Thomason memo in D.C. spotlight

A memo sent by Hollywood producer Harry Thomason asking the Clinton administration to consider allowing his travel firm to bid for the White House press corps charter business is raising eyebrows in D.C.

Thomason, a close friend to President Clinton who produced a film of candidate Clinton shown at the Democratic National Convention, confirmed to the Washington Post Friday night that he sent the memo, which was written by an associate in Thomason’s TRM travel firm. TRM helped arrange charter flights for the Clinton presidential campaign.

Thomason denied to the Post that he was seeking business for his own company. “It just wasn’t worth the small amount of money,” he told the Post. Rather, Thomason claimed he wanted the White House press corps charter business opened up to competitive bidding.

Thomason sent the memo on May 10. Last week, the White House fired its seven-member travel staff after initiating an audit that it said uncovered “gross financial mismanagement.” The White House last week hired a firm headed by a distant cousin of President Clinton to head the travel office, but on Friday announced that American Express Travel Offices would handle the chores.

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