NYT sees 'ethical imperative’ for Clinton to cut foundation ties
© Greg Nash

The New York Times says Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHarris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign Nevada Senate passes bill that would give Electoral College votes to winner of national popular vote 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE must sever ties with the Clinton Foundation should she win the presidential election.

“The Clinton Foundation has become a symbol of the Clintons’ laudable ambitions, but also of their tangled alliances and operational opacity,” the newspaper said in an editorial published Tuesday.

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“If Mrs. Clinton wins, it could prove a target for her political adversaries. Achieving true distance from the foundation is not only necessary to ensure its effectiveness, it is an ethical imperative for Mrs. Clinton.”

The Times said newly released emails from Clinton’s tenure at the State Department underscore the need for immediate action regarding the foundation.

“When Mrs. Clinton became secretary of State, the Obama administration tried to draw line between the foundation, particularly its foreign-government sponsors, and her role,” it said. "The new emails underscore that effort was at best partly successful.

"'Pay-to-play' charges by Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE have not been proved,” the newspaper added.

“But the emails and previous reporting suggest Mr. Trump has reason to say that while Mrs. Clinton was secretary, it was hard to tell where the foundation ended and the State Department began.”

The Times added Clinton’s family members should also step down from the charitable organization if she wins.

“If Mrs. Clinton wins, [former President] Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBudowsky: 3 big dangers for Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Another VPOTUS tries for POTUS: What does history tell us? MORE and Chelsea Clinton should both end their operational involvement in the foundation and its affiliates for the duration of her presidency, relinquishing any control over spending, hiring and board appointments,” it said.

Trump, the Republican nominee, has repeatedly said Clinton Foundation donors may have unfairly influenced Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of State.

Clinton said last week “there is a lot of smoke, but no fire” surrounding claims she used her role at State for personal gain.

“What Trump has said is ridiculous,” she said Aug. 24 on CNN. "My work as secretary of State was not influenced by any outside forces."