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This is an excellent article about the time Secretary Chao spent in private meetings from 02/17-03/18, but I’m going to dig a little more deeply into the individuals she met with or called, according to her FOIA’ed schedule. (1)

It may be useful to keep this in mind. (2)…
Here’s the link to the schedule. Threads are painful enough without screenshots, so I’ll simply reference dates. I may come back to expound on an entry, and please feel free to do the same.

I’ve only made it through 8/17 so far, but it’s a start. (3)
February 22, 2017: Meeting with Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai (in the Secretary’s office). (4)
February 27, 2017: Meeting with Thomas Crowley, Jr. of Crowley Maritime Corporation.

(See Crowley Maritime and China.) (5)
March 3, 2017: Call with Ken Duberstein.

Duberstein is the former Reagan Chief of Staff whose firm was hired to lobby against the Magnitsky Act. (6)
March 6, 2017: Lunch with Richard Blum, president of Blum Capital and Senator Feinstein’s husband. (See: Richard Blum and China.) (7)
March 12, 2017: Call with Z. Ojakli. A lobbyist for Ford at the time, he’s now with SoftBank. (8)
March 14, 2017: Call with Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. (9)
March 14, 2017: Meeting with Doug Peterson, CEO of S&P Global. (See: S&P Global and China) (10)
March 20, 2017: Meeting with Ken Mehlman and Raj Agrawal from KKR (See: KKR and China) (11)
March 23, 2017: Lunch, in the Secretary’s conference room, with News Corporation director, Jose Maria Aznar. (12)
March 28, 2017: Interviews with Chinese media outlets Phoenix TV, People’s Daily, Sinovision, Sing Tao Daily, China Daily, CCTV, Xinhua, and China Press. (13)
April 3, 2017: Presentation of Commandeur des Arts et Lettres to (Blackstone’s) Stephen Schwarzman, at the residence of the French Ambassador. (14)
April 4, 2017: A busy day.
1. Steve Schwarzman/Partnership for NYC (White House).
2. National Security Council principals meeting, re: U.S./China Dialogue (WH Situation Room).
3. Coffee with Ivanka Kushner. (15)
April 6, 2017: Ivanka is granted Chinese trademarks, but I’m digressing here...
April 7, 2017: Lunch with Susan Molinari, Google’s VP of Public Policy and Governmental Relations. (17)
April 18, 2017: Americans for Tax Reform policy dinner (ATR’s office). (18)
May 1, 2017: Another busy day.
1. Meeting with GOP pollster, Frank Luntz.
2. Meeting with Mike Burke, AECOM. (See: AECOM and China)
3. Meeting with Qi Bin, EVP of China Investment Corporation (CIC).

CIC’s history with the Chao family will get its own thread. Moving on... (19)
May 2, 2017: Meeting with Stephen Schwarzman; also “Tom Barrack dinner.” (20)
May 10, 2017: Meeting with Jeff Blau, Related Companies. (See Related Companies and China) (21)
May 19, 2017: “Harry Cipriani and Steve Roth,” Vornado Realty and Trust. (See: Vornado and Kushner Cos) (22)
May 24, 2017: Call with Steve Roth (Vornado). (23)
June 1, 2017: Call with Ken Duberstein (anti-Magnitsky Act lobbyist). (24)
June 7, 2017: “S.W. Choi, SK Companies. (See: SK and China) (25)
June 15, 2017: Call with Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. (See: Stephens Inc. and China (26)
July 11, 2017: Call with Richard Lefrak and Steven Roth (Vornado). (See Richard Lefrak and China) (27)
July 20, 2017: Interviews with the following Chinese media outlets: CCTV, Phoenix TV, Shanghai Media, Xinhua, China Daily, Sinovisin, Sing Tao, and China Press. (28)
August 2, 2017: Drinks and dinner with Hilary and Wilbur Ross, in celebration of Larry Kudlow’s latest book. (29)
That’s all for now; I’ll dig into the remainder of the schedule later.

A lot of familiar names here. Feel free to add whatever you have.
I missed one:

May 23, 2017: Meeting with GOP pollster, Frank Luntz; Secretary Chao’s second meeting with Luntz in 22 days.…
Noteworthy here that Kushner’s private meetings with Ambassador Cui raised red flags among “some government officials.”…
I admire and respect Senator Feinstein, but fair is fair.
What if, despite evidence to the contrary, Elaine Chao’s purpose for being in office isn’t simply to facilitate China-based financial opportunities for her friends and family? Look at her history as a Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow, a Federalist Society advisor...
...and as a Wells Fargo director, a News Corporation director, and see her history with Americans for Tax Reform: All of these organizations hate that American tax dollars are used to the benefit of all Americans through social services—and transportation infrastructure.
It seems plausible that Chao was appointed toward ensuring as little tax outlay as possible is fed into programs under her cognizance as Secretary. This is no different than the charters DeVos, Ross, and Mnuchin appear to be operating under.
Who would’ve been a better pick to hustle foreign funding for American projects, really?
And no—I’m not remotely suggesting that this is a good thing. What I’m saying is that Elaine Chao is the perfect appointee for organizations and Members of Congress who appear to have forgotten Article I, Section 8.
That foreign infrastructure funding positions the American public further into debt is a huge point that’s apparently way over the heads of those who support the current administration and its goals.
(The End, for now.)
I’m back, and I’m going to slowly work my way through Secretary Chao’s August 2017 through March 2018 schedule.

August 7, 2017: Meeting with Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures. (30)…
Coincidentally, Chao’s meeting with Khosla occurred shortly after his firm and her brother in law’s firm, Breyer Capital, invested in a $65M round for Kushner brothers’ Cadre. (31)
August 8, 2017: Lunch with Peter Thiel of Thiel Capital. Peter Thiel was an early Facebook investor, as was Elaine Chao’s brother in law, Jim Breyer. (32)

Thiel, Breyer, Stephen Schwarzman, and Oleg Deripaska were featured in the press releases for the 2015 China Development Forum. (33)…
Both Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer were featured at last October’s Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh. (34)…
August 7, 2017: Meeting with Sequoia Capital. (35)…
August 2, 2017: Meeting with former congressman, Jack Kingston.


August 4, 2017: Another call with Google government relations VP, Susan Molinari. (37)…
August 10, 2017: Another call with Richard LeFrak of Vornado. (38)…
September 1, 2017: Call with former senator, David Karnes of The Fairmont Group.

Karnes would later be appointed to an FAA advisory committee. (39)…
September 8, 2017: Call with Carl Icahn. (40)…
September 12, 2017: Private dinner hosted by Brian Moynihan, Bank of America CEO. (41)

Before I forget, here’s a little more on frequent caller, Richard LeFrak. (42)…
September 14, 2017: Meeting with Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Capital. (43)
September 18, 2017:

-Meeting with Jose Maria Aznar.
-Meeting with Alvaro Uribe Velez.

Both Uribe and Aznar are News Corporation directors, and this was Secretary Chao’s second meeting with Aznar in six months. (44)
September 20, 2017: Meeting with Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Hamdan, Saudi Arabia’s then-Minister of Transportation. (45)

September 28, 2017: “Greeting (China’s) Vice Premier Liu (Yandong) and delgation.”

More on Secretary Chao and her history with Vice Premier Liu, the former head of the United Front Work Department:
Interesting information regarding the PRC-backed Confucius Institutes that Secretary Chao and former Vice Premier Liu support. (48)
Coincidentally, a schedule entry for January 15, 2018 is “Confucius Video Review, residence.” (49)…
This just popped up in my feed. Seems an opportune time to mention that Chinese-American real estate transactions aren’t subject to tariffs. (50)
In case you find it odd that neither Mitch McConnell nor Secretary Chao seem to have much of an opinion on tariffs, consider that their friends and family with Chinese business connections aren’t shipping goods—they’re engaged in real estate- and technology-related funding. (51)
I swear I’m gonna finish this thing tonight.

October 4, 2017: Dinner in honor of Saudi Ambassador, Prince Khaled bin Salman. (52)
October 14, 2017: Chinese Institute of Engineers (CEI), HNA Palisades Premier Conference Center. (53)
October 18, 2017: “FIAA (Fidelity International Investment Advisors) October 2017 Meeting, Fidelity office.”

Secretary Chao was a director for Protective Life Insurance from 2011-2015. Her relationship with Fidelity isn’t clear. (54)…
October 24, 2017: Meeting with UAE Ambassador, Yousef al-Otaiba. (55)

Secretary Chao’s friend (and the chairman of the corporation whose board her brother in law sits on) Stephen Schwarzman, meeting with al-Otaiba’s boss while serving on a Trump advisory council:
Secretary Chao’s brother in law is a Gold Patron of the “Academy of Achievement.” Al-Otaiba, David Bonderman, Francine LeFrak, and Stephen Schwarzman are Patrons. (57)
October 30, 2017: “Call with Secretary Condi Rice.” (58)
November 7, 2017: Meeting with Tom Wilson, CEO Allstate Insurance.

I thought the Secretary was finished with the insurance business? (59)
November 17, 2017: “Call with Steve Schwarzman.”

Note: Schwarzman was no longer a member of any Trump advisory council at this point in time, although he did watch the 2018 midterm results at the White House one year later. (60)
(The date in the above tweet’s incorrect; it should read “November 14, 2017.”)

November 16, 2017: “Federalist Society 2017 Antonin Scalia Memorial Dinner.” The Secretary was a longtime Federalist Society advisor. (62)…
November 29, 2017: Lunch with Ma Jing and Sheryl Gao of China Global Television Network.

Why a private lunch with employees of a People’s Republic of China-operated media organization—one of whom was recalled to China over security concerns? (63)…
December 12, 2017: Meeting with The Related Companies; the Secretary’s second meeting with this corporation in eight months.

Within the article: “Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo are putting together a five-year ($2.5B) mortgage...”
Secretary Chao’s meetings with The Related Companies are especially intriguing for me, as her sister, Angela Chao—Blackstone director Jim Breyer’s wife—is a Bank of China independent director. (65)
January 12, 2018: The Secretary’s second lunch with Richard Blum of Blum Capital in eight months.

A few of Blum’s holdings; note the top line. (66)
January 15, 2018: “Confucius video review, residence.”

This may or may not refer to Confucius Institutes, which I covered earlier. (67)… January 18, 2018: Meeting with Doug Peterson, S&P Global (their second meeting during Secretary Chao’s first year in office). (68)

January 21, 2018: Oddly missing from her schedule is Secretary Chao’s private dinner with Justice Gorsuch, Judiciary Committee member Cornyn, Senator Alexander, and “other Senate colleagues.” (69)…
January 24, 2018: “Tea with Jack Ma.”

Secretary Chao’s brother in law is an acquaintance, and—like Ma—has investments in the Chinese AI space. (70)
Back to January 21st, and the Secretary’s dinner with Gorsuch at John Cornyn’s. Recalling reports that Justice Kennedy’s retirement was known by some for months before his public announcement, my read on what’s public in the schedule is that the Secretary ramped up calls... (71)
...with Senators (Judiciary Committee member Grassley, Nelson, Rubio, Manchin, Graham, Collins, Shelby, Heller, etc.) over the month and a half that followed. (72)
March 16, 2018: Call with Kent Thiry, Davita. (73)… March 26, 2018: Lunch with Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Fox News President Jay Wallace.

Some Cabinet members meet media personalities for interviews; Secretary Chao meets with their leadership. (74)
If you’re keeping track, that’s two meetings with News Corporation directors; lunch with two Fox News leaders; lunch with two representatives of a party-controlled Chinese media organization; and two days of interviews with Chinese media affiliates. (75)
I forgot this one:

February 15, 2018: “Dinner with Jared and Ivanka Kushner” (their second). Recall that the Secretary’s brother in law is a Cadre and Oscar investor. (76)…
March 27, 2018: Call with Donald Tang. (77)
March 28, 2018: TIGER Project event with Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. The Secretary also scheduled a call with Congresswoman Comstock on February 5. The reason I mention Congresswoman Comstock... (78) that Trump’s nominee to be Secretary Chao’s Assistant Secretary, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, omitted a donation to Comstock in her written nomination testimony. (79)
March 30, 2018: Call with former Senator Tom Daschle. (80)
And that’s the end of the schedule, but not the thread.

Here’s a list of many of the individuals who are annotated on the schedule as having spoken with or met with Secretary Chao during the covered period of February 2017-March 2018. (81)…
A few more things to touch on before I close this out...

Recall that Secretary Chao reortedly chose not to divest completely from Vulcan Materials after she resigned her directorship prior to her Senate confirmation. (82)…
I noticed today that the hedge fund managed by Secretary Chao’s brother in law, Jos Shaver—from which she divested $1M-$5M prior to her confirmation—reported adding ~$11M and ~$9M in Vulcan and Golar LNG holdings, respectively, in its February filing. (83)

This is the same fund that coincidentally shed $50M in Tesla (think “green”) holdings just prior to Trump’s Paris Agreement withdrawal speech. (84)

As to LNG...and Bank of China, and China Investment Corporation:
...and Golar LNG:
The link’s not working, so here’s a screenshot:
Lastly, a quick look at China Investment Corporation. Recall Secretary Chao’s meeting with the corporation’s EVP on May 1, 2017. (88)…
China Investment Corporations features prominently in deals that Secretary Chao is adjacent to, from a $43B deal with Bank of China (Angela Chao, Director) for Alaska LNG... (89)… her friend Stephen Schwarzman’s Blackstone... (90)… her friend Wilbur Ross’s Invesco. (91)
And that’s it.

I’m very curious to know more about the nature of Secretary Chao’s many meetings with investors—many of whom have financial connections to her friends and family members; with political operatives from both China and the U.S.; with News Corporation and... (92)
...Fox News leadership; and with Chinese state-controlled media representatives.

Update: Ken Duberstein, the lobbyist listed on Secretary Chao’s schedule for “calls” on March 3rd and June 1st of 2017, also happens to be on Boeing’s board of directors.
Duberstein’s end of year Lobbying Contribution Report lists a 7/25/17 donation to the “National Women’s Party,” with Secretary Chao and minority member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Tammy Baldwin as the “Honorees.”
Other “Honorees” for Duberstein’s 2017 contributions were Senate CST Committee member John Thune, Paul Ryan, Jeff Flake, John Barrasso, Dianne Feinstein (see “Blum Capital”), and Barbara Comstock.

Not the first mention of Barbara Comstock in the thread.

As a Congresswoman, Comstock was a member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
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