Energy official praised Solyndra before FBI bust

Loans chief lauded ‘right direction’ of firm

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“I just want to help protect the president from anything that could result in negative or unfair press,” Mr. Westly wrote. “If it’s too late to change/postpone the meeting, the president should be careful about unrealistic/optimistic forecasts that could haunt him in the next 18 months if Solyndra hits the wall, files for bankruptcy, etc.”

In turn, White House officials contacted the Energy Department, which responded with what the memo calls a defense of Solyndra.

“Bottom line is that we believe the company is okay in the medium term, but will need some help of one kind or another down the road,” Rod O’Connor, chief of staff for the Energy Department, wrote to Ronald Klain, Mr. Biden’s then-chief of staff.

Mr. Klain nonetheless reported back to Ms. Jarrett, “Sounds like there are some risk factors here — but that’s true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit. It looks like it is OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.”

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