Buttigieg calls on McKinsey to release him from NDA amid mounting scrutiny

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday urged McKinsey & Company, the famously secret international consulting firm where he worked for nearly three years, to release his list of clients at the company.

Buttigieg’s request for his former employer to release the list, or lift a nondisclosure agreement that he’s still bound by, comes amid a ProPublica report this week that McKinsey helped the Trump administration execute its crackdown on undocumented immigrants with “detention savings opportunites, including cuts in food and medical care for detainees, that made some of the agency’s staff uncomfortable." Buttigieg called McKinsey’s "decision to do what was reported" “disgusting.”

A campaign spokesperson told FOX Business that McKinsey has not agreed to release Buttigieg from his NDA nor to publish his client list. “We will continue to ask, and are eager to share more about his work soon,” the spokesperson said.

In an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio on Friday, Buttigieg said he believed that “McKinsey should release the client list of the clients that I served." Buttigieg worked at McKinsey from 2007 to 2010.


“I am calling on McKinsey to release that information. Maybe they’re not used to doing that, but they’re not used to having somebody who used to work there be seriously considered for the American presidency,” he said. “This information should come out, and I’m happy to speak to it when it does.”

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CNN/New York Times at Otterbein University, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Westerville, Ohio. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has faced mounting pressure from political rivals to be more transparent about his stint at McKinsey. On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren admonished Buttigieg to disclose the names of his consulting clients.

“I think that voters want to know about possible conflicts of interest,” Warren said.

His comments also came one day after The New York Times editorial board called on him to reveal more information about his time at McKinsey, either by the firm releasing him from his NDA or “at least to substitute a significantly more permissive agreement.”


Buttigieg hinted in his memoir that his work at McKinsey included studying prices for a Canadian grocer, “war-zone economic development” to help grow private sector employment in Iraq and Afghanistan and “energy efficiency research” intended to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

“My classroom was everywhere— a conference room, a serene corporate office, the break room of a retail store, a safe house in Iraq, or an air- plane seat— any place that could accommodate me and my laptop,” he wrote in “Shortest Way Home.”

McKinsey has also faced criticism for advising Purdue Pharma, a pharmaceutical company accused of fanning the flames of the opioid crisis, selling OxyContin and working with authoritarian governments in China, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

But Buttigieg has tried to distance himself from McKinsey and has said the company has changed from the one he knew.

“I don’t regret the work that I did there, because I did good work,” Buttigieg told reporters on his campaign bus in November. “I am upset about decisions that they made that I think are, first of all, wrong, and secondly, for anybody who has worked there, it’s upsetting to be associated with a company that went on and made those decisions.”