When Hillary Clinton announced she would run for president, some aides expressed fear that the Clinton Foundation would destroy her campaign, and they were right. The foundation has always been suspected of bending the rules, blurring ethical lines, and enriching the Clintons.
According to the New York Times, many critics have always believed the organization presents a stark representation of how to milk politics and make money. The release of hacked emails during the course of Hillary Clinton’s campaign revealed, among other things, the power struggles within the foundation and the incessant infighting between aides.
According to Fox News, former President Bill Clinton’s foundation racked up $50 million in travel expenses. In 2011 alone, the foundation, which is also attached to Hillary and Chelsea, spent $12.1 million on travel, including flying actress Natalie Portman first-class (with her pooch in tow) to a foundation event.
When Hillary Clinton became Obama’s secretary of state in 2008, a charitable organization quickly morphed into a private slush fund with a strong aim of enriching the Clintons and readying a bid for the White House. Her position in government opened up an avalanche of opportunities for governments and the ultra-wealthy to push for favorable policies and decisions.
One of those decisions was the appointment of Rajiv Fernando to the International Security Advisory Board in 2011 despite his lack of experience for the job. According to ABC News, Fernando, a stock trader, donated $100,000 to Clinton’s primary presidential campaign in 2008. He also donated over $250,000 to the William J. Clinton Foundation.
Fernando was on a board comprising of security experts, former cabinet secretaries, members of congress, and nuclear scientists. He was part of an esteemed team of individuals saddled with the task of advising then-Secretary Clinton on the use of tactical nuclear weapons and other decisive arms control concerns. Mr. Fernando did not have a single qualification relating to his work description.
He had to resign after the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board made a fuss about his qualifications. In a State Department internal email, a Clinton staffer, Jamie Mannina, suggested that the donor should throw in the towel, four days after his controversial appointment, to protect Clinton’s name.
“I have spoken to State Department official and ISAB Executive Director Richard Hartman privately, and it appears there is much more to this story that we’re unaware of… we must protect the Secretary’s and under Secretary’s name as well as the integrity of the board.”
Rajiv Fernando was at a White House dinner six months after leaving the security board. He is now a superdelegate, and since 2008, he is alleged to have contributed between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
Many companies donated to the foundation and used lobbyists to set up meetings with the Clintons for favorable decisions. According to a USA Today report, data from the Center for Responsive Politics and Financial Records revealed “at least a dozen companies lobbied the State Department using lobbyists who doubled as major Clinton campaign fundraisers.”
Microsoft gave between $1 million and $5 million to the Clinton foundations for favorable policies pertaining to cyber security, critical infrastructure, and software industry licensing. Microsoft was fronted by lobbyist Fredrick Humphries, who brokered a payment of $400,000 for two speeches Bill Clinton gave on behalf of Microsoft.
ExxonMobil gave millions lobbying for issues like hydraulic fracturing otherwise known as fracking. Pfizer, one of the foremost pharmaceutical companies in the world also gave millions lobbying for policies pertaining to intellectual property rights abroad.
Over $165 billion in arms were sold to countries with appalling human rights records under Clinton’s watch. These countries donated massively to the Clinton Foundation, notably among them Saudi Arabia and Qatar. According to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, these countries also provide financial support for the Islamic State terror group.
In a revealing 2011 memo, Doug Band, a long-time associate of Bill Clinton, revealed how he had personally raised $46 million for the foundation through the Clinton Global Initiative. In a 12-page memo, Band said he got consulting gigs and profitable speaking engagements for “Bill Clinton Inc.”
In another email, which showed the power struggles from within, Chelsea Clinton hired a law firm to look into allegations that her father’s aides were lining their pockets with money meant for the foundation. According to the Inquisitr, Chelsea Clinton would later be accused of using foundation money to pay for her wedding.
Behind the scenes, Mrs. Clinton’s aides worked feverishly on the best way to disassociate her from the foundation and its sharp practices. Clinton aide Robby Mook asked for her name to be removed from the foundation because “it will invite press scrutiny and she’ll be held accountable for what happens there.” Cheryl Mills, another aide, talked with Clinton about taking steps that would realign her relationship with the foundation.
Former Secretary Clinton tried to keep the slew of scandals out of the public eye and cover her tracks. This was why she went through the painstaking efforts of conducting all her business on a personal server. In her bid to avoid scrutiny, many of her atrocities came to light with plenty of help from WikiLeaks.
Fifty-four percent of Americans believed she could not be trusted. They might have been egged on by the anti-establishment stance president-elect Donald Trump presented during his campaign. However, the 69-year-old politician was always sitting on a keg of gun powder when she decided again to take a shot at the presidency.
Hillary Clinton’s unethical, untrustworthy, and botched leadership was a source of concern for many Americans. On November 8, they let us all know how they felt about it.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]