Fox & Friends hosted Peter Schweizer, executive producer of the film Clinton Cash -- based on the error-riddled book of the same name -- who relied on a number of debunked and baseless claims to attack former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Schweizer recycled the debunked claim that Clinton failed to block the Russian purchase of American uranium mines after the Russian government donated to the Clinton Foundation and alleged that the Clintons “cashed in” on Clinton’s role as secretary of state through speaking fees. From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
PETER SCHWEIZER: Well, the film really walks people through very real examples of how the Clintons have basically become wealthy by peddling government influence and power. And what's interesting about the story is we're not talking about Wall Street or large oil companies in the United States, we're talking about foreign governments and foreign corporations. That's, I think, what's so shocking about what the Clintons have done that’s unprecedented with any other political figures in American history.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And Peter, we all read the book, it was a best seller, but I watched the movie two weeks ago. I went over there with Bill Hemmer. And it's unbelievable how it's spelled out and I walked away thinking this: would they be this blatant about these scandals knowing that Hillary Clinton was queued up to run for president? Why would they take any risk let alone put this out there?
SCHWEITZER: Well that’s a great question, Brian. It's hard to get into their heads, but what I would speculate and say is that, look, there has been a pattern of behavior with the Clintons for a long time going back to when Bill was president, when he was governor of Arkansas. They always play it very, very close ethically in this way, and they've gotten away with it. They haven't paid the price. So I think when she became Secretary of State, America's chief diplomat, they basically viewed it as an opportunity to cash in. You gave that figure that they've had $200 million of income from 2001 to the present. From 2007 to the present, it was $170 million of that. So they were doing pretty good before she became secretary of state. Once she became secretary of state, Bill's speaking fees tripled, the amounts and the quantity that they got from overseas went through the roof. They cashed in. There is just no other way to say it.
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Sure. And, Peter, there's no doubt that a former president can get hundreds of thousands of dollars to give a speech. But when you are a former president, a former president who was very popular, but your wife is a sitting secretary of state, suddenly that -- you know, that figure you can get goes up because it looks like – and if it quacks like a duck -- it looks like there is some influence there, doesn't it?
SCHWEIZER: No, that's a great point, Steve. I mean, look, every president since Eisenhower when they left the White House has hit the lecture circuit. And I don't, in principle, have a problem with that. The problem is when your wife is America’s chief diplomat and your speaking fees, Bill Clinton’s triple overnight and you've got people like Nigeria and Russia showing up, offering you $700,000 for a single speech when they weren't interested in having you speak before, and these same people have things sitting on her desk at the State Department, and you just take the money? It's ridiculous. I mean, they know precisely what's going on.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Where does the foundation fit into all this?
SCHWEIZER: That's a great question. The foundation is also a means for influencing the Clintons. Look if you're a foreign government or a foreign corporation, you can't give money to Hillary Clinton’s political campaigns, you can't give to a super PAC, but you can give to the foundation. And by the way, Hillary Clinton herself set up international ethics standards that said bribery includes not just money given to political figures but given to their charities. So just because money flows to the Clinton Foundation, it is still a bribe if it's done for the purpose of influence, and I think the pattern is pretty clear that this money is being thrown at the Clintons because they want favors in return, and they are getting favors in return.