Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said Thursday evening that foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation make it appear as though Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonFive big Trump narratives to watch NBC: Russia setting up dossier on Trump Chelsea Clinton attends Muslim solidarity rally in NYC MORE "was bribed" while secretary of State.
“You know, I’ve got to tell you, I was stunned by it. I mean, it looks like bribery,” he said while appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show. “I mean, there is every appearance that Hillary Clinton was bribed to grease the sale of, what, 20 percent of America’s uranium production to Russia, and then, it was covered up by lying about a meeting at her home with the principals, and by erasing emails.”
Romney was specifically addressing a Thursday New York Times story that alleged that investors in a uranium company donated to the Clinton Foundation before an inter-agency committee including Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the sale of the company to the Russian nuclear agency.
The committee is led by the Treasury Department, but the Times reported that cabinet level officials can be involved in some of the decisions made by the body.
Clinton's presidential campaign and her allies have pushed back against the allegations, saying there is no evidence to suggest a link between the donations and the approval.
“The decision to approve the sale of uranium never rose to Secretary Clinton’s level and was approved by at least half a dozen government agencies," said Adrienne Watson, communications director for Correct the Record, a project of the pro-Clinton group American Bridge. "Mitt Romney should take a cue from Hillary Clinton and start talking about the real problems facing people across our country.”
Dismissing the Clinton campaign's response as “blah, blah, blah,” Romney said it was not clear yet what effect the questions could have on her campaign.
But he said that it is likely she would have to do something he refused to do when he campaigned for president in 2012: release her tax returns.
“Well, no question if she runs for president, Bill and Hillary Clinton will have to release their joint returns, not just her return, but their joint returns, because assets are commingled,” he said.
“And No. 2, yes, the foundation would have to release its returns as well. I’m not asking for 10 years, but I’m saying they ought to give at least three years of returns so we can see where the money’s been coming from.”
— This story was updated at 10:41 a.m.