The controversial “charity” run by the Clinton family announced it will no longer take donations from foreign entities should Hillary Clinton win the November election.
Former President Bill Clinton announced the new policy at a foundation meeting on Thursday, saying that change was due to the possibility that Hillary Clinton will be elected president.
The former president said the foundation would continue its work but refocus its efforts in a process that will take up to a year to complete. Ahead of celebrating his 70th birthday on Friday, Clinton said he would resign from the board and would only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and independent charities if his wife was elected president.
Under the changes, the foundation would no longer take money from any foreign entity, government, foreign or domestic corporations, or corporate charities. A Clinton spokesman said the former president will also refrain from delivering paid speeches until the November election and will no longer give paid speeches if Hillary Clinton is elected.
At the staff meeting, Clinton said he and his daughter did not face any external pressure to make the changes, but wanted to avoid any potential issues or second guessing for Hillary Clinton should she move into the White House.
Republicans criticized the move. RNC chairman Reince Priebus said the 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.” He characterized the foundation’s receipt of foreign dollars as a”massive, ongoing conflict of interest that gets bigger by the day.”
The Clinton “charity” has raised more than $2 billion since it started operating in 2001. The AP reports that the organization has focused on issues like climate change and “opportunities for women and girls” but fails to mention the foundation takes money from regimes that have a record of oppressing women among other human rights violations.
Hillary Clinton has stepped down from the foundation board since launching her bid for the presidency. However while she was secretary of State, the foundation continued to operate and receive millions of dollars from foreign governments, despite an ethics agreement with the Obama administration. The ethics agreement did not prohibit the foundation from taking foreign contributions. “The agreement, reached before Clinton’s nomination amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed governments that had previously donated money to continue making contributions at similar levels.”
Questions remain as to how much influence donors and foreign governments to the foundation had over State Department business and how much they will have should Clinton win the White House.