Hillary Clinton defended her family’s foundation on Friday amid questions over the former secretary’s relationship to foundation donors while she was in office. In an interview on Friday Clinton said that the organization will be “winding down” if she is elected president.
The Democratic nominee said in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the Clinton Foundation is looking for partners to continue the charity’s work if she is elected in the fall.
“Winding down some of these programs takes time; you don’t just turn an on and off switch,” Clinton said. “We’re going to make sure” the “good work these programs are doing continues.”
The relationship between Clinton and the Clinton Foundation has been under scrutiny after newly released emails showed top foundation donors requesting meetings or favors from her while she was secretary of state.
More questions were raised when an Associated Press report earlier this week said over half of the people outside of government who met with her while she was secretary of state were donors of the Clinton Foundation. The AP article stated that at least 85 out of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations with her while she was secretary of state had donated to the Clinton Foundation or pledged commitments to its international programs. In total, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million, while at least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.
When asked if she was certain that there are no emails or foundation ties to foreign entities that could be revealed and may permanently impact her presidential prospects, Clinton said “I am sure because I have a very strong foundation of understanding of the foundation, not to play on words, that the kind of work the foundation has done … is work that went right into providing services for people.”
“As we have said before, neither my husband, my daughter, nor I have ever taken a penny of salary from the foundation. My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces. I made policy decisions on what I thought was right to keep Americans safe and protect our interests abroad,” said Clinton.
The former secretary of state also said that the family organization has gone “above and beyond” legal standards to “avoid those questions.”
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski asked Clinton if the roles were reversed and it was a Republican candidate that was receiving a backlash over his or her foundation if she would also criticize the foundation.
“I would not be criticizing. I would be looking at the work,” Clinton said.
She added that she would praise the charitable work if there was no evidence of conflict of interest.
Clinton on Trump’s “Bigot” Comment
Donald Trump called Clinton a “bigot” at a rally this week in Mississippi, and again during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“She is a bigot,” Trump told CNN. “If you look at what’s happening to the inner cities, you look at what’s happening to African Americans and Hispanics in this country, where she talks all the time.”
Trump, who has recently been trying to woo African-Americans and Hispanics, also said Clinton has been bad for blacks and Latinos.
“You look at what’s happened with her policies and the policies of President Obama and others. Look at the poverty. Look at the rise in poverty. Look at the rise in violence,” he said on Thursday.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 25, 2016
On MSNBC, Clinton didn’t call Trump a bigot herself but instead listed reasons on why she believes he is bigoted.
“All I can do is point to the evidence of what he has said, and what he has done from the start. He has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” Clinton said.
“It’s deeply disturbing that he is taking hate groups that lived on the dark regions of the internet and making them mainstream,” Clinton said.
“A man with a long history of racial discrimination who traffics in dark conspiracy theories drawn from the pages of supermarket tabloids” should “never run our government or command our military,” said Clinton.
“If he doesn’t respect all Americans, how can he serve all Americans?” she added.