Montana GOP Candidate Owns Stake In Company Accused Of Paying Off ISIS
A Republican congressional candidate owns a stake in a French-Swiss cement company accused of making payments to the Islamic State militant group in Syria, according to financial disclosures HuffPost reviewed.
Greg Gianforte, the millionaire GOP contender for Montana’s open seat in the House, reported owning $47,066 worth of shares in LaFargeHolcim as recently as December in an individual retirement account at TWP, a brokerage firm and private wealth manager. He and his wife, Susan Gianforte, are listed as trustees on the account.
LaFargeHolcim operated a factory in the north Syrian town of Kobane for three years after civil war broke out and most foreign companies fled. The company evacuated foreign employees in 2012, but kept the business going with local workers until ISIS fighters seized the factory two years later. Payments made to local armed groups to secure the factory may have unwittingly ended up in ISIS coffers, the French newspaper Le Monde reported last year. CEO Eric Olsen resigned from the firm last month.
The revelation of Gianforte’s interest comes months after Republicans attacked 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for accepting a donation from the company to the Clinton Foundation worth between $50,000 and $100,000. In August, the campaign of then-GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump hammered its Democratic rival for her ties to the firm. Breitbart News, the conservative news site that Steve Bannon led until he became White House chief strategist, criticized Clinton for sitting on the board of directors for LaForgeHolcim’s North American division 25 years ago.
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