Right-Wing Media’s Dishonest Attempt To Attack The Clinton Foundation's LGBT Advocacy

Right-Wing Media’s Dishonest Attempt To Attack The Clinton Foundation's LGBT Advocacy

››› ››› ERIN FITZGERALD

Right-wing media are continuing their dogged attempt to attack Hillary Clinton by scandalizing donations to the Clinton Foundation from countries with anti-LGBT policies, while consistently ignoring Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s financial ties to the Middle East and Russia. 

Right-Wing Media Push False Narrative That Hillary Clinton Is Anti-LGBT Because Of Foundation Donations From Anti-LGBT Countries

Radio And Fox Host Sean Hannity: Clinton Claims To Be The “Champion” Of Women And LGBT People While Accepting Donations From “Saudi Arabia And Omam (Sic).” Despite a decades-long history of spouting anti-LGBT rhetoric and misinformation, Fox host Sean Hannity has repeatedly criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton because her family’s foundation previously accepted donations from countries that have a history of discriminating against LGBT people and women. During his September 15 radio show, Hannity also pointed a finger at CNN for failing to analyze these Clinton Foundation donations, and didn’t mention that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has business ties in most of these countries, as well:

SEAN HANNITY: Republicans are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, blah blah blah. But let’s not analyze on CNN Hillary taking money from countries like Saudi Arabia and Omam (sic) and Kuwait and the UAE and all these other counties. Tens of millions in the case of the Saudis for the library in the Clinton Foundation. Let’s not analyze their horrible treatment of women. Hillary claims to be their champion, but women can’t drive. Women can’t go on vacation unless they get permission from a man. Women can’t go out in public. They’re told how to dress. They must go with a male relative. And of course, women are treated horribly. They need four male eyewitnesses in many Muslim countries to prove rape. Then in Saudi Arabia, gays and lesbians are killed. Wait a minute, Hannity, you’re against gay marriage! OK, I don’t want to change the definition of marriage, but I think it is evil and atrocious and an abomination to kill people. Innocent people, gays and lesbians slaughtered just because they’re gay and lesbian. Sean Hannity, libertarian, don’t give a flyin rip what anybody does in their bedroom. Oh Hannity, that breaks stereotype. [Media Matters, 9/14/16]

Breitbart News: Clinton Foundation Took Money From “Despots Looking To Gain Legitimacy” And “Oil-Rich Oligarchs.” Breitbart News published an article attacking Clinton and the Clinton Foundation on September 14 titled “Hillary’s Deplorables: 7 Foreign Dictators And Anti-LGBT Nations Hillary Bagged Billions From.” Author Jerome Hudson attempted to delegitimize the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from countries with questionable LGBT rights records, such as Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar. Hudson also claimed Clinton “opened herself up to criticism” after she condemned the racism and bigotry associated with the Trump campaign:

When Hillary Clinton described half of the Americans supporting Donald Trump as a “basket of deplorables” made up of “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic” people, she opened herself up to criticism about her own “deplorables”: The repressive regimes that gave millions to the Clinton Foundation, many of those high-dollar donations flooding in while Clinton was serving as Secretary of State. [Breitbart News, 9/14/16]

TheBlaze TV’s Tomi Lahren: Clinton And Clinton Foundation Donors “Literally Stone Women And Throw Gays Off Buildings.” Tomi Lahren, a conservative commentator for TheBlaze, accused Clinton, along with Clinton Foundation donors, of “literally” committing acts of violence against women and the LGBT community.

From the September 12 edition of TheBlaze TV’s Tomi:

So to paraphrase Mrs. Clinton, if you're not supporting her -- the liar -- you are either in a basket of deplorables or losers and idiots that need to be saved by her lying ass. Really? I don't think so, Hillary; but at least the truth finally came out.

