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Clinton Foundation President Stumbles When Pressed On Conflicts

- September 15, 2016

CLINTON FOUNDATION PREZ. CITES "PROCESS" FOR VETTING FOREIGN DONORS THAT NEVER HAPPENED WHILE CLINTON WAS SECRETARY

Today, The Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala Cited The "Process" For Vetting Foreign Donors By State Department Officials That Was Never Followed By The Foundation. CNN'S ALISYN CAMEROTA: "So I mean I guess that begs the question if this is important if she's elected president, why weren't these changes necessary when she was secretary of state?" CLINTON FOUNDATION PRESIENT AND CEO DONNA SHALALA: "Well, it was a different situation. There was a process set up to approve foreign donations during that period, but when she's president, there's no process you could set up that would eliminate conflicts of interest. So we actually have to reduce the size of the foundation and what it does." (CNN's "New Day," 9/15/16)

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CHAI Failed To Submit Foreign Government Donations For Ethics Vetting During Clinton's Tenure As Secretary

The Clinton Foundation Pledged To Allow The State Department To Review Any New Or Increased Donations From Foreign Governments. "The Reuters inquiries also raised questions about a second assurance Hillary Clinton made to the Obama administration: that the State Department would be able to review any new or increased contributions to CHAI by foreign governments while she served as the nation's top diplomat. The Clintons said the pledge was intended to defuse accusations that foreign governments might use such donations to earn favors." (Jonathan Allen, "Exclusive: Despite Hillary Clinton Promise, Charity Did Not Disclose Donors," Reuters, 3/19/15)

But "The Clinton Health Access Initiative Never Submitted Information On Any Foreign Donations To State Department Lawyers For Review During Clinton's Tenure From 2009 To 2013…" "The Clinton Health Access Initiative never submitted information on any foreign donations to State Department lawyers for review during Clinton's tenure from 2009 to 2013, Maura Daley, the organization's spokeswoman, acknowledged to the Globe this week." (Annie Linskey, "Clinton Charity Never Provided Foreign Donor Data," The Boston Globe , 4/30/15)

CLINTON FOUNDATION PREZ STRUGGLED TO DEFEND MEETING REQUESTS FOR DONOR SUSPECTED OF LINKS TO TERRORISM

Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala Denied State Department Favors For Foundation Donor And Lebanese National Gilbert Chagoury, By Saying That Meetings Which Were Requested "Never Happened." CNN'S ALLISYN CAMEROTA "Let me show you an example of an e-mail that emerged that made people think that lines were crossed. Not policy perhaps, but certainly access. This is an e-mail from Doug Band, who of course is one of the top executives at the Clinton Foundation, to Huma Abedin who was at the State Department. Doug Band says we need Gilbert Chagoury, he of course the Lebanese-Nigerian business man who was looking for a land deal, to speak to the substance person regarding Lebanon. As you know he's a key guy there, and to us, and is loved in Lebanon, very important. Huma Abedin at State Department says it's Jeff Feltman, I'm sure he knows him. I'll talk to Jeff. Doug Band says better if you call him, now preferable. This is very important." CLINTON FOUNDATION PRESIDENT AND CEO DONNA SHALALA: "And guess what, that never happened. It never happened. I don't care. I don't care who asked for what, it never happened. It just did not happen." CAMEROTA: "But were you comfortable with the Clinton Foundation executives asking State Department for favors and access?" SHALALA: "You know, no one should, no one should cross any line. Requesting a courtesy meeting, when I was secretary of HHS for instance, by a Republican Senator was not unusual, and any cabinet officer knows that members of your committees will call up and say, hey listen I've got this guy that's got a way of saving money in health care. So, will you see him as a favor to me?" CAMEROTA: "So business as usual is what you're saying." SHALALA: "No, and business as usual is not acceptable anymore in government. Because we have better disclosure than we've ever had before. The Clinton Foundation is totally transparent. You could see our tax returns. You can see who our donors are. We reveal our donors quarterly. You can't find a charity in this world that reveals their donors quarterly." (CNN's New Day, 9/15/16)

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Foundation Officials Reached Out To Clinton's State Aides To Set Up Meetings With U.S. Diplomats For Chagoury

