Hillary Clinton told an Iowa audience this week during her presidential campaign rollout that all her grandparents were immigrants to America, a claim she has made before. It turns out that is not true.
A separate news report has emerged that one of the major funders of the Clinton Foundation may have violated U.S. trade sanctions by doing business with Iran.
In a speech to attempt to connect with voters in the all-important caucus state, Hillary Clinton offered this background information about her alleged immigrant roots.
“All my grandparents, you know, came over here and you know my grandfather went to work in lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going. So I sit here and I think well you’re talking about the second, third generation. That’s me, that’s you.”
A Buzzfeed review of census records indicates, however, that one of her grandparents was born in England, while the other three were born in the U.S.–specifically Pennsylvania and Illinois, making Clinton a fourth generation American on the maternal side of the family.
A Clinton campaign rep informedPeople that the former Secretary of State just made an honest mistake. “Her grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants.”
Separately, much has been made in the press of the Clinton Foundation, a charitable organization, accepting ethically questionable large donations from foreign countries (and multinational corporations) before, during, and after Hillary Clinton served as America’s top diplomat, raising conflict-of-interest or influence peddling implications.
According to a Newsweekreport published today, wealthy Ukrainian industrialist Victor Pinchuk, the owner of Interpipe Group, “was confirmed as the largest individual contributor to the Clinton Foundation” and that he “has courted the Clintons for at least nine years.” Shipments of railway parts and products for the oil and gas industry from his company in 2011 and 2012, when Clinton was in charge of the State Department and the sanctions regime, to Iran may have violated U.S. sanctions against that country, Newsweek claims.
As the Inquisitrpreviously reported, despite Mrs. Clinton’s reputation as a champion of women’s issues, several Middle Eastern countries pouring millions into the Clinton Foundation have dismal human rights records.
According to the liberal website Vox, which is generally predisposed to support Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy, Clinton Foundation donations could be a significant challenge in the upcoming 2016 presidential campaign.
“But the Clintons’ critics see it as proof of the fundamental corruption that follows two lifelong politicians. The foundation rakes in money from wealthy individuals, corporations, and even foreign countries, many of which have business before a federal government that Hillary Clinton wants to run. Because they’re giving money to a charity, the contributions have a ‘cleaner’ feel to them than campaign checks. But they’re a form of access to the Clintons all the same. Oh, and all that money pays for the creature comforts of the Clintons and their inner circle… Critics of the Clinton Foundation portray it as an ingenious backroom pay-to-play scheme obscured by the mom-and-apple-pie work going on at the front desk. One concern is that US individuals and corporations gain access to the Clintons, curry favor with them, and use their affiliation with the former first couple to launder their brands. They’ve collected money from folks who turned out to be pretty unsavory… In return, the Clintons get money for projects that help the underprivileged, burnish their own brands, and continue to build their political network.”
Separately, a coffee shop sit-down this week between Mrs. Clinton and ordinary Iowans allegedly was staged. According to the Daily Mail, the three people with whom she chatted while cameras rolled were Democrat campaign activists/operatives. Since she always travels surrounded by a large entourage and usually by private jet and limo, it has been suggested that decades have passed since Mrs. Clinton has actually interacted with everyday people. Last year, for example, Hillary Clinton publicly admitted that she hasn’t driven a car since 1996.
Regardless of whether you are a Hillary Clinton supporter or not, do you think the Hillary 2016 campaign is off to a good start?
[Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images News]
The MSNBC Morning Joe crew weighs in on the Hillary Clinton Iowa campaign launch in this video.