How the Clinton Foundation Is Giving Hillary a Headache

By
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 14:  Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) inspects a book as she helps assemble bags for the Clinton Foundation's Too Small to Fail program during the 2014 DreamForce conference on October 14, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The annual Dreamforce conference runs through October 16.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Shockingly, reporters have expressed interest in what Hillary Clinton has done since 2008.Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Clinton Foundation began once again accepting donations from foreign governments after Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department ended. Overall, the organization has collected at least $48 million from foreign governments, according to the newspaper’s reporting. The Washington Post noted that when you look at all the donations raked in by the foundation since 2001 — which include contributions from corporations and some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors — the total reaches nearly $2 billion.

Republicans think the donations are a conflict of interest; the Republican National Committee spokesperson told reporters, “how can anyone believe she won’t be influenced by the huge sums of cash once again being sent her way from governments all over the world? Is this who voters want taking that 3 a.m. phone call?”

Columnists have built a long list of unflattering descriptors for the foundation (“big problem,” super PAC, bad for optics, etc.).

The Clinton Foundation sent out a statement responding to the stories, going so far as to imagine a future in which Hillary is running for president. 

Should Secretary Clinton decide to run for office, we will continue to ensure the Foundation’s policies and practices regarding support from international partners are appropriate, just as we did when she served as Secretary of State.

The Foundation also attempted to remind reporters of its kindness in allowing the media to obtain these scoops in the first place: “The Clinton Foundation has a record of transparency that goes above what is required of U.S. charities. This includes the voluntary disclosure of contributions on the Foundation’s website.”

Perhaps the most amazing thing about these stories is that Clinton allies have tried to feign shock at the fact that people might be interested in what she has been up to since 2008.

Post–Citizens United, with media organizations devoting more resources than ever to investigating money in politics, reporters are especially interested in documenting every dollar that has entered her orbit — as well as the financial lives of every potential candidate who has taken a sabbatical in the private or nonprofit realm (for example, Jeb Bush).

In other words, get ready for many more stories about the Clinton Foundation — and the extracurricular activities of all potential 2016 candidates — in the upcoming months.