January 13th, 2009
03:54 PM ET
12 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. Michael, Houston Texas

    These guys are just knit picking.

    January 13, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. A Woman In California For Obama

    Well, Obama asked for it and now he's got it-Clinton drama all over again.

    January 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  3. Neil

    Seems like a reasonable request from Luger????

    January 13, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  4. joe smith

    apac will help push this over the top..

    January 13, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Maryann

    Hillary Clinton conducted herself with grace and intelligence during these hearings. She will be a great Secretary of State, and will certainly help improve our image abroad, which the Bush administration managed to leave in ruin.

    January 13, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  6. Viet Vet

    Why not goafter some real crooks (i.e.) The Bush Administration?

    January 13, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  7. canadian pov

    Is there a family on the face of the planet that has undergone the vetting that the Clintons have? The outgoing administration has admitted to torture, treason and tyranny but where is the investigation into those actions? A charitable foundation doing good work around the world by one of the most popular American presidents ever is deserving of more scrutiny than the actions of those that have taken the entire world into the mess that it is in today?

    January 13, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. RJ, Phoenix

    ROb January 13th, 2009 4:57 pm ET

    Leave it to a republican to question someones honesty after the last eight years they have put us through

    Leave it to a Democrat to not question the previous 8 (Clinton) years.
    My what short memories you all seem to have.

    January 13, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Matt

    Make way, make way!!!! Here comes the fear mongering!!!! This is complete and utter nonsense.

    @ sandee

    You got the question wrong. The question is why she and her husband should have to tolerate further intrusion into HIS private dealings through CGI than is required by the law. This is the GOP throwing up a straw man to knock down...VItter only raised this idiocy so he could grandstand about transparency and drum up controversy about terrorist threats when the fact is it has all been arranged to be transparent and nobody really believes in a million years that Clinton is going to sell out the US to terrorists because her husband's charitable foundation received money from somewhere like Saudi Arabia.

    January 13, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Francis, IL

    Powerful woman onboard.

    Obama + Clinton = Success.

    January 13, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. David

    God help SOS Clinton and the United States of America. She has no idea what she is getting [us] into.

    January 13, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. California Gold

    I think instituting a ban on donations from foreign governments is reasonable. The foreign government could always find a work around to funnel in money, but it is clear to me that the Clinton organization refusing to accept money from a foreign government, at the least during her tenure as SOS, would be reasonable. It's a red flag that she rejected the idea. Conflict of interest concerns are always red flags in all levels of government.

    January 13, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  13. Don

    I do not understand what part of this story people seem to not understand. First, Clinton(Bill) has agreed to disclose his donations to the Obama Administration. He is not legally required to do this and is going far and beyond what is required to make sure there is no conflict of interest. Second, why do our lawmakers and some in the media seem to have an issue with this simple issue. How many times does someone have to answer the same question. And finally, Hillary Clinton more than proved she is not only capable, but ready to lead this country and our world to a safer place. And finally part two, the Clinton Global Int. is one of the world most respected organizations. Clinton's work has saved millions of lives and this work should be respected. Good job today, Senator Clinton. You shined.

    January 13, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  14. Baze

    Oh please, since when did money from the Middle East become a problem for the G.O.P.? Are they trying to insinuate that Clinton "pals around with terrorists"?

    January 13, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |


    January 13, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. Matt

    Riiiiiiiiight, because Hillary is going to sell out the US security interests to those scary brown middle-eastern muslim terrorists simply because Billy's charitable organization received funding from, let's say Jordan, which it then used to help supply sick people in Africa with AIDS and malaria medication. This makes total sense to me. She should be jailed for having anything to do with such disgusting charitable work and her husband should be exiled to the middle east since he loves them so much.

    January 13, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  17. catmom

    Oh Clinton haters, get over yourselves. You all should be thanking the Clinton's for all that they have done for this country. Stop trying to find something that isn't there. You want transparency? Ask Bush and Cheney about transparency. Senator Clinton will make a great Secretary of State. She will do the job herself and Bill Clinton will continue to do the great work he is doing. End of story.

    January 13, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. Anna, ATL

    I suppose you are suggesting the GOP is requesting unnecessary information in the public interest rather than their own?

    January 20th and no confirmed Cabinet appointees...sounds scary, Michael A, huh?

    the clinton global initiative does great things, and will continue to do so...that's Drama, CA woman for Obama?

    I used to think you had to live under a rock to avoid scrutiny in Washington; then Sarah Palin came along..

    January 13, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  19. CO

    Michael- obviously Obama will need a functioning administration in place when he takes power, with the members approved and ready to work. Hearings after the 20th aren't practical.

    January 13, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. Matt

    This is a PERFECT example of the question/accusation equating with the conviction in our country's political system. It's like asking someone on the stand "have you stopped beating your wife, yes or no?" Just because Luger and Vitter are asking loaded questions intended to create fear and doubt, does not mean that the fear and doubt are warranted.

    January 13, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. roni-ftlaud

    give her a break she perfect for the Sec. of State position why don't they investagate Bush/Chaney

    January 13, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  22. Leslie Somerville

    All you people ragging on Hillary Clinton–You think Obama isn't just a regular, corrupt politician either?????
    The USA is going to go down the toilet with this great man who you think is going to save the world-it is going to be a pleasure to watch it from the sidelines too..........................

    January 13, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. Lynn in NM

    Does she know what the definition of "is" is? More dancing around the flagpole from the Clintons. That's amazing! I expected her to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, just as her husband did.

    January 13, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  24. Matt

    As soon as Vitter volunteers himself to be impeached for sleeping with prostitutes and showing his own lack of moral fortitude (remember his attacks on Bill and his wife's comments about the Lewinsky scandal?)...then he can start questioning someone else's moral and ethical standards...but not before.

    January 13, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Nick in Las Vegas

    Hillary makes me proud. Its great to see an intelligent, composed public official doing their best work.

    January 13, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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