULD NEVER HEAR THE END OF THIS .SOMEONE PLEASE CHECK THIS THOROUGHLY .I BET THERE IS MORE TO COME...............ANDERSON WAS RIGHT ON

    March 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. Them Dems

    the CEO (obama supporter) was NOT the one who tinkered with his files.

    whoever did needs to be adequately punished

    March 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  4. Ms.B

    Sounds to me like this is another Clinton strategy trying to set Obama up. Hillary- do us all a favor and stop trying to make him look bad. It will never work.

    All you CLINTON supporters can't you see you are being manipulated. Hillary doesn't care about anyone but herself. She is not for "all" Americans. If she was, then she would have never started this negative campaigning that is dividing this party.

    You can't win so stop acting like Huckabee. UNITE DEMOCRATS

    We all are on the same team. Good LAWD!!

    March 22, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. barefootboy

    Kathleen, 1/2 of the democrats will not vote for Obama either. If the primaries were to be held again, he would already ruled out. The people have found out about him and do not trust him. I know of several that was for him 2 weeks ago that are now against him and some are black.

    March 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Obama = Politics as usual

    The plot thickens. Maybe Obama is the one spying on himself in order to access the records of McCain and Clinton. Obama = Politics as Usual. If you think he will change anything, think again. HE WILL NOT. He is a career politician nothing more.

    March 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. bk

    Maybe he will just give another speech and everyone will forget about it.

    March 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. MAB2

    LOL!!! Thisinept company is a donor and consultant to Obama's campaigh – that gave me a good laugh.

    There is still time, vote for Hillary!

    Here is a look at the path to the nomination:

    1 – Hillary is showing a big lead in PA (largest delegate pool remaining) and I believe can even extend it. The average of all the latest polls shows her with a lead of 16.6. And she has the Governor and most of the politicians on her side.

    2 – This week's North Carolina poll (2nd largest pool of delegates) showed that Hillary has pulled within 1 point (44 vs. 43). Plus Hillary's North Carolina campaign is being run by the same guy who led her to TX and CA victory!!!

    3 – Hillary is heavily favored in WV. Latest rasmussen poll from thsi week shows her leading by 28 points (55 vs. 27). I believe she is also endorsed by the governor.

    4 – Hillary is heavily favored in KY. The Rasmussen Markets have her outpacing Obama. Her stock is worth 84 vs. Obama at 20 which means folks significantly expect her to win.

    5 – In Indiana, Hillary now seems to be showing a possible lead over Obama. I haven't seen polls, but sccording to rasmussen Markets, She is leading 55 vs. 45 and that is a 10 point increase over the last week. Strong momentum! Also, she is endorsed by the ever popular Senator Evan Bayh.

    6 – Word on the street is that Hillary will be very strong in puerto rico due to her strong ties with Latinos. NY also has many folks from puerto rico so Clinton has a lot of ties to that community.

    7 – Hillary has been gaining ground in the daily national tracking polls. She is leading by 2 in the Rasmussen Poll..

    8 – Hillary is showing strongly in the head-to-head match-ups with McCain (many can be found on surveyusa.com and ealclearpolitics
    .
    SO.... Imagine this scenario

    Hillary wins PA
    Hillary wins IN
    Hillary wins NC
    Hillary wins WV
    Hillary wins KY
    Hillary wins Puerto Rico

    That will be momentum that Super Delegates can't ignore.

    March 22, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. Laura Charlotte NC

    Can anyone explain to me how these BO supporters keep finding a way to justify supporting him.
    Any other candidate would be ancient history by now with all these mini scandals.
    Must be some kind of brainwashing going on. Either that or they are really ignorant.

    March 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Dontbefoolish

    Besides, why would anyone want the Clintons in? Can you imagine. Hide your Interns Mons & Dads, the Clintons are back.(LOL)

    March 22, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Relax Joe

    The CEO runs the company and is the public face of the company. They set the policies for their company and thus with the big paycheck takes the heat.

    The CEO signs off on all policies. The CEO knows what's going on.

    March 22, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Um...what does this have to do with the underlings who snooped?

    Its been said 1000 times the mid and upper management was never even told about these events...so what does the OWNER'S political affiliation have to do with some interns snooping?

