Matthews: New Emails Show Clinton Fdn Donors ‘Getting What Appears To Be Special Access,’ ‘They Are Admitting There’s a Conflict’

On Tuesday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Hardball,” host Chris Matthews argued that new emails pertaining to the Clinton Foundation “”show donors getting what appears to be special access.” And that by refusing to take overseas donations to the Clinton Foundation, the Clintons “are admitting there’s a conflict.”

Matthews said that newly-disclosed emails “show donors getting what appears to be special access.” And that the Clinton camp’s response to an Associated Press report about Clinton’s meetings with foundation donors is “an interesting comment, but it doesn’t really challenge the actual numbers.”

He added, “[T]oday’s Associated Press report shows that she makes a point to meet with” Clinton Foundation donors.

Matthews later stated that Clinton met with a “paltry” number of private sector individuals, and “It reminds me of how you get a meeting. If you give to a Senate campaign, either party, male or female, whatever, if you pay to — or contribute to a campaign, you will get an appointment with that person once they’re elected. That’s the way it works.”

He did defend the exchange over meeting with Bahrain’s crown prince by saying, “[I]t seems to me appropriate to meet with the crown prince of Bahrain if you’re secretary of state.” He also stated that, “[W]e don’t know all kinds of reasons why they accept somebody into their office.”

Later, Matthews asked, “Why is Bill Clinton saying I’m not going to be head of it anymore if she gets elected president? Why is he pulling out if it’s not a problem? He thinks it’s a problem.” And added, “They just announced this week, Stephanie, they’re not going to take money from overseas anymore. They’re not going to take money from — they are admitting there’s a conflict.”

Matthews later argued that the Clinton Foundation is a “great organization.” That “does great work.”

He later said, “I don’t see criminality here. I can see the ethics. I can see all kinds of conflict, which is what we live in in Washington. Everybody watching now knows that when you give to a political — a politician, you expect access.”

He concluded, “This is murky. I think we can agree it’s murky. And it’s a great opportunity for critics to make — but I tell you, the criminality question, and calling it racketeering? I don’t think she became secretary of state so she could help the Clinton Foundation. I think she accepted it as a public service. I’m telling you. And an honor. But as Martin Luther King said, sometimes when you do the right thing it has political benefits.”

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