Clinton Foundation

Clinton Foundation Shuts Down Clinton Global Initiative

The Clinton Global Initiative is coming to an end, due to plans to lay off its last group of employees in the next few months, the New York Observer reports.

“Clinton partisans defended the organization’s charitable work, and dismissed claims that it served as a means for the Clintons to sell off access, market themselves on the paid speech circuit, and elevate their brand as Hillary Clinton campaigned for the presidency.”

“But as soon as Clinton lost the election, many of the criticisms directed toward the Clinton Foundation were reaffirmed. Foreign governments began pulling out of annual donations, signaling the organization’s clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work.”

Clinton Foundation Requested Invites at State Function

“A series of newly released State Department emails obtained by ABC News offers fresh insight on direct contact between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton’s inner circle while she was Secretary of State.”

“In one December 2010 email chain with Clinton’s closest aide Huma Abedin, then-top Clinton Foundation official Doug Band offers names for a State Department lunch with Chinese President Hu Jintao scheduled for January 2011. On the list were three executives from organizations that have donated millions to the Clinton Foundation: Bob McCann, the then-president of wealth management at UBS; Dr. Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation; and Hikmet Ersek, the CEO of Western Union.”

What Happens to the Clinton Foundation If Hillary Wins?

First Read: “Maybe the Clinton Foundation doesn’t have to close its doors if Hillary wins in November, but it will be unsustainable — for the Clintons and for the foundation — if it’s viewed as a conflict of interest. As former GOP Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) noted in 2009 during Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing to become secretary of state back, ‘The core of the problem is that foreign governments and entities may perceive the Clinton Foundation as a means to gain favor with the secretary of state. Although neither Senator Clinton nor President Clinton has a personal financial stake in the foundation, obviously its work benefits their legacy and their public service priorities.'”

“And as we found out, any safeguards that the Clintons and Foundation established to eliminate perceptions problems while Hillary was secretary of state didn’t exactly do the trick.”

Clinton Donors Also Big Backers of Foundation

“The Clinton Foundation saw a significant increase in donations this year from fundraisers who also have volunteered to steer at least $100,000 each to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“At least 14 of the fundraisers, called Hillblazers, donated to the foundation in the first half of 2015 and have cumulatively given between $22 million and $55 million since the organization started in 1999, according to a comparison of the foundation and campaign disclosures. At the end of 2014, those 14 fundraisers had given between $16 million and $38 million. Eight of these donors stepped up their foundation donations enough to be pushed into a higher bracket in the first six months.”

First Read: “No matter how much Team Clinton says that there is absolutely no relationship between donations to the Foundation and influence with a Clinton campaign/possible administration, these correlations just highlight that, if there was even a whiff of possibility for gaining additional influence through donations, donors certainly didn’t want to risk missing out on it.”

How the Clintons Built a $2 Billion Global Empire

Washington Post: “Today, the Clinton Foundation is unlike anything else in the history of the nation and, perhaps, the world: It is a global philanthropic empire run by a former U.S. president and closely affiliated with a potential future president, with the audacious goal of solving some of the world’s most vexing problems by bringing together the wealthiest, glitziest and most powerful people from every part of the planet.”

“The evolution of the foundation, which began as a modest nonprofit focused largely on the ex-president’s library in Arkansas, is a nearly perfect reflection of the Clintons themselves. It was not designed as a master plan, but rather has grown, one brainstorm at a time, in accordance with the ambitious, loyal, restless and, often, scattered nature of its primary namesake… In the middle of it all is Bill Clinton, a new kind of post-presidential celebrity: a convener who wrangles rich people’s money for poor people’s problems. In the process, the foundation elevates the wealthy by giving them entrée to one of the nation’s most prominent political families.”

Clintons Paid Blumenthal $10K a Month

“Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, earned about $10,000 a month as a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Politico reports.

“Blumenthal was added to the payroll of the Clintons’ global philanthropy in 2009 — not long after advising Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — at the behest of former president Bill Clinton, for whom he had worked in the White House, say the sources.”

McCain Criticizes University Donation to Clinton Foundation

“Arizona State University gave $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation last year, money school officials say represents its investment in the Clinton Global Initiative University event it hosted in 2014,” the Arizona Republic reports.

“While ASU maintains the event provided big benefits for students, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said it wasn’t worth the university spending half a million dollars. McCain participated in a panel discussion moderated by Bill Clinton as part of the event.”

