WASHINGTON - One of US President Barack Obama's closest aides was paid
$100,000 by a company doing business with Iran just before joining the
White House staff, The Washington Post reported on Monday, raising
awkward election-year questions for the Democrat trying to get tough
White House senior adviser David Plouffe received the speaking fee from
Africa's biggest wireless phone operator, MTN Group, for two speeches he
made in Nigeria in December 2010, the company and administration
Plouffe listed it with many others on his official financial disclosures
after he joined the White House in January 2011. An MTN subsidiary is a
major shareholder in Irancell, a major government-connected
telecommunications operator in Iran.
While there has been no suggestion that Plouffe violated any law or
regulation, the appearance has already exposed the White House to attack
from Republican opponents.
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