Presidential races

Clinton Foundation won’t accept foreign money if Hillary wins

The Clinton Foundation will no longer accept corporate and foreign donations if Hillary Clinton becomes president, according to The Associated Press.

Former President Bill Clinton announced the plan to staffers Thursday, the AP said, citing anonymous participants at the meeting. A formal announcement is expected soon.

{mosads}Under the proposed changes, the family’s charitable group would only accept donations from U.S. citizens and independent charities.

Bill Clinton said the foundation will continue its work and would refocus its efforts after an overhaul that could take a year. He added that the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual summit that brings together influential world leaders, would hold its final meeting next month in New York City regardless of the election’s outcome.

Clinton also said he would also step down from the board of the foundation, according to the report. He was accompanied daughter Chelsea Clinton at the meeting.

The changes to the foundation come amid growing questions about how it would operate during a potential Hillary Clinton presidency.

The organization’s funding and work during Clinton’s time as secretary of State has been subject to controversy that has dogged her campaign.

Critics have scrutinized the foundation’s ties to wealthy donors and foreign interests, raising questions about their influence over the Clintons and policy. In one email, a longtime Clinton aide asked officials at State to “take care” of a foundation donor.

Foreign donations to the foundation were restricted when Hillary Clinton was secretary of State, requiring approval from an ethics office at State.

Hillary Clinton eventually joined the renamed Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2013 after leaving the Obama administration. She resigned from the Clinton Foundation’s board last year to run for president.

But questions have persisted about the relationship between donors and the Clintons.

Republicans have seized on the complicated connections between the Clintons, their work in government and their foundation.

GOP nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly slammed the Clintons for taking money from countries with poor human rights records. Others have raised questions about undue foreign influence while Clinton was the nation’s top diplomat, with Trump alleging donations to the organization were evidence of pay-to-play politics.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Thursday criticized the Clinton Foundation for stalling on changes to its donation guidelines. 

“This effort to shield Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation after more than a year of controversy is too little, too late,” chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
“After all, if everything was above board when Hillary Clinton ran the State Department as the Clintons have said, then why change a thing? But now that they have admitted there is a problem, the Clinton Foundation should immediately cease accepting foreign donations and return every penny ever taken from other countries, several of which have atrocious human rights records and ties to terrorism.”
Priebus added that the Clinton Foundation’s activities had already raised red flags during Clinton’s campaign.
“The fact that the Clinton Foundation and its entities continue to accept foreign donations while Hillary Clinton runs for the White House is a massive, ongoing conflict of interest that gets bigger by the day,” he said.

In the last week, prominent voices have called for the organization to be disbanded if Hillary Clinton won the presidency.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), a supporter of the Clintons, on Wednesday said the charitable organization should close up shop if Clinton wins.

“It’d be impossible to keep the foundation open without at least the appearance of a problem,” the former chairman of the Democratic National Chairman (DNC) told The New York Daily News.

The Boston Globe’s editorial board on Tuesday also called for disbanding the Clinton Foundation, saying that doing so would remove “a political — and actual — distraction.”

According to the AP, Bill Clinton denied that the changes were brought about by outside pressure, but said they were motivated by the need to eliminate any concerns if his wife wins the White House.

This story was last updated at 7:05 p.m.

Tags Bill Clinton charities Democrats Donald Trump donations Hillary Clinton Politics The Clinton Foundation The Clinton Global Initiative

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