Last week it was all about Hillary Clinton and he emails, now her husband and former President Bill Clinton has found himself in the spotlight again but for all the wrong reasons.
Bill Clinton spent time over the weekend defending donations that his family charity is given from governments abroad.
Critics are claiming that these donations from foreign governments could potentially create a conflict of interest if his wife Hillary runs for and is elected as president in 2016.
According to a report by Reuters, Clinton said it was possible to work with foreign governments even if one disagrees with some things they do, and that it was acceptable for them to donate to the Clinton Foundation if the donations are publicly disclosed.
“I think it’s a good thing,” he said onstage at a youth conference organized by the foundation at the University of Miami during an interview with Larry Wilmore, a television talk-show host.
“The UAE gave us money. Do we agree with everything they do? No. But they help us fight ISIS,” he added, using an acronym for the Islamist militant group Islamic State.
According to Reuters, The United Arab Emirates donated between $1 million and $5 million to the foundation in 2014, according to a list of donors published on the foundation’s website.
The UAE was not the only foreign government that gave money to the charitable fund, also on the list was Canada and Saudi Arabia. Both of these countries only began making donations to the charity fund once Hillary Clinton stepped down from her role as Secretary of State two years ago.
There were some rules set up by the charitable foundation regarding donations made by overseas governments including that foreign governments that already supported the foundation, such as Oman, Australia and Qatar, could not increase their contributions, and that no new foreign governments could begin contributing. Exceptions to this would have to be approved by State Department ethicists and lawyers, who would check for possible conflicts of interest, according to Reuters.
Each year both Hillary and Bill Clinton reveal the names of all new donors to their foundation in a bid for transparency but this is not seen as being enough for opponents of Hillary Clinton who believe that any donations could cause a conflict of interest in the future.
“My theory is: disclose everything and let people make their judgments,” Bill Clinton said in the onstage interview.