[…]

It’s bad enough that you waltz around in $12,000 Armani jackets and wine and dine with big donors -- all while telling the common folk you know their struggle -- but now, now you have the audacity to call Trump supporters racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, and Islamophobic while you and your foundation donors and those funding your lifestyle literally stone women and throw gays off buildings. That's some pretty rich stuff coming from you, Hillary. [Facebook, 9/12/16]

Hannity And Newt Gingrich Bash Clinton Foundation Donations From Countries With “Morality Police” Who “Bought Benign Willingness To Pretend They Were Good People.” On the June 13 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, host Hannity and Fox contributor Newt Gingrich both criticized the Clinton Foundation for taking money from Middle Eastern countries with anti-LGBT laws. Hannity reported that the Clinton Foundation received “up to $25 million from Saudi Arabia” as well as “up to $5 million from countries like Qatar ... [and] Brunei. Now, all three of those countries ... have the death penalty for people who are gay and lesbian.” Hannity said taking donations from countries like Saudi Arabia without criticizing them is “shameful” and “disgusting.” Neither talked about the various business deals Trump has in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/13/16]

Fox Correspondent John Roberts: Trump “Taking Aim” At “Donations That The Clinton Foundation Has Received From Middle Eastern Countries” That Punish People Who Are “Gay Or Lesbian.” Fox senior national correspondent John Roberts reported on the June 14 edition of Fox’s Happening Now that Trump was “taking aim at Hillary Clinton on a number of different fronts, but in particular over donations that the Clinton Foundation has received from Middle Eastern countries which provide very harsh penalties for people who are either gay or lesbian.” Roberts suggested Trump was highlighting this issue to gain traction “in the wake of” the June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub Orlando, FL, but he failed to mention any of Trump’s own business interests in the Middle East. [Fox News, Happening Now, 6/15/16]

Trump Has Had Business Deals With Many Of The Same Countries That Donated To The Clinton Foundation

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald: “The Dealings Of The Trump Organization Reach Into So Many Countries That It Is Impossible To Detail.” Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald reported that Trump has long-standing and deep financial connections to the Middle East including financial ties to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal dating back to the 1990s and business pursuits in the United Arab Emirates that began in 2005. EIchenwald also reported that Trump also pursued a business arrangement with the former dictator of Libya, Muammar el-Qaddafi. [Newsweek, 9/14/16]

NY Daily News Investigation Found That Trump Has Likely Been Paid At Least $5.7 Million By The Saudi Government Since 2001. An exclusive investigation by the New York Daily News found that Trump “sold the 45th floor of Trump World Tower to to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million in June 2001.” Additionally, if the annual “common charges” for building amenities have remained the same since the sale, “Trump was paid at least $5.7 million by the Saudi government since 2001.” The investigation also highlighted Trump’s public flip-flops on whether he would accept money from the Saudi government:

Trump sold the 45th floor of Trump World Tower to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for $4.5 million in June 2001, according to a city Finance Department spokeswoman. In 2008, the apartments became part of the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, records show.

The five apartments included 10 bedrooms and 13 bathrooms at the time of the sale, and had yearly common charges of $85,585 for building amenities, documents obtained by The News show. If those common charges remain the same, Trump was paid at least $5.7 million by the Saudi government since 2001.

Meanwhile, blowhard Trump and his cronies have hammered Clinton on the campaign trail, saying she should return money Saudi Arabia gave to the Clinton Foundation because the Arab state has a poor human rights record.

“Crooked Hillary says we must call on Saudi Arabia and other countries to stop funding hate,” Trump posted to Facebook in June. “I am calling on her to immediately return the $25 million plus she got from them for the Clinton Foundation!”

[...]

Trump, for his part, has sent mixed signals regarding his dealings with the Saudis.

“Would you take money from the Saudis?” Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked recently.

“No,” Trump replied.

He told a different story last year.

“Saudi Arabia — and I get along great with all of them. They buy apartments from me,” Trump said in Mobile, Ala.

“They spend $40 million, $50 million. Am I supposed to dislike them? I like them very much.” [New York Daily News, 9/4/16]

Wash. Post: Donