Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ
The New York Post editorial board claimed that the Clinton Foundation “isn’t even denying” the claim that foundation donors got “special treatment” from Hillary Clinton’s State Department during the response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But the story the editorial cites as evidence quotes the chairman of the Foundation’s board explicitly saying that donors received “no special treatment.”
The editorial board writes:
Long-secret e-mails just caught Team Hillary in another blatant lie — namely, the claim that Clinton Foundation donors got no special treatment from Clinton’s State Department. In fact, ABC’s “case study” of the 2010 Haiti-relief feeding frenzy may be the most damning foundation scoop yet.
And the foundation isn’t even denying it.
ABC News got the e-mails via a Freedom of Information lawsuit. They show that, after the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake, a top Hillary aide repeatedly gave special attention to “Friends of Bill” looking to cash in.
The Post is lying. The ABC News story the paper links to does include a denial of the claim that donors received special treatment:
Bruce Lindsey, the chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, told ABC News in a written statement that “no special treatment was expected or given.”
“This was a time of dire need, and we mobilized our network and wanted to make sure that any help offered was put to good use,” Lindsey said. “Many had been involved in disaster response before, in New Orleans after Katrina or after the tsunami, and again sought to help.”
In his October 11 press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the department had reviewed the issue and found “no evidence that preferential treatment was given to any particular entity or organization with respect to contracts” with regard to Haiti:
QUESTION: There’s a report that just came out a little while ago, an ABC report based on the – some emails. And I haven’t had a chance to read it closely enough yet to know if it actually makes the allegation or just suggests that there might have been – there might be some impropriety. So let me just ask the question that I think it hints at: What’s – in the wake of the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, did the department give preference to people or companies that donated – that had donated to the Clinton Foundation in terms of contracts to help Haiti recover from the earthquake?
MR KIRBY: No, we looked into this with this – when ABC was working this story. We found no evidence that preferential treatment was given to any particular entity or organization with respect to contracts.
QUESTION: So in other words, you’re saying that although these emails show that people were flagged as being friends of the former president or their companies were – they – your – you looked – your review found that that didn’t actually translate into any favoritism?
MR KIRBY: Right, right. In preparing our response for that story, we looked into that and didn’t find any evidence that preferential treatment or – in a – for contracts was given.
QUESTION: All right.
MR KIRBY: But I don’t think it should – with President Clinton being the – designated by the United Nations as a special envoy for Haiti, I don’t think it would come as a shock to anybody that the people associated with or friends of him or the Clinton Foundation would also in a time of great need want to contribute. But I see no evidence of any preferential or special treatment.