Donald Trump directed his foundation to give at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. “No, he was not paying to play,” said his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, “The Clinton Foundation does a lot of good work. [Aug 2016]” Ivanka gave at least $5,000 and her father-in-law, at least a quarter million.
The official Trump-Pence position is very different: “The Clintons have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people. It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history.” What nonsense.
This is pure conspiracy theory, based on a chain email circulated from May 2015 to the present which slowly morphed into a fictional quote mistakenly attributed to right-wing media personality Charles Krauthammer. At no point did it include evidence. It couldn’t. Far from lining their pockets, the Clintons have put millions of their own money into the Foundation.
In reality, Charity Watch gives the Clinton Foundation an “A” rating, while the Red Cross and United Way only get an “A−.” Charity Navigator gives it 4 out of 4 stars, and The Better Business Bureau’s Give.Org finds no conflict of interest. Forbes (an upper-crust business magazine that endorses Trump) rates some major charities as follows:
The Clinton’s Two Foundations
The Clinton Foundation is a nonprofit (501(c)(3)) charity that has accepted contributions totally roughly $2 billion from a total of 300,000 individuals and organizations. These funds have been used largely for health initiatives world wide. More recently Chelsea and Hillary have focused the foundation more on domestic charity.
In the last 15 years the Clintons have given $23.2 million to charity out of the $140 million they’ve earned after taxes. This giving all goes through the Clinton Family Foundation. Only about one-quarter of it then goes on to the big Clinton Foundation (officially named the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation).
The other three-quarters of their giving goes from their family foundation to places like the Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, the Arkansas Community Foundation and the University of Arkansas.
Bill, Hillary and Chelsea are on the board of the (big) Clinton Foundation, but they are not paid by either foundation. When they are on Clinton Foundation business (not making money for themselves) the foundation covers their expenses.
There is no way you can get rich (or make any money at all) by giving away $23 million and in return getting nothing but your working expenses covered.
How generous have they been?
Rich people can afford to be more generous. So we should compare the Clintons with someone rich. Trump gave away only $4 million out of $10,000 million, and the graphic above shows what that means. He’s incredibly stingy.
In comparison the Clintons are at least 70 times less wealthy and gave away more than five times as much. You can see this is the graphic above in which every little 3-by-3 pixel square is a million dollars.
The Clintons wealth? Notice that the graphic shows the Clinton’s income. Like everyone else, they had expenses over the 15 years from 2001 – 2015. So their remaining wealth, after charity and spending, might even be as small as the $23 million they gave away! (The best estimates are that their wealth is between 10 and 60 million.)
The Bottom Line
Contrary to the vicious right-wing propaganda, the Clintons get no benefit other than satisfaction (and a lot of political headaches) from outside contributions to the Clinton foundation. So the idea that they are being bribed with such contributions is absurd. And, if they wanted more money, they would have kept some of the $23 million they gave to charity.
There is evidence that Hillary Clinton could have sold out US interests, just as there is evidence I could have shoplifted a steak from my local supermarket. I’ve been in that store, so I could have, and Hillary has talked to some of the 300,000 foundation donors.
But in spite of all the Republican and media investigations, there is no evidence that Clinton was influenced in the slightest. And I don’t mean “proof.” There is not even any weak evidence pointing in this direction.
This is hardly surprising. It would be more than absurd to sell out her country and risk her career to get a few more million dollars that she can only use to fight AIDS, ebola and malaria.