Hillary Clinton unlikely to return to family foundation

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Hillary Clinton has all but ruled out returning to her family’s foundation, three sources close to the former Democratic nominee tell The Hill. 

The former Democratic presidential nominee has indicated to confidants and associates that she more than likely won’t be returning to the Clinton Foundation, which drew headlines in the 2016 election cycle for possible conflicts of interest. 

{mosads}Since her stunning election loss, Clinton has been taking the time to figure out what she wants to do next. 

“She’s taking a look at her life and wants to try some different things,” said one ally who has spoken to Clinton in recent weeks. “She’s not tying herself to something that’s always been an option. She wants to figure out what she wants to do.”

One thing the former presidential nominee wants to do is figure out how she can best use her voice for the benefit of the Democratic Party, sources say. 

Clinton took an active role in the family’s foundation after leaving the State Department in 2013, working on early childhood development and other issues involving women and girls. 

“I am thrilled to fully join this remarkable organization that [former President] Bill [Clinton] started a dozen years ago, and to call it my home for the work I will be doing,” she said in remarks at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2013. 

At the same time, in 2013, the foundation changed its name to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Clinton left the organization before launching her bid for the White House. 

The former secretary of State hasn’t formally told aides at the New York-based foundation about her plans. 

Asked about Clinton’s next steps, the Clinton Foundation referred calls to her office, as they have done since she left the foundation two years ago. A spokesman for the former secretary of State could not be reached on Tuesday.

Still, those familiar with Clinton’s immediate future say that just because she won’t take an active role in the organization doesn’t mean she won’t give occasional foundation-related speeches or participate in its programs. 

“Everyone knows they’ll have access to her whenever they need her,” the confidant said. “This has really become President Clinton and Chelsea’s thing.”

Hillary Clinton’s likely decision comes on the heels of months of negative press about the potential conflicts of interest between the foundation and Clinton. The storylines — along with the controversy surrounding her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of State — created headaches for the nominee. 

Bill Clinton spent months defending the organization he built in his post-presidency life, and he sought to prove that the foundation was above board and transparent on interactions with Hillary Clinton. 

But emails released by WikiLeaks during the tail end of the election cycle showed that campaign advisers were worried about potential conflicts — including one Clinton Global Initiative event in Morocco.

Morocco’s king had agreed to give $12 million to the foundation if Hillary Clinton attended the event. Clinton — who had already launched a presidential bid — ultimately decided not to attend. 

But campaign officials felt as though the foundation might hurt their candidate in the long term. 

“Do they plan to do big events next year?” Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, wrote in a 2015 email to campaign chairman John Podesta, after Clinton launched her bid for the White House. “Possible for those to be smaller and lower key in ’16?”

On the other end of the vast Clinton universe, supporters of the foundation were angry that the campaign hadn’t done a better job of explaining the good work it does around the world.  

It’s too early to tell what impact, if any, the 2016 campaign and Clinton’s loss has had on the foundation. But officials at the foundation point to their recent expansion of programs, including one in the San Diego area aimed at helping low-income youth.

In February, as part of a 2016 annual report, Bill Clinton wrote to supporters, “Despite the political season and unprecedented attacks that were misleading or outright false, the Clinton Foundation continued its good work in the United States and around the world.” 

“I am very grateful to our staff, leadership, and board, and to our donors both large and small, new and longstanding, for keeping our focus on how we can solve problems and seize opportunities to improve more lives,” the former president said. 

For now, Hillary Clinton is focused on her upcoming book, which she is writing with two campaign speechwriters: Dan Schwerin — who also helped write the former secretary of State’s 2014 book, “Hard Choices” — and Megan Rooney. 

She is also scheduled for several speeches, including a commencement speech in May at her alma mater, Wellesley College.

In an interview Tuesday on “CBS This Morning,” Chelsea Clinton was asked what her mother’s plans might look like in the coming months. 

 “She’s focused, thankfully, on her grandchildren,” the former first daughter said. “She’s focused on what she can do to help support work that she’s been engaged in for longer than I’ve been alive, around children, around women, around families.”

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