Media Recycle Old News To Attack Hillary Clinton Over Foundation Donors

Media are recycling old news that The Clinton Foundation accepts foreign donations when neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton hold political office to fearmonger over “ethical concerns” surrounding the donations, ignoring the fact that it is not unusual for foundations to receive foreign donations and that Clinton's record as Secretary of State makes clear that she was not politically influenced by previous donations to the Foundation.

WSJ Recycles Old News To Hype “Ethical Concerns” Over Foreign Donations To Clinton Foundation 

WSJ: “Donations Raise Ethical Questions As Hillary Clinton Ramps Up Expected 2016 Bid.” The Wall Street Journal reported on February 17 that the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea ClintonFoundation “dropped its self-imposed ban” on donations from foreign governments, claiming the move raises “ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.” The Journal noted that the Clinton Foundation did not accept any new foreign donations during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State (2009-2013).  [The Wall Street Journal2/17/15]

Media Promote WSJ Report In Attempt To Scandalize Donations

Fox's John Roberts Suggests Foreign Countries Donating To Clinton Foundation Could Receive “Special Treatment” From Clinton White House. On the February 18 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, correspondent John Roberts claimed that foreign donations to The Clinton Foundation “raise ethical questions” and wondered if “governments that contributed to the Clinton Foundation [might] have a special in at the White House” if Clinton were to become president in 2016. [Fox News, America's Newsroom2/18/15]

Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin: Foreign Donations Are “Unseemly In The Extreme.” In a February 18 post on The Washington Post's Right Turn blog, Jennifer Rubin hyped WSJ's report on the Clinton Foundation donations and stated "[w]e cannot give her a pass simply because her entity is a 'foundation' not a PAC or campaign entity." Rubin went on to assert that accepting the money is “unseemly in the extreme” and that “her egregious judgment and untrammeled greed raise real questions about her priorities and ethics.” [The Washington Post, Right Turn blog, 2/18/15

Washington Free Beacon: “These Donations Could Be Viewed As Another Way In To Clinton's Potential Campaign.” In a February 18 post, The Washington Free Beacon promoted news of donations to The Clinton Foundation, arguing, “While it is illegal for foreign governments to donate money directly to a political campaign, these donations could be viewed as another way in to Clinton's potential campaign.” [The Washington Free Beacon, 2/18/15

Vox: Foreign Donations Aren't Unethical, But Are Still A Problem For Possible Clinton Campaign. A February 18 Vox article argued that since neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton currently hold any political office, and Hillary Clinton hasn't announced that she's running for president in 2016 yet, The Clinton Foundation accepting foreign donations isn't illegal or unethical. However, Vox went on to argue that “having a husband who runs a non-profit foundation that's soaking up foreign cash does not help her win.” [Vox, 2/18/15]

National Journal's Ron Fournier: “Stupid And Sleazy” That Clinton Foundation Receives Foreign Donations. On February 18, The National Journal's Ron Fournier called The ClintonFoundation's acceptance of foreign donations “stupid and sleazy.” Fournier suggested that Clinton, as president, would face and cave to “pressure” to “return financial favors” to foreign countries that donated to the Foundation. [The National Journal2/18/15

But A Foundation Receiving Money From Foreign Donors Is Not News  

Donations To Presidential Foundations, Including The Clinton Foundation, Are Nothing New. The New York Times reported as far back as 2007 on some of the foreign donations being received by the Clinton Foundation. [The New York Times12/20/07

Wash. Post: Experts Say Clinton Foundation Has Long Exceeded Transparency Levels Of Most Philanthropies. The Washington Post reported on February 18 that The Clinton Foundation has a record for being transparent in posting donor data. According to the Post, " In posting its donor data, [T]he [F]oundation goes beyond legal requirements, and experts say its transparency level exceeds that of most philanthropies." [The Washington Post2/18/15

USA Today: George Bush Presidential Library Received Donations Of Over $1 Million From Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, And Other Foreign Nations. As USA Today reported in November 1997, the George H. W. Bush presidential library received large foreign donations:

Gratitude for Bush's leadership in the Persian Gulf War helped with the library fund-raising. Listed among donors of $ 1million or more are the citizens of Kuwait, the State of Kuwait, the Bandar Bin Sultan family of Saudi Arabia, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science, the Sultanate of Oman, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan and the People of the United Arab Emirates. [USA Today, 11/4/97, via Nexis]

Previous Donations To Foundation Did Not Stop Clinton From Criticizing Those Countries

The Guardian: Hillary Clinton Backed Saudi Arabian Women's Right-To-Drive Campaign. Despite The Clinton Foundation having previously received money from Saudi Arabia prior to her role as secretary of state, while holding the cabinet position Hillary Clinton supported women who were protesting against the Saudis' ban on female drivers, saying, “What these women are doing is brave and what they are seeking is right.” [The Guardian6/21/11

New York Times: Clinton Delivered Scalding Critique Of Arab Leaders On Corruption, Repression, Lack of Rights For Women. Despite applauding Qatar for “signs of progress,” as secretary of state, Clinton was unafraid to deliver “a scalding critique of Arab leaders” while visiting the country. While speaking to Arab leaders, Clinton “recited a litany of ills: corruption, repression and a lack of rights for women and religious minorities.” [The New York Times1/14/11]

Think Progress: LGBT Activists In The UAE Cited Hillary Clinton Speech In Fight Against Ex-Gay Therapy. Using a speech made by Hillary Clinton before a United Nations assembly filled with, among others, leaders from United Arab Emirates,  LGBT activists in the UAE used Clinton's historic 2011 speech to buttress their calls to end repressive anti-gay policies in the country. [Think Progress, 1/31/12]