GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has called for the Clinton Foundation to be shut down. "The Clintons have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people. It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history," said Trump in a statement. "What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately."
Here are seven things you need to know about the scandal-plagued foundation.
1. The Clinton Foundation was established in 2001. Former President Bill Clinton said that the foundation aimed "to alleviate poverty, improve global health, strengthen economies, and protect the environment." In reality, it became a way for the Clintons and their cronies to enrich themselves.
2. For an organization that is supposedly a charity, the Clinton Foundation spent very little money on "direct aid." IRS documents showed that the Foundation raised over $500 million from 2009-2012, and yet the Clinton Foundation only spent $75 million on "programmatic grants."
"The other $425 million was allocated as follows: more than $25 million went for travel expenses; almost $110 million for employee salaries and benefits; and $290 million for 'other expenses,'" reports Discover The Networks.
These numbers were similar in the foundation's 2013 tax returns, which revealed that the Clinton Foundation raised over $140 million but only used $9 million in direct aid, according to the New York Post:
On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fundraising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons is on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the foundation.
In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.
Indeed, Form 990 shows that the Clintons used the money raised by the foundation to pay for their travel expenses, which included "travel by charter or in first class."
"The Clintons get nothing from the foundation except free travel on chartered jets and first-class airline seats and hotel stays and, oh yes, control over a giant operating budget to steer to the charities and good causes that they prefer," writes National Review's Jim Geraghty. "Practically nothing!"
3. The Clintons have listed their foundation as a charity for tax write-off purposes. Bill and Hillary Clinton claimed $10.2 million in charitable tax breaks from 2001-2008 due to the Clinton Foundation. In 2015, $1 million out of Bill and Hillary's $1,042,000 in charitable deductions was due to the Clinton Family Foundation, which is separate from the Clinton Foundation but still run by the sleazy political power couple.
Even "nonprofit experts" are skeptical about the Clinton Foundation's status as a charity, via the New York Post:
Charity Navigator, which rates nonprofits, recently refused to rate the Clinton Foundation because its “atypical business model . . . doesn’t meet our criteria.”
Charity Navigator put the foundation on its “watch list,” which warns potential donors about investing in problematic charities. The 23 charities on the list include the Rev. Al Sharpton’s troubled National Action Network, which is cited for failing to pay payroll taxes for several years.
Other nonprofit experts are asking hard questions about the Clinton Foundation’s tax filings in the wake of recent reports that the Clintons traded influence for donations.
“It seems like the Clinton Foundation operates as a slush fund for the Clintons,” said Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, a government watchdog group where progressive Democrat and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout was once an organizing director.
Allison is correct.
4. The Clinton Foundation's donors include countries with awful records on women's rights. Via Geraghty, these countries include:
- $1-5 million from Qatar.
- $5-10 million from Kuwait.
- $10-$25 million from Saudi Arabia.
"These governments are not exactly known for their equitable treatment of women," writes Geraghty. "If they wanted to promote women’s rights, changing their own laws would do far more than their millions in donations ever will."
Saudi Arabia's laws are especially horrendous towards women. The Week lists nine things women can't do in the country, which includes swimming, driving and playing sports.
The Clinton Foundation had started the Full Participation project, which was aimed "to expand women’s access to contraception and education, increase their involvement in the workforce, and fight child marriage," according to Geraghty. And yet the foundation took money from countries that treat women as second-class citizens.
5. The Clinton Foundation was used for the Clintons to provide quid pro quo deals to their donors. Some examples include:
- The Clinton Foundation used the Haiti earthquake to provide "aid" to the Haitians that was really nothing more than payoffs to Clinton donors that did very little to help the Haitians, as Dinesh D'Souza explains here.
- Clinton Foundation donor Joyce Aboussie asked top Clinton aide Huma Abedin in June 2009 for Peabody Energy, a coal company Aboussie consulted for, to have a meeting with Clinton, and Abedin responded: "I hope we can make something work."
- Also in 2009, U2 lead singer Bono, also a donor to the Clinton Foundation, wanted "to do a linkup with the International Space Station on every show during the tour this year," according to newly released emails. Abedin and Clinton Foundation director Doug Band didn't know who to talk to in NASA about it, but as Politico notes, U2's most recent tour did feature "a video from astronauts aboard the International Space Station."
- The Clinton Foundation gave $2 million to one of Bill Clinton's special friends, as The Daily Wire reported here.
- Hillary Clinton's State Department approved of a deal that gave Russia 20 percent of U.S. uranium reserves because it benefited Clinton Foundation donors.
- Clinton's State Department also approved of "$165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation," including "Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar," according to International Business Times.
The Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro has listed other quid pro quo deals relating to the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation here.
6. Numerous journalists and media organizations donated to the Clinton Foundation. According to Politico, these include ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos, NBC Universal and Time Warner Inc, the parent company of CNN. PBS News anchor Judy Woodruff also donated to the Clinton Foundation's relief fund for Haiti, which, as mentioned earlier, was really a slush fund to benefit Clinton Foundation donors.
7. The Clinton Foundation pledged to clear any foreign donations with the State Department before Clinton became the Secretary of State. And yet they didn't clear a $500,000 donation from the government of Algeria in 2010, which is why their pledge to stop taking foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton if elected president cannot be taken seriously.