    Surprise: Every business owner has a political preference. So what? What is the point of this blog?

    March 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  13. Laura Charlotte NC

    Kathleen
    You've been brainwashed. Of course the Clinton's hired this man to become CEO of a company involved then forced him to become an advisor to Obama's campaign. Yeah that sounds logical!

    March 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. B.M.

    If you ask who is a true American, I'd say Obama. He loves his country and has respect for the highest, and most respected job-the White House! It was no one but the Clintons who released the Jerimiah Wright video,not McCain. That's the reason she has remained so silent. Why is everyone so afraid to talk about race? Is it because they are too ashame to admit that what Jerimiah said happens to be true. It is true, but it is what it is and I agreee that it should never have been said from the pulpit, but the Church was the foundation and the only place blacks could go to speak freely.Racism is not dead and will never go away as long as the same old people who harbor hatred are no longer in existence.The words of Jerimiah Wright are not the words of Obama ,nor are they are my words,but no one should not be held responsible for someone's else's actions or words. I don't share the same views of people of my color, but I am never going to throw them under the bus either. To be perfectly honest, I've received more favors from Whites than my own kind. I'm sure you want post this comment because its too positive and it appears that everyone wants to focus on the negative.

    March 22, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  15. Carol

    Just curious, wonder how the Obama family would have treated this story if Brennan had been a Clinton advisor. I am sure it would have been front page news.

    I am beginning to detect voters are seeing Obama as a whiner and Hillary as a fighter.......

    March 22, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. William Martin

    This is absolutely absurd! First the Obamaniacs blame a conspiracy on Sen. Clinton then it turns on them and they find a way to blame her anyway! What a scandal and idiotic statements on your parts! Shame on you Obamaniacs!

    March 22, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Sas

    Obama got busted and hopefully some arrest will be made.

    March 22, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Antonio, San Antonio TX

    Ms.B so you think hillary hired this guy to work for Obama to spy on him and everyone to do what?

    If this isn't brain washed i don't know what is? Wake up people your about to elect another GW into the white house in Obama

    March 22, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Terry

    where are hillary's taxes for the last 8 years? why is her campaign nearly broke? Is this an example of how she runs an organization? why has she lied about her foreign policy experience? what's the status of the Paul vs. Clinton campaign fraud case?

    March 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. s

    And it says in the article that the other company involved's CEO contributed $1000 to the Clintons...?

    Why is this buried in the article while the Obama connection makes a headline?

    Either way it is meaningless.

    March 22, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Laura Charlotte NC

    People, you have to understand how this works. of course the CEO did not do it. He covertly suggests that someone else do so, creating a diversion from the news of the day regarding the Rev. Wright.
    That's how politics works. Try to hide everything bad, take credit for anything good, and kick your opponents butt, no matter what.

    March 22, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. zap

    Without the black vote no democrate can be at pink house.If you white folks expect black to come out and vote for her you have someting else. Most people I talked will stay home if bilary are the nomination..Trust me

    March 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. charlotte

    Seems as if the CEO/Obama consultant didn't even fire his guy?

    March 22, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. kelly WI

    Don't forget Clinton had the f.b.i. files on the republicans. Remember Livingston? And who hired him? Hillary. Maybe most of you are to young to remember the Clinton years. remember WACO? Burned up a bunch of Americans. Yes, scandal from day one. We've had enough of their presidency.
    Why can't the dems ever put up someone with decency and integrity?
    My god, Polozi, Reid, Kerry, Gore, Dukasis. Sure shows the mind set of the dems electorate.
    The media always gush over the new guy without having checked him out first. Then the truths come out.
    I can't think of anythig "good" the Clintons did for any minority. They just pandered to them for the votes as they now they can't make it with out them. Of course they fell for it.
    Neither one of them is any good. And I don't want more of my money confiscated to pay for their failed social programs. I'd like to spend "my" money how I want. Look at your tax liability line. You want it doubled? Sorry about that but I saw it with Clinton and Carter.
    I don't want a Sharpton, Jackson, Wright, clone in the WH either.
    McCain 08

    March 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. Willie

    "Typical White Person" to be connected to the Obama campaign.

    March 22, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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