Meghan Markle pays near £90,000 to Michelle Obama’s ex press chief sparking guess about political ambitions

The Duchess of Sussex attending a reception, hosted by the City of The Hague and the Dutch Ministry of Defence, celebrating the forthcoming Invictus Games, at Nations Home, Invictus Games Park (Zuiderpark), in The Hague. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Invictus. Photo credit should read: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

THE Duchess of Sussex paid almost £90,000 to Michelle Obama’s former press chief.

The cash, paid by the Archewell Foundation to Katie McCormick Lelyveld’s PR company, has sparked fresh speculation over Meghan’s political ambitions.

The Duchess of Sussex has sparked fresh speculation about political ambitions after paying £90,000 to Michelle Obama’s press chief

Katie McCormick Lelyveld was press secretary to Michelle Obama from 2007 to 2011 including when she served as First Lady

It follows our revelations of Meghan’s secret meeting with US presidential ­contender Gavin Newsom in 2020.

Ms Lelyveld served as former First Lady Mrs Obama’s press secretary from 2007 to 2011.

She has also been a PR for Hillary Clinton and former presidential candidate John Kerry, meaning she has deep ties to high-level Democrats.

According to the tax returns for Archewell, Prince Harry and Meghan’s charitable endeavour, it paid £89,000 to Ms Melyveld’s company KMLSA LLC in 2021.

The money was for “strategic support for social impact PR”.

The business boasts of its “decades of dynamic experience with influential leaders” and said it was the company that “global leaders turn to to navigate challenges with reputational, political, philanthropic, legal and financial lenses”.

In 2021 Meghan’s political activities included cold-calling US senators on their personal phones to press them over a law for paid family leave.

Senator Shelley Capito, a Republican, said at the time that she could not “figure out how she got my number”.

The same year Harry and Meghan made a high-profile visit to New York including stops at the 9/11 memorial and museum and went to the United Nations to press for greater vaccine equity.

While working with Mrs Obama, Ms Lelyveld travelled with her to 13 countries and earned warm praise from the former First Lady.

When Ms Lelyveld left the White House, Mrs Obama hailed her “intelligence, grace, quick wit, humour and friendship”.

Other politicians Meghan has cultivated include California governor Mr Newsom.

She and Harry held a video meeting with him in October 2020.

Among those who have called on Meghan to enter politics are Joe Biden’s sister Valerie Biden Owens, who said she would appeal to voters.

Meghan’s biographer and friend, Omid Scobie, has previously said that the ­former Suits actress “has her eyes set on the US presidency”.

A source said the Archewell payment was not linked to Ms Lelyveld’s professional political work but she was hired as an “experienced strategic adviser”.

Archewell declined to comment.

UNSPECIFIED - MARCH 27: In this screengrab, Michelle Obama presents the Social Justice Impact Award during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27, 2021. (Photo by NAACP via Getty Images)And the Obama link isn’t the first time Meghan has been making ties in US politics
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