Politico reports that Bill Clinton will deliver a strong defense of the Clinton Foundation’s work, as he plans his exit from the nonprofit. The power couple has said the foundation wouldn’t accept corporate or foreign money donations, a promise they’ve made and broken before, should Hillary win the presidency. The foundation has become another weak point for Hillary’s campaign, with endless questions about ethically questionable dealings. The Associated Press did report that there are gaps in Clinton’s calendar when she was secretary of state and noted that over half of Hillary’s meetings from those outside of government were with foundation donors; the latter reports has been criticized for being inaccurate by the campaign. Yet, there were multiple times when the Clinton Foundation received donations from donors, who then benefited economically from deals facilitated by either Bill or Hillary. There is no direct paper trail, but the overlap raises eyebrows.
Foreign governments gave millions to the Clinton Foundation, who then received billion in arms deals approved by State Department, which was run by Hillary at the time. Hillary was against the Colombia Free Trade Agreement until Frank Giustra, a Canadian financier, wrote some checks to the foundation. Giustra is the founder of Pacific Rubiales, an energy company that was embroiled in controversy over its labor rights record. The company itself also gave money to the Clinton Foundation and Clinton’s opposition was reversed. When the sale of Uranium One was before the Committee on Foreign Investment, the chairman of that company gave millions to the Clinton Foundation from his own nonprofit, while Bill received a $500,000 check from to deliver a speech to a Russian bank that was selling Uranium One stock options. The deal was approved. It’s a bit disconcerting since the Canadian mining company had sites in the United States and its sale pushed Russia closer to controlling the world supply of uranium. There are other ethically questionable stories of deals involving the foundation. The list seems endless, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) voicing his concerns about the nonprofit during the primaries.
Now, a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that despite the defense of the foundation by Clinton and the campaign’s surrogates, almost 60 percent of voters feel that special deals were made with donors:
A Washington Post-ABC News poll last week showed that about 6 in 10 Americans — 59 percent — think Hillary Clinton's State Department did "special favors" for Clinton Foundation donors. And 90 percent of them think the favors were "inappropriate."
Among those who think special favors were done are 33 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of independents. Even 32 percent of people who say they are voting for Clinton say they believe it.
The same poll showed that 57 percent overall and 32 percent of Clinton supporters said they are concerned about potential conflicts of interest between the foundation's work and her potential presidency.
If anything, the Clinton Foundation has almost been as effective as the former first lady’s email fiasco in destroying her numbers on trust and honesty with voters. Both Bill and Hillary plan to step away from their nonprofit if she wins, but it seems the damage is already done less than 60 days from Election Day. Also, Politico added that the Clinton Global Initiative meeting, where Bill will deliver his defense of the nonprofit’s work, was viewed as yet another misstep in the couple’s less than successful campaign to improve their image on this front. Bill, however, said that canceling this meeting was not an option.