Presidential races

Clinton Foundation admits ‘mistakes’

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The Clinton Foundation’s acting chief on Sunday acknowledged the organization had made missteps, but defended its transparency efforts amid Hillary Clinton’s nascent presidential campaign.

{mosads}Acting CEO Maura Pally’s statement, posted to the foundation’s blog, comes in response to a flood of questions surrounding a forthcoming book that scrutinizes foreign donations to the foundation.

“[W]e made mistakes, as many organizations of our size do, but we are acting quickly to remedy them, and have taken steps to ensure they don’t happen in the future,” Pally wrote in the lengthy statement, which noted the organization would likely refile tax forms and touched on newly scrutinized donations.

The foundation said last week it would refile several years of tax returns after acknowledging it inadequately disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service foreign donations from 2010 to 2013.

Responding to a review that found the errors, Pally wrote, “Our total revenue was accurately reported on each year’s form – our error was that government grants were mistakenly combined with other donations.”

She also sought to shed light on the foundation’s complicated structure, which includes 11 different initiatives, including the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, which focuses on alleviating poverty around the world.

Pally wrote that the Clinton Foundation receives funding for specific projects from an independent Canadian charity of the same name, set up by Canadian mining investor Frank Giustra, who along with Ian Telfer (through a family foundation), donated millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.

Those donations were scrutinized in a New York Times report last week, given that Hillary Clinton in her role as secretary of State signed off on a Russian nuclear agency’s acquisition of uranium mining assets in the U.S. in which the men were investors.

“This is hardly an effort on our part to avoid transparency,” Pally wrote of the donations not listed publicly, noting that, unlike in the U.S., Canadian law prohibits charities from disclosing donors without their prior consent.

Pally is acting chief of the organization until former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala assumes leadership of the Clinton’s namesake organization. The foundation announced Shalala as its pick last month.

Hillary Clinton stepped down from the foundation’s board before launching her presidential bid, while husband Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea, its vice chair, remain on the board.

“Without question the Foundation’s accomplishments stand on their own,” Pally wrote, detailing some of the organization’s work since it was launched 15 years ago by former President Clinton.

“As the Foundation’s impact has grown, so too has its commitment to transparency,” Pally added, noting it recently limited foreign donations and increased the frequency of donor disclosures.

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