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Posted at 03:13 PM ET, 04/29/2013

Lasry drops out of running for ambassadorship

(State Department Photo)
Marc Lasry, a Manhattan mega-bundler and contributor to President Obama — and before that to former President Bill Clinton — dropped out of the running last week for that fine ambassadorship in Paris.

Reuters was the first to report that the billionaire hedge fund head was withdrawing for business reasons. Lasry had never been nominated for the job, though the prospect had been rumored for months, including in this column back in January. Clinton said at a fundraiser last month that Lasry was the pick for the post.

But the New York Post, citing unidentified “sources,” reported Friday that the withdrawal was the result of his possible ties to an “alleged Russian mob-run poker ring that was laundering money through a Carlyle hotel art gallery.”

“It’s not that he’s committed a crime,” a source told the Post, “but it opens a can of worms” in terms of getting the nomination confirmed.

“Marc plays poker,” a person familiar with the situation told us. And ”everyone in those high stakes games,” including some well-known Hollywood types, “was just as surprised as he was that the organizers had violated the law.” Lasry “has not been contacted by anyone” investigating the matter, we were told.

By  |  03:13 PM ET, 04/29/2013

Tags:  transition, Washingtonintransition

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