The vast, nonprofit charitable organization run by Bill and Hillary Clinton, known as The Clinton Foundation, has become a source of questions heading into 2016. The organization, which does many good things around the world, takes in millions of dollars from individuals and many foreign governments. As a result, some are asking whether this creates a conflict of interest for Hillary as she seeks the presidency.

Report from the StarTribune:

The foundation launched by former President Bill Clinton more than a decade ago has battled HIV and AIDS in Africa, educated millions of children and fed the poor and hungry around the globe. It also has the potential to become a political risk for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she moves toward a second presidential campaign.

The former secretary of state has struggled with some recent bad headlines over large donations given to the foundation by foreign governments in the past two years, and the $200 million-plus the organization has raised since 2013, ahead of her anticipated White House campaign.

Republicans contend that foreign governments donating to a foundation led by a potential U.S. president creates unacceptable conflicts of interests. Also, the involvement of big money reinforces a long-standing narrative pushed by the GOP of the Clintons as a couple who frequently mix business and politics.

“Unless Hillary Clinton immediately reinstates the ban on foreign countries giving to her foundation and returns the millions of dollars these governments have already donated, she’s setting an incredibly dangerous precedent,” said the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus. “The American people are not about to elect a president in Hillary Clinton who could expose them to the demands of foreign governments because they dumped massive sums of cash into her foundation.”

The foundation, which is scheduled to hold events in Morocco and Greece this spring, defended its financial support and addressed how it might function if Clinton runs for president. If she seeks office again, something taken as a given by most, the foundation said it would ensure its policies and practices are “appropriate, just as we did when she served as secretary of state.”

Some are making quite a big deal out of this, and it might very well be an issue, but I actually don’t think it is something that will preclude her candidacy. As stated, Hillary was Secretary of State while the foundation was operating normally so I don’t see a reason to think they won’t do the same if she announces a presidential run.

This sounds like a story that will not make it much further than the outer loop of the 495 beltway since it will seem like a weak political reach of her opponents. There certainly could appear to be the potential for impropriety if the Clinton Foundation is beholden to foreign governments for untold millions in support. However, will this really become a campaign issue that could turn voters against Hillary? Surely they must be well-aware of her national and international connections after a couple decades in positions of power.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I think Hillary will find her own unique way to lose the nomination. This ain’t it. This is idiocy that should embarrass anyone who tries to make it an issue.

  2. The sad part is it will be swept away with a back of the hand dismissal by the MSM as unimportant. While if Scott Walker did this they would be asking anyone associated with the GOP down to the mail room boy for a comment and for him to refute it. MSM and the DNC has had no qualms about associating the Bush’s with the Saudi royal family in a negative way for the past 35 years however.

  3. December 18, 2008; 11:05 AM ET (washingtonpost.com) “The donations from foreign governments, celebrities and other philanthropists, which had been anonymous for more than a decade, were disclosed today as part of an accord reached with President-elect Barack Obama that enables Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, to become secretary of state. Nearly 90 percent of the Clinton Foundation’s gifts are valued at $250 or below, with 12,000 people giving $10 or less. The median gift amount is $45.
    The largest donations, more than $25 million each, came from two donors: the London-based Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and UNITAID, an international drug purchase organization that provides care for AIDS and malaria patients and was formed by Brazil, Britain,Chile, France and Norway.
    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Australian government’s overseas aid program and a
    Dominican Republic government agency that fights AIDS each gave between $10 million and $25 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation, which funds efforts to reduce poverty and improve global health.
    Other noteworthy donors include: Los Angeles entertainment producer Stephen L. Bing, who gave between $10 million and $15 million, and actress Barbra Streisand’s charitable foundation, which gave between $1 million and $5 million.
    The William J Clinton foundation has no legal requirement to identify its contributors, but the former president agreed to make the names public to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest”.

    Under current law, there are no restrictions on fundraising or the amount that can be given to presidental libraries. It is known that Saudi Arabia gave the same dollar amount to the Clinton Library as it gave the George H W Bush Library. Former President George W Bush will not disclose the amount of Saudi’s gift to his library. In fact, he will not disclose the name of any donor.

  4. For anyone to believe that *The Clinton Foundation* is anything but a scam which enriches the Clintons directly, and fills their political coffers, too, …while some small portion only, goes to good causes…would be idiotic.

    When did the Clintons care about anyone but themselves…?! After leaving the White House Hillary stole Historical furniture and artifacts from it….and when caught, later returned some portions of her theft:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856

    Hillary is done…way too much dirty laundry…and nowhere to hide it anymore — even if she destroys all her personal emails as Sec of State!

  5. From: Congressional
    Research Service for Congress

    Because of the considerations relating to the conduct of their offices, including those of
    protocol or etiquette, the President and the Vice President may accept any gift on his own behalf or on behalf of any family member, provided that such acceptance does not violate §2635.202(c)(1) or (2), 18 U.S.C. §201(b) or
    201(c)(3), or the Constitution of the United States
    *****
    The park service handles permanent donations to the president. Personal gifts to the president and his family are recorded separately through the White House gift office. The items in question a sofa, a rug and a kitchen table with chairs – (value 28,000.) was on both lists. Statement of Betty
    Monkman, the White House curator. No historical artifacts were taken.
    *****
    If you would enjoy seeing very beautiful, very expensive gifts personally given to President Bush and his wife Laura, that are on loan to the Bush Library, come to Dallas, Texas and take a look.

  6. *Clintons Stealing White House Property* — from the liberal LA Times!

    excerpt: ” President Clinton and his wife started shipping White House furniture to the Clintons’ newly purchased home in New York more than a year ago, despite questions at the time by the White House chief usher about whether they were entitled to remove the items….”

    LOL — the Clintons are thieves, and their “Foundation” is nothing but a scam to enrich themselves!

    The moment they had to leave the White House, Hillary had moving vans lined up removing historical furniture (where our Founding Fathers slept and used) hauling such irreplaceables to their new home in NY!

    Once a thief — always a thief!

    Instead of being jailed for her non-stop travesties, Hillary dares to run for President — how sick and wrong is that there is no Prosecution for the high-and-mighty politicians…only the common citizens get the full brunt of the “Law”!

    http://articles.latimes.com/2001/feb/10/news/mn-23723

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