Clinton Foundation: We're Keeping Foreign Donors

But the list has narrowed to 6 countries to try to avoid conflict of interest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2015 8:49 AM CDT
Clinton Foundation: We're Keeping Foreign Donors
President Bill Clinton, right, stands with his wife Hillary Clinton, center, and daughter Chelsea Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Just days after officially joining the 2016 presidential race, Hillary Clinton already has a thorn in her side: her family's own organization. In an effort to mitigate a possible conflict of interest with Clinton's candidacy, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation announced in a summary out today that it will accept foreign donations from just six countries—Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and the UK—that support the foundation's poverty, health, and climate change programs. The group will also suspend conferences abroad and increase the frequency of donor-disclosure reports, the Wall Street Journal reports. But ethics experts say no foreign donations are acceptable, especially since at least some of those six countries are involved in hot-button topics: Canada, for instance, wants approval for the Keystone XL pipeline, the Journal notes.

An AP analysis of foundation donors between 2001 and 2015 shows between $55 million and $130 million was donated from foreign governments or agencies in 16 countries; these types of foreign entities ponied up a third of the foundation's donations of $1 million or more from 2001 through 2014, the Washington Post has reported. But critics point to blurred lines between the foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative (other countries can still work with that subsidiary), the fact that there aren't restrictions on foreign individuals or private businesses, and the foundation's previous acceptance of funds from "repressive regimes" such as Saudi Arabia, Politico notes. "All of these countries appear to have a war on women, and I think it's unconscionable," Rand Paul said last month, per Politico. "I don't know how Hillary Clinton can accept that money." (A woman shouldn't be president anyway, this female CEO says.)

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