Democrats fear an upcoming posh Clinton charity event – scheduled just one week before the first presidential debate – will provide fresh ammo for Republican nominee Donald Trump, as reported in Politico by Katy O’Donnell.
Hundreds of corporate executives, foreign dignitaries and celebrities will pile into a Manhattan ballroom to hobnob with Bill and Chelsea Clinton next month at their charity’s keynote annual event — just days before Hillary Clinton defends herself against pay-to-play accusations from Donald Trump in their first debate.
The 12th and final annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative will showcase its philanthropic work and also the Democratic nominee’s greatest potential vulnerability — her ties to a sprawling global charity that has accepted donations from Middle Eastern governments, foreign businessmen with checkered histories and major corporations with business before the government.
Some Democratic operatives say they’re dismayed by the timing of the three-day conference Sept. 19-21 — a week before the first national debate and seven weeks before Election Day. They say it’s inevitable that having two members of the former and perhaps future first family rubbing shoulders with the well-heeled and well-connected will provide fresh ammunition to the Republican campaign, even as Hillary Clinton is off honing rebuttals to charges that donors got special consideration from the government while she was Secretary of State.
“Some might suggest that the Clinton Global Initiative is simply a glitzy week of highlighting troubling donors,” said Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “Others will see it as an annual event highlighting distinctive international issues. In the debate, Trump will see it as ammunition to batter the Democrat.”
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