January 13th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
13 years ago

Clinton pressed on greater disclosure of husband's fundraising

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/13/art.hrchand0113.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Clinton was questioned Tuesday about the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - During her confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Hillary Clinton refused to commit to extending an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cover contributors to her husband's Clinton Global Initiative.

Related: Clinton Foundation reaches agreement with Obama camp

Clinton asserted that government ethics officials have concluded under "well-established" rules that "there is not an inherent conflict of interest" for her in any of former President Bill Clinton's fundraising or other business dealings.

Clinton stated that her husband had already gone beyond what was legally required by signing a MoU to fully disclose donations to the Clinton Foundation.

While admitting that extending the MoU to the Clinton Global Initiative is not required by law, Louisiana GOP Sen. David Vitter asserted that "a lot of real and perceived conflict issues" arise from the work of the group, particularly relating to certain contributors from the Middle East.

Clinton responded that while the MoU would not be amended to cover the work of the Initiative, she was trying to address all questions about potential conflicts of interest in a "transparent manner" and there would be "ongoing reviews" of the Clinton Global Initiative's activities.

The initiative wasn't included in the original MoU because it has always disclosed the names of its donors, Clinton noted.

She also refused to agree to a request by Sen. Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, to have the Clinton Foundation reject donations from foreign governments during her tenure as secretary of state.

She asserted that donor countries, as well as the Obama transition team, know that the majority of the money donated goes directly to humanitarian activities such as purchasing AIDS medications in poor countries.

Clinton also stated that all foreign government donations to the foundation will be reviewed by the State Department.

She said she is not immediately made aware of new donations to the foundation, so it would be tough to argue that she could be potentially influenced by its donors.

"I will keep a very close eye on how this is being implemented and make sure the good work of the foundation continues without having an untoward effect on my service," Clinton promised.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Obama transition
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. An Independent Hillary

    You go girl! Make us all proud!!!

    January 13, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse NY

    There's a big gap between doing what is legal and what is moral, ethical and transparent; and not a conflict of interest. It's a reasonable position to ask that no foreign contributions be accepted while Hillary is SOS.

    January 13, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Larry

    Typical Democrat-see no evil ,speak no evil ,hear no evil--If the evil is about ME.

    January 13, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  4. Chaco

    Catherine Gold:

    Before we stop private foundations from accepting donations from foreign governments to use for humanitarian causes, maybe we should institute policies that prohibit OUR government from sending millions to so many of those same foreign governments. Think about it.

    January 13, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. petena

    Hillay: You are my role model and always will be . You inspire me so much. You are intelligent, poised, highly educated and so knowledgeable. On the other hand, can you just imagine Sarah Palin trying to answer any of these questions by the committee? That would be another SNL episode.

    January 13, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. No Hillary = No Obama

    Another woman having to answer for the actions of her husband. Give me a break. When the hell are they going to leave Hillary alone?

    January 13, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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