Former President Bill Clinton used taxpayers’ money to subsidize the Clinton Foundation as well as supplement the pay and benefits of several aides who worked at the foundation, Politico reported on Sept. 1.
The outlet obtained records from the General Services Administration (GSA) detailing the spending through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Money from taxpayers were also used to buy IT equipment, including servers, which were used at the Clinton Foundation, according to Politico.
“The thousands of pages of newly uncovered records reveal sometimes granular detail about how Bill Clinton’s representatives directed the spending of taxpayers’ cash allocated by the GSA under the Former President’s Act,” the report said.
The act, passed in 1958, allows the GSA to fund pensions, correspondence, support staff and travel of former presidents.
Bill Clinton was given more money than any other former commander-in-chief. Between 2001 and the end of this year, Clinton’s representatives had requested allocations under the Act totaling $16 million, the report said.
GSA documents and the foundation’s tax returns show that at least 13 of the 22 staffers paid by the GSA to work in Bill Clinton’s office also worked at the charity.
An aide to the former president told Politico that Clinton’s use of the GSA program is entirely consistent with the past use of the Former Presidents Act.
“There is no legal prohibition that would preclude the former president’s staff from receiving compensation from other sources or doing personal work for the former president. We are unaware of any legal prohibition that would preclude these activities,” the aide said.
The use of government funds by Bill Clinton for use on the Clinton Foundation points to a similar blurred line about Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. Emails released last month show Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin fielded requests from Doug Band, a top executive of the foundation at the time, for meetings with the then secretary of state on behalf of foundation donors.
Bill Clinton’s press secretary, Angel Urena, disputed a claim in the report that the program was also used to support Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“No GSA funding was ever used for a private e-mail server. And the @ClintonFdn never housed a GSA-funded e-mail server, private or otherwise,” he said in a tweet.
“As explained to @politico, the server they reference is not an e-mail server. It’s hardware that runs a database that houses correspondence,” he added.
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but spokesman Brian Fallon went on the defense after the Politico report via Twitter.
“This headline is egregiously false. Server hosting HRC’s email during State tenure was paid for w/personal funds,” he said on Twitter.
This headline is egregiously false. Server hosting HRC’s email during State tenure was paid for w/personal fundshttps://t.co/FblUHKlOhQ
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) September 1, 2016
The former president announced last month that he would leave the Clinton Foundation’s board if Hillary Clinton is to be elected. The foundation also said it would not accept corporate or foreign donations if the Democratic nominee wins in November.