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What you need to know about the Clinton Foundation drama

Posted September 8

One of the latest scandals of this year's heated presidential race is Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's involvement with her family's nonprofit corporation.

The Clinton Foundation — which works to "deliver sustainable solutions that last and transforms communities" around the world — first came under fire when she was appointed U.S. secretary of state. The foundation was technically started by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, in 1997.

Critics questioned whether she could remain partial while accepting donations from foreign entities so, as reported by Buzzfeed, the foundation agreed in 2009 to disclose all donations each year and limit donations made by foreign organizations.

There were some clear violations of those agreements however, like when it accepted a $500,000 donation from the Algerian government and when the foundation's health program failed to disclose donations in 2010.

The foundation has again promised to ban donations from corporations and foreign entities if Hillary Clinton is elected, but not everyone is convinced.

"Apparently she'll have a conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation if she becomes president, but I guess she didn't have a conflict of interest taking foreign donations while she was secretary of state of the United States of America," Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said at an Iowa rally.

And when the Associated Press tweeted a headline to an article that read, "More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation," Republican nominee Donald Trump, and many others, jumped again to question Hillary Clinton's impartiality.

"No issue better illustrates how corrupt my opponent is than her pay for play scandals as secretary of state," Trump said in an Ohio speech.

But almost immediately after the tweet was posted, numerous reporters stepped up to say the headline and the article were inaccurate and used "deeply misleading framing."

Vox reporter Matthew Yglesias pointed out that the AP gathered its numbers using incomplete records. While reporters went on to clarify that at least 85 of 154 of Hillary Clinton's meetings were with donors, Yglesias writes that it seems unlikely she only held 154 meetings during her four years in office.

Hillary Clinton told CNN the AP report left out nearly 2,000 meetings in its analysis, to which the AP responded that it had repeatedly requested calendar documents and eventually sued the State Department for them. The numbers the AP reported came from the first round of schedules it received.

The AP said it would continue to report on Hillary Clinton's meetings during her time as secretary of state as it receives them, which it expects to come before Election Day.

In addition to its announcements regarding foreign donations, Buzzfeed reported that Bill Clinton has told employees that they would be scaling back operations and, should Hillary Clinton be elected, he would step down from his board seat. Chelsea Clinton, Hillary and Bill's daughter, will continue to hold her seat on the board.

Hillary Clinton has not yet commented on the future of the foundation.

Email: sweber@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @sarapweber

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