Emails "Raised New Questions About Whether The Charitable Foundation Worked To Reward Its Donors With Access And Influence At The State Department…" "The documents raised new questions about whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department, a charge that Mrs. Clinton has faced in the past and has always denied." (Eric Lichtblau, "Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation And State Dept. Overlap," The New York Times , 8/9/16)

"In One Email Exchange, For Instance, An Executive At The Clinton Foundation In 2009 Sought To Put A Billionaire Donor In Touch With The United States Ambassador To Lebanon Because Of The Donor's Interests There." (Eric Lichtblau, "Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation And State Dept. Overlap," The New York Times , 8/9/16)

  • The New York Post Headline: "New Emails Show Huma Scheming For Hillary" (Daniel Halper, "New Emails Show Huma Scheming For Hillary," The New York Post, 8/9/16)
  • The New Emails Reveal Clinton "Aides Doing Favors For Billionaires…" "Another 296 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails were released Tuesday - exposing key Clinton aides doing favors for billionaires and, on one occasion, leaving the then-secretary of state's daily schedule in an unlocked hotel room. The documents were released by Judicial Watch, which is suing to recover Clinton's emails under Freedom of Information Act laws." (Daniel Halper, "New Emails Show Huma Scheming For Hillary," The New York Post, 8/9/16)
  • The Meeting Was For Gilbert Chagoury Who Is A Lebanese-Nigerian Billionaire Who Has Given Between $1 And $5 Million To The Clinton Foundation. "'We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he's key guy there and to us and is loved in Lebanon.' Chagoury is a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire and a Clinton Foundation donor, giving somewhere between $1 million and $5 million." (Daniel Halper, "New Emails Show Huma Scheming For Hillary," The New York Post, 8/9/16)
  • Chagoury Was Convicted Of Money Laundering In 2000, And Paid A $66 Million Plea Deal. "The construction magnate has financial interests around the world and was convicted in Switzerland in 2000 for money laundering. He paid $66 million in a plea deal." (Daniel Halper, "New Emails Show Huma Scheming For Hillary,"The New York Post, 8/9/16)

Clinton's State Department Made Moves While Clinton Was Secretary Of State To Buy Land From Chagoury, Raising Ethical Red Flags

Clinton's Ties To Lebanese-Nigerian Businessmen Ronald And Gilbert Chagoury "Are Raising Fresh Questions About Whether The State Department Showed Favoritism To Clinton Foundation Donors. "Hillary and Bill Clinton's ties to two influential Lebanese-Nigerian businessmen are raising fresh questions about whether the State Department showed favoritism to Clinton Foundation donors -- an issue that has continued to dog the Democratic nominee during the 2016 presidential contest. Newly released documents, obtained by the conservative watchdog group Citizens United and provided to CNN, show the State Department was interested in purchasing land for a new US consulate in a development called Eko Atlantic on the coast of Lagos in 2013, in a story first reported on by Fox News. The development is managed by Ronald Chagoury and funded by an umbrella company owned by him and his brother Gilbert Chagoury." (Laura Koran, "Questions About Clinton Ties To Foreign Businessmen Brothers," CNN, 8/17/16)

Gilbert Chagoury Owns The Eko Atlantic Development On The Coast Of Lagos, Nigeria. "Newly released documents, obtained by the conservative watchdog group Citizens United and provided to CNN, show the State Department was interested in purchasing land for a new US consulate in a development called Eko Atlantic on the coast of Lagos in 2013, in a story first reported on by Fox News. The development is managed by Ronald Chagoury and funded by an umbrella company owned by him and his brother Gilbert Chagoury." (Laura Koran, "Questions About Clinton Ties To Foreign Businessmen Brothers,"CNN, 8/17/16)

While Clinton Was Secretary Of State, The Eko Project Was Identified As A Potential Property For The State Department To Purchase. "Clinton had left the State Department before it sent a letter three years ago expressing interest in possibly buying the property. While the letter was sent after she had left office, the State Department had identified the Eko project as a potential location when Clinton was still secretary of state in 2012. Asked if Clinton was cognizant of that, a department spokeswoman said earlier this week, 'I'm not aware she was.'" (Laura Koran, "Questions About Clinton Ties To Foreign Businessmen Brothers," CNN, 8/17/16)

Chagoury Has Donated Between $1 And $5 Million To The Clinton Foundation. "Mr. Chagoury, a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire, has donated between $1 million and $5 million to the foundation, according to its disclosures." (Rebecca Ballhaus, "Newly Released Emails Highlight Clinton Foundation's Ties To State Department," The Wall Street Journal , 8/9/16)

