Mogul Bing Foots Bill for Clinton Mission

Longtime pal donated use of jet, plus $200K for fuel, other costs
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2009 4:00 PM CDT
Former Vice President Al gore, center, hugs Laura Ling as Gore and Ling are joined by former President Bill Clinton, left, and Euna Lee, right, at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Wealthy Hollywood insider, Democratic donor, and Clinton family friend Steve Bing is footing the bill for the trip to North Korea that brought back two jailed American journalists, ABC News reports. Bill Clinton flew on Bing’s private jet, and the mogul will pony up about $200,000 for fuel, communications, and incidentals. The jet stopped at three US military bases along the way, and they will be sending bills.

“There's a very large team at Avjet team involved in all categories, from maintenance operations, to scheduling to fuel,” says the charter company that operates Bing’s jet. “It was very much an involved process.” Dow Chemical also chipped in, flying Clinton to Bing’s Burbank airport. The company says it is “grateful that Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee are back home safely and we were honored to contribute to President Clinton's humanitarian mission to obtain their release.”