In 1998, Hillary Clinton on The Today Show blamed the media for the many issues facing her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, saying “This is — the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.” And today, that damn conspiracy continues amidst allegations that the Clinton Foundation took cash while she was Secretary of State – and that emails mysteriously disappeared.
Or, of course one can take the alternative track as some Clinton Foundation insiders are that they are not nor have they ever tried to hide anything. On this issue, it seems that even the liberal media is not buying it as the PR firestorm continues to blast the international goodwill work.
It’s an interesting political landscape when charity causes issues for a Presidential campaign. It’s more interesting that these mistakes are made by Hillary Clinton as she launches her bid for the 2016 Presidential nomination. She had to know as soon as she announced her campaign, watchdogs would turn a spotlight on the Clinton Foundation and the family’s reporting of funds donated to the charity.
The Clinton charity scandal is here – and the criticism is not all coming from right-wingers, or GOP-leaning news sources either. The New York Times recently looked at Bill Clinton’s relationship with Canadian businessman Frank Giustra. The mining magnate donated millions to the Clinton Foundation – and is a board member. And even the gray lady had to say that Clinton “helped” Giustra secure a hot mining deal in Kazakhstan. In return, the foundation received a steady flow of cash consisting of upwards of $2.35 million.
Giustra, for his part, has vociferously objected to the way the situation has been construed. He has repeatedly insisted no one is trying to hide anything. “Every penny went to charities we identified,” he said. Although he also added that there are about 1,100 “undisclosed” donors to the Clinton Foundation, many who are not U.S. residents.
Naturally, the problem arises in the “undisclosed” part of the comment. Due to the sensitive political nature of the association between Secretary Clinton and her family’s Foundation, Ms. Clinton agreed to have the Foundation disclose its donors … this was way back before Hillary Clinton could be appointed Secretary of State. In fact, the Clinton Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with the White House promising to reveal its contributors on an annual basis. And it did … at least for a while. When they stopped and why they stopped is up for debate and different depending on who you ask … but the key here is that everyone is asking.
The longer they go without a satisfactory answer, the worse the PR crisis facing the Clintons is likely to be. The good news? There’s no email trail.