U.S. denies Clinton seeking to be World Bank chief

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, June 10, 2011 8:36 EDT
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WASHINGTON — Top US administration officials Thursday vehemently denied a report by the Reuters news agency that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in talks to become the next head of the World Bank.

“It’s 100 percent untrue, Reuters is wrong,” Philippe Reines, a close advisor to Clinton, told AFP.

“To be crystal clear,” he added in a second statement, “Secretary Clinton has not had any conversations with the president, the White House or anyone about moving to the World Bank.

“She has expressed absolutely no interest in the job. She would not take it if offered.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney also chipped in, saying: “The story is completely untrue.”

Reuters on Thursday reported that Clinton was in discussions with the White House to leave her job next year and take over as head of the World Bank, replacing Robert Zoellick should he leave at the end of his term in mid-2012.

An American has traditionally held the top job at the World Bank, and a source close to the global lender had earlier this week also indicated to AFP that the US was studying the possibility she could be a candidate.

“It’s a strong, serious hypothesis which they are working on,” the source, who was familiar with the matter but asked not to be named, had said.

“There have been lots of signals” for the past months, the source added, saying they were mainly coming from the US Department of the Treasury.

A Treasury spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the report, saying: “We wouldn’t comment.”

Clinton has publicly said on several occasions that she will step down as secretary of state at the end of the current administration, and speculation has swirled around her future plans.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
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