First it’s important to point out, as does Mr. Mook, that the Clinton Foundation has literally saved the lives of tens of millions with their work.
The numbers and figures that often go unreported put the life-changing work of the Clinton Foundation in a context that matters. Today, for example, almost 10 million people in more than 70 countries have access to life-saving medicines through the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). In the U.S. 17 million children in more than 29,000 schools now have healthier food and more physical activity options. And through the Clinton Global Initiative, partners have made nearly 3,200 Commitments to Action that have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.
Because of its commitment to put resources to work, the impact of the Clinton Foundation extends far beyond lifesaving HIV treatments. In Ethiopia alone, where I lived for three years and started the Foundation’s country program, the Clinton Health Access Initiative has worked to prevent mother-to-child transmission to prevent new HIV infections and offer treatment for children. Today in Ethiopia, Clinton Foundation staff continue to work closely with the Ministry of Health on initiatives including a maternal and child health program to reduce mortality at birth, and the CHAI Vaccines program that prevents more than 50,000 deaths among children each year in partnering countries.
As even Newsmax reported, 89 percent of the money the Foundation takes in goes directly to the work they’re doing.
The independent philanthropy watchdog CharityWatch analyzed Foundation funding and concluded that about 89 percent of it went to charity — higher than the 75 percent considered the industry standard.
It’s also a fact that the Clintons, as shown by their tax returns and financial disclosure statements don’t take a salary from the Foundation, in fact they give millions of their own money into the Clinton Family Foundation, which is a different charity. So when people say they’ve used the Foundation to “get rich” they totally haven’t.
Mr. Mook mentions some of the above, but he doesn’t elaborate because Bash should already know all this, but quite obviously she doesn’t. He does point out that while George W. Bush was president, members of his family were a part of several foreign boards, specifically George H.W. Bush. He was a member of the Carlyle Group which had Saudi investors including members of the Bin Laden family. GHW Bush also ran the Points of Light Foundation while he was President. While Senator Bob Dole was running for president in 1996, his wife, Elizabeth Dole, was collecting a $200,000/year salary as head of the American Red Cross.
So what Bill Clinton is offering to do, stepping down from his own charity organization and ending his paid speeches which essentially kills his own personal revenue stream, is actually going far, far above and beyond what anyone has ever been expected to do in the past.
It is true that Saudi Arabia gave $10 million to the Foundation largely to help fund the Clinton Library (they also gave a similar amount to support the George W. Bush Presidential Library) but that they stopped giving anything while Clinton was Secretary of State. The Clinton Foundation lists its donors, which actually goes above and beyond legal requirements because charities don’t have to do that, but it doesn’t specify exactly when they gave in most cases, so many of the claims that they accepted foreign donations between 2008-2012 are not very well confirmed as noted by PolitiFact.
Working backward from the numbers we have in hand, it seems fairly certain that Saudi Arabia gave about $10 million in the early 2000s, well before Clinton became secretary. That number would grow in 2014, but it didn’t double. That would be a 100 percent increase, and the foundation said the 2014 amount was a small fraction of the total.
So we are left with the Saudis giving less than $25 million.
As a legal matter, Clinton was not a member of the foundation’s board until 2013, after she left the administration. She was a board member in 2014 when the Saudis gave again, but that amount would be much less than $10 million.
There were no Saudi donations while she was secretary.
Another example of this erroneous idea that the Clinton Foundation took “payoffs” from foreign governments includes the Russian Uranium Deal.
First, the State Department did approve of Russia’s gradual takeover of a company with significant U.S. uranium assets, but it didn’t act unilaterally. State was one of nine government agencies, not to mention independent federal and state nuclear regulators, that had to sign off on the deal.
Second, while nine people related to the company did donate to the Clinton Foundation, it’s unclear whether they were still involved in the company by the time of the Russian deal and stood to benefit from it.
Third, most of their Clinton Foundation donations occurred before and during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, before she could have known she would become secretary of state.
Oh, by the way, while Clinton was supposedly slipping the Russians a Uranium pick-me-up she also negotiated a new Start II Treaty to limit their and our nuclear arsenals—so yeah, there’s also that.
So in fact, the charge that the Foundation accepted “millions from foreign countries while she was Secretary of State” is largely bunk. She wasn’t a part of the Foundation at that time and they had an agreement not to take funds while she was, except from those who had already given and had projects in place. Many of these donations occurred either before or after she was Secretary of State.
The argument that the State Department aided a Lebanese billionaire who had been a Foundation donor is similarly bunk since the meeting he was asking for never happened.
[Ambassador] Feltman told CNN Wednesday that he never met with Chagoury.
"I have never met nor spoken with Mr Chagoury. I was not aware of the proposal that he speak to me until this email exchange was released, but in any case we never spoke," he said.
When it comes to the former Clinton staffer who had volunteered for the Foundation and was seeking a job at State, he wasn’t promised anything. All they said was they were already aware of him.
In one instance, top Clinton Foundation official Doug Band lobbied Clinton aides for a job for someone else in the State Department. In the email, Band tells Hillary Clinton's former aides at the department -- Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin -- that it is "important to take care of (redacted)." Band is reassured by Abedin that "Personnel has been sending him options."
So it wasn’t the case that Mills or Abedin did anything for him, that was already occurring and he wasn’t getting any treatment he wouldn’t have otherwise received. And Mills volunteering her own time to help people at the foundation hire a new person to run things isn’t against any ethics rules—it’s her giving of her own time using her own money to pay for the travel.
What the Clintons have promised to do if she becomes president goes far above even their previous agreement by not only blocking all foreign donations, but also any paid speeches by Bill. Hillary ended her public speeches before she began her presidential run and as a result their income declined from $29 million in 2014 to $10 million in 2015. Half of that in 2015 ($5.2 million) was solely from Bill Clinton’s public speeches, the other half is from his consulting services and their book royalties, which means that by making this new agreement since her run for president they've agreed to sacrifice about $24 million per year or 83 percent of their annual income.
So while Trump is screaming that the Clinton Foundation should be shut down and that a special prosecutor should be chosen to investigate “their corruption,” he’s again spreading lies and conspiratorial bullshit—but this time it’s bullshit that could literally put the lives and health of millions of people at risk, while he plans to keep making money from 551 internationals businesses and have his “kids run them.”
That’s. just. nuts.
The media should be calling him out for it. They should be loudly bellowing that he needs to put his businesses in a double-blind trust to avoid similar “conflict of interest” appearances, but of course they don’t and it’s not because they’re “biased,” it’s simply because they’re sadly, tragically clueless. Still.
The answer is because you're not listening, Anderson. I’ve been saying this for months, and now that I’ve written this—all of you can say it too.