Obama donor discussed solar loan with White House

November 9, 2011 - 3:35 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emails released by a House committee appear to show that a major donor to President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign discussed with White House officials a federal loan to a failed California solar company.

That's despite repeated assurances by Obama administration officials that the donor, George Kaiser, didn't discuss the loan with the White House.

The emails show that Kaiser, an Oklahoma billionaire, called the failed company, Solyndra Inc., a White House "poster child" on renewable energy. Solyndra received a $528 million loan from the Energy Department before it declared bankruptcy.

The emails were from Kaiser to an associate. It was not clear whether the emails also went to the White House, although they were obtained by the House committee through a subpoena of White House documents.

A White House spokesman acknowledged that while the emails suggest that Kaiser discussed Solyndra with the White House, the White House did not intervene in the loan, which was approved by the Energy Department.