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President-elect Barack Obama on Monday announced Sen. Hillary Clinton as his pick for secretary of state, calling her an "American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence."
The President-elect presented retired Marine General James Jones as White House national security adviser, former Justice Department Eric Holder as attorney general and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano as secretary of homeland security.
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Obama's transition team was given access to Bill Clinton's finances and post-presidential dealings, sources said. As part of the early vetting process, the team looked for any negative information that could jeopardize the prospect of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
A particular issue of concern, observers said, was the donor list of Bill Clinton's global foundation, which might show connections to international figures who push policies that could conflict with those of the new Obama administration.
Since exiting the Oval Office eight years ago, Clinton has reportedly raised more than $500 million for the foundation, a significant portion of which financed the construction of his presidential library. The foundation has also doled out millions for AIDS relief in Africa and other charitable causes around the world.
Amid repeated criticism from Sen. Clinton's primary opponents, Bill Clinton would not reveal the extent of the foundation's donor list earlier this year. But The New York Times has reported the list includes some foreign governments, including members of the Saudi royal family, the king of Morocco, a fund connected to the United Arab Emirates, and the governments of Kuwait and Qatar.