Said McCain: “Frankly, if I had known that that was the situation, that they were being paid $500,000, I would have spoken up at the time that I thought it was outrageous.”

New Clinton Speech Disclosures Show Foundation’s Take

The Clinton Foundation “released a list of nearly 100 paid speeches given by Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton for which the foundation accepted the fees, shedding light on talks that brought in as much as $26 million for the family philanthropy,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Nearly a third of the speeches were given at colleges and universities, which could revive criticism of the Clintons for accepting payments—even on their foundation’s behalf—from schools that have been hard-pressed to keep tuition costs down. Schools paid the foundation a total of between $2.8 million and $6.7 million for the Clintons’ speeches.”

Politico: “The release of appearances where fees went directly to the family charity offered no explanation for how the Clintons decided which speeches should go to the foundation and which to the Clintons’ own pockets.”

Stephanopoulos Signed $105 Million Contract

George Stephanopoulos renewed his contract with ABC last year for $105 million, the New York Post reports.

“The seven-year deal — which dwarfs the five-year, $50 million contract scored by since-suspended NBC rival Brian Williams — was supposed to keep Stephanopoulos in front of ABC’s cameras through 2021. But now his credibility, and future, have been called into question since he admitted Friday that he had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2011, just as the presidential race gears up with Hillary Rodham Clinton the leading Democrats.”

Media Companies Donated to Clinton Foundation

“NBC Universal, News Corporation, Turner Broadcasting and Thomson Reuters are among more than a dozen media organizations that have made charitable contributions to the Clinton Foundation in recent years,” Politico reports.

“The donations, which range from the low-thousands to the millions, provide a picture of the media industry’s ties to the Clinton Foundation at a time when one of its most notable personalities, George Stephanopoulos, is under scrutiny for his previously undisclosed $75,000 contribution.”

‘Clinton Cash’ Author Corrects Multiple Errors in Book

Politico: “In trying to defuse the potential damage of the buzzy book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and its allies seized on factual errors identified in author Peter Schweizer’s reporting.”

“Now, at least for Kindle eBook readers, those passages with errors have been deleted or edited in an updated version of the book.”

Clinton Foundation Funding Remains Elusive

The Clinton Foundation “has acknowledged that the government funding totals omitted from their tax returns cannot be found on their website either, despite the foundation’s acting chief executive officer earlier suggesting they were available there,” Reuters reports.

“The foundation’s acknowledgement means precise totals for government grants to the charity for the last three years of Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary of state have still not been publicly disclosed. All U.S. charities have to separately disclose each year how much they get in government funding, both domestic and foreign.”

Clinton Defends Donations to Foundation

Bill Clinton told NBC News he has “no regrets about taking millions in foreign cash for his foundation — even though the donations have caused a political headache for Hillary Clinton as she tries to follow him into the Oval Office.”

Said Clinton: “There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy.”

Bill Clinton’s Fundraising Threatens Wife’s Campaign

Joe Klein: “The bottom line is that the Clinton Global Initiative was used not only to do great works around the world but also to enrich the Clintons. No doubt, there was a lot of self-delusion going on.”

“One of the most damning charges, if it turns out to be true—and I’ve not seen it disputed—is that since he left the presidency, Bill Clinton gave 13 speeches for $500,000 or more. He gave 11 of them while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State. He was, and is, her closest adviser. You would have to assume a high-mindedness that surpasses all understanding to argue that these speeches, and the generosity of their funders, had not even a subliminal impact on the mind of the Secretary.”

“There is more than the appearance of impropriety here. There is the appearance of plutocracy. There is the reality of platinum–level membership in the society of the rich and self-righteous, whose predatory business practices can be forgiven because they “give back” gazillions—call them the egregiously charitable.”

Clinton Charity Never Provided Foreign Donor Data

“An unprecedented ethics promise that played a pivotal role in helping Hillary Clinton win confirmation as secretary of state, soothing senators’ concerns about conflicts of interests with Clinton family charities, was uniformly bypassed by the biggest of the philanthropies involved,” the Boston Globe reports.

Politico: “A handful of deep-pocketed donors are reconsidering their gifts to the $2 billion Clinton Foundation amid mounting questions about how it’s spending their money and suggestions of influence peddling, according to donors and others familiar with the foundation’s fundraising.”