August 3, 2016
CULTURE OF CORRUPTION: Clinton Foundation drug contracts intersected with State Department work.
During Clinton’s first year at the [State Department], Merck lobbied the State Department to ease regulations restricting the distribution of its drugs “in certain Latin American markets,” according to lobbying disclosure forms from 2009. That placed the drug company’s international interests squarely on Clinton’s desk.
Clinton sat down with Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier privately in March 2012 in a meeting that was closed to the press, according to her official schedule from that day. Immediately afterward, she walked into a staff meeting about “global health strategy.”
By June of that year, her staff was collecting press clips on a $75 million partnership with Merck, funded by the State Department, to reduce childbirth-related deaths in Africa. The Norwegian government had pledged a matching $75 million to the initiative, which was spearheaded by Clinton.
The government of Norway has also donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, giving up to $25 million to the nonprofit. In fact, Clinton’s emails suggest she even asked members of her State Department staff to facilitate a Norwegian donation to a foundation project, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
The clean cookstoves project served as a clear example of the blurred lines between Clinton’s foundation and State Department work.
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