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Bill Clinton helping Hillary's bid for State job

Published 19/11/2008

Rumours that Hillary Clinton was poised to become the next US secretary of state strengthened today with reports her husband and former president was actively helping her selection.

Bill Clinton has offered several concessions to help her get the job, sources inside president-elect Barack Obama's transition team said.

Mr Clinton has agreed to release the names of several major donors to his charitable foundation and will submit future foundation activities and paid speeches to a strict ethics review.

The sources said that Mr Clinton would step away from day-to-day responsibility for his foundation while his wife serves and would alert the State Department to his speaking schedule and any new sources of income.

Since Mrs Clinton has emerged as a top contender for the job currently held by Condoleezza Rice her husband's international business deals and the fundraising he has done for his foundation and presidential library have come under careful review by Mr Obama's transition team.

Mr Clinton had indicated earlier that he would be willing to significantly increase the transparency of those activities if it would boost the former first lady's chances of getting the job.

A team of lawyers is representing the Clintons in negotiations with Obama officials, in talks which have taken place this week at a law firm in Washington.

Sources said the vetting went smoothly and both Clintons had been fully co-operative with the process.

Mr Clinton's network of business deals and charitable endeavours became an issue during his wife's run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The former president has engaged in other deals that could complicate his wife's work with foreign governments as secretary of state. Records show he raised money for his foundation from the Saudi royal family, Kuwait, Brunei and the Embassy of Qatar, and from a Chinese internet company seeking information on Tibetan human rights activists.

Meanwhile other sources said Mr Obama's has offered the post of attorney general to Washington lawyer Eric Holder, who has accepted.

Holder has ``informally'' accepted the offer, pending completion of the vetting process.

Holder would be the nation's first black attorney general.

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