Ethics Go Out the Door as Clinton Foundation Accepts Foreign Funds

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Feb 18, 2015 6:30 PM
Ethics Go Out the Door as Clinton Foundation Accepts Foreign Funds

When Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State under President Obama, she and husband Bill decided it would be best if the Clinton Foundation rejected financial gifts from foreign countries. Now, it appears they have lifted that sensible ban.

Instead of publicly announcing the decision, the Clintons accepted these outside gifts quietly. It was up to the Wall Street Journal to do a bit of digging to break the news. Perhaps the powerful political couple remained mum because the decision was a controversial one. Among the Clintons’ new donors are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and Canada's Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development, which openly promotes the Keystone XL pipeline. While some claim the Keystone-linked contribution is the source of the real controversy, I would argue the foundation’s other donors are even more suspicious:

Another donation that could raise eyebrows comes from the Qatari government committee preparing to host the 2022 soccer World Cup, which gave between $250,000 and $500,000 last year. Human rights groups have claimed that over 1,000 migrant workers have died in the process of constructing the infrastructure to host the tournament.

Accepting money from countries riddled with human rights abuses doesn’t exactly square well for the potential 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

The Clinton Foundation offered a rather generic response to the funding revelation:

“The Clinton Foundation is a philanthropy, period. As with other global charities, the Clinton Foundation receives the support of individuals, organizations and governments from all over the world because our programs are improving the lives of millions of people by strengthening health systems, improving access to lifesaving medicines, helping communities confront the effects of climate change, creating economic opportunity and reducing childhood obesity and other preventable diseases.”

“The Clinton Foundation has strong donor integrity and transparency practices that go above and beyond what is required of U.S. charities and well beyond the practices of most peer organizations. This includes the voluntary, full disclosure of all donors on our website for anyone to see. The bottom line: these contributions are helping improve the lives of millions of people across the world for which we are grateful.”

It won't be long before we find out if this will make headlines during the 2016 campaign.