An executive vice president from the news publication The Hill contacted the office of former President Bill Clinton with an offer for Clinton to be financially compensated as part of a new video series for the outlet, according to a new report.
Typically, mainstream media outlets are prohibited from paying sources for interviews due to ethical concerns. Clinton’s office declined the offer from John Solomon, the executive vice president of digital video at The Hill, the Washington Post reported Friday.
Solomon told Clinton’s office that he was interested in having the video series explore a variety of topics in contemporary American politics and current events. The interviewer would be determined by both Solomon and Clinton’s team and would include six hours of interviews over the course of a 12-week series.
The series was inspired by the David Frost-Richard Nixon interviews from the 1970s. The series attracted attention in part because Nixon apologized to the American public for his actions related to the Watergate scandal.
Nixon was also paid $600,000 for the interviews and received a share of the profits. According to Solomon’s proposal, Clinton would receive a segment of the proceeds in addition to a sum described as “big money,” one source familiar with the proposal told the Post. Another claimed Solomon had considered compensating Clinton in the seven-figure range.
Payments could have been made either directly to Clinton or a project of the Clinton Foundation known as the Clinton Global Initiative.
Solomon, who previously worked at Circa, a general news site of the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, has since made appearances on Fox News criticizing the Clintons and also has written about the Uranium One controversy that occurred while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.
Solomon’s reporting claimed that the FBI has evidence that nuclear industry officials from Russia had been involved in bribery, kickbacks, extortion, and money laundering that benefited Russian President Vladimir Putin's atomic energy project expansion with the U.S. The report also verified that Russians sent millions of dollars to a Clinton charitable foundation from 2009 to 2013 while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.
Although the New York Times had covered the sale in 2015, Solomon’s reporting prompted the House Oversight Committee to launch an investigation regarding the deal.
Solomon joined The Hill in July 2017. Solomon did not respond requests for comment from the Washington Post.