Former President Bill Clinton admitted to National Public Radio on Monday that some donors to the Clinton Foundation may have sought to win favors from the government, particularly the State Department while under his wife, Hillary Clinton.
“The rules we had worked great when she was Secretary of State, because if we made a mistake, you could appeal to the White House, and the White House obviously didn’t want anything to be done that shouldn’t be done,” Clinton told NPR.
Asked whether he thought some Clinton Foundation donors might have given money in the expectation that the Clintons would be returning to the White House, and able to exert political influence on the donors’ behalf in the future, Clinton said:
Well, since we had 300,000 donors, it would be unusual if nobody did. The names I saw in the paper, none of them surprised me, and all of them could have gotten their own meeting with Hillary… It was natural for people who had been our political allies and personal friends to call and ask for things. And I trusted the State Department wouldn’t do anything they shouldn’t do, from a meeting to a favor. And so it didn’t surprise me that people would call from time to time. And maybe some of them gave money for that reason, but most of them gave it because they liked what we were doing, and because they knew me.
New evidence of conflicts of interest between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department continues to emerge. Emails recently obtained by Judicial Watch, for example, show that Clinton Foundation staff interceded in 2011 with Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, to prevent the U.S. visa of Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive from being revoked.
Mary Anastasia O’Grady, writing in the Wall Street Journal, notes that Clinton Foundation Chief Operating Officer Laura Graham was actually living at Bellerive’s house at the time, with the approval of both Mills and Bill Clinton.
The Clintons’ ties to Haiti have come under closer scrutiny since Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer’s bestselling book Clinton Cash exposed the Clintons’ role in commandeering reconstruction efforts after the January 2010 earthquake. Bill Clinton and Bellerive were appointed to chair the Interim Haitian Relief Committee (IHRC), which received — and wasted — aid money, while some projects were approved that favored “Clinton friends allies, and even family members” rather than local residents.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.