Bill and Hillary Clinton tried to bully a prestigious scholarship program into selecting Chelsea Clinton's then-boyfriend and then sought "payback" when they were resisted, according to a former top foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama.
The episode took place nearly 19 years ago but has fresh resonance after revelations last month of multimillion-dollar bribes paid by parents to get their children into elite colleges, including Stanford University, which Chelsea Clinton and her then-boyfriend Jeremy Kane attended. Among those recently implicated was Michelle Obama's former tennis coach.
Trina Vargo, a veteran U.S. adviser on Ireland, founded the George J. Mitchell Scholarship in 2000. It was named after the former senator who brokered the talks that led to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. Vargo said that Bill Clinton intervened in the first year of the scholarship, when Kane, whose 3.19 grade-point average was much weaker than those of the top candidates, had failed to make the final selection round.