Bill Clinton Attended Events With The Chagoury Brothers And Appears In The Eko Atlantic Promotional Video. "Bill Clinton attended the project's dedication ceremony in 2013 and was photographed with the Chagoury brothers, and he appears in Eko Atlantic promotional videos." (Laura Koran, "Questions About Clinton Ties To Foreign Businessmen Brothers," CNN, 8/17/16)

The Los Angeles Times Reports That The U.S. Government Was Has Scrutinized Chagoury For His Ties To Terrorism, Hezbollah

Los Angeles Times Headline: "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

Chagoury Came Under Scrutiny For Ties For To Hezbollah, According To A 2013 FBI Intelligence Report. "After Clinton left the State Department, Chagoury again found himself under suspicion by U.S. security officials. A 2013 FBI intelligence report, citing unverified raw information from a source, claimed Chagoury had sent funds to Aoun, who transferred money to Hezbollah." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

  • Chagoury Was Added To A "Database Used To Screen Travelers For Possible Links To Terrorism, Interagency Memos Show." "The source said Aoun was 'facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah.' The U.S. put Chagoury in its database used to screen travelers for possible links to terrorism, interagency memos show." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

Chagoury Raised Funds For A Lebanese Politician That Formed A Coalition With Hezbollah, Which The U.S. Government Has Declared A Terrorist Organization. "Chagoury has contributed to charitable projects there, advocated on behalf of the country's Christians and formed political alliances, including with Michel Aoun, a Lebanese Christian politician who served as army commander and prime minister during the country's civil war. For a decade, Aoun's party has been part of a political coalition with Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group backed by Iran that has seats in Lebanon's parliament. Hezbollah is classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., which holds the group responsible for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut and a Marine barracks blast that year that killed 241 American servicemen. Drug Enforcement Administration investigations have also found that Hezbollah is in league with Latin American cartels to launder hundreds of millions of dollars in drug profits." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

Last Summer, Chagoury Was Denied A Visa To Enter The United States Citing "Terrorism-Related Grounds"

Last Summer, Chagoury Was Denied A Visa To Enter The United States. "Last summer, when Chagoury planned a trip to Los Angeles, he applied at the U.S. embassy in Paris for a visitor's visa and was refused, according to interviews and government documents." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

  • The State Department, Citing "Terrorism-Related Grounds," Denied The Visa. "Based on the FBI report and other allegations from intelligence and law enforcement sources, the State Department denied the application. It cited terrorism-related grounds, a broad category that can apply to anyone believed to have assisted a terrorist group in any way, including providing money." (Joseph Tanfani, "He Was A Billionaire Who Donated To The Clinton Foundation. Last Year, He Was Denied Entry Into The U.S.," Los Angeles Times, 8/28/16)

CLINTON FOUNDATION PREZ STRUGGLED TO EXPLAIN HOW CHELSEA REMAINING ON THE FOUNDATION BOARD DID NOT POSE A CONFLICT

Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala Defended Chelsea Remaining On Foundation Board As Well As The Organization's Fundraising Practices. CNN'S ALISYN CAMEROTA: "I know that you're on record, I think, as saying that Chelsea Clinton should continue on with her role at the Clinton Foundation even if Hillary Clinton is elected president, is that right?." CLINTON FOUNDATION PRESIDENT AND CEO DONNA SHALALA: "Let's go back to what we said is going to be the Clinton Foundation in the future: the library, and the Clinton center in Little Rock, and maybe a couple of small domestic programs. Chelsea decides she wants to stay in the Foundation Board to keep an eye on her father's library, among other members of the board, I mean, the centerpiece is going to be the presidential library. No one is going to tell us to get rid of the presidential library, or to eliminate any kind of formal governance for the presidential library." CAMEROTA: "So no conflict of interest in your mind if Chelsea is there and seeking donations or things like that even if her mom is in the White House?" SHALALA: "Well, but remember, what we've said about donations, no foreign governments, no foreign contributors, no foreign foundations, we'll take money from independent foundations, Ford, Gates, the people that have been giving Rockefeller, people who have been giving us foundation and from individuals who have contributed to the library and the library has a number of contributors over the years" (CNN's " New Day," 9/15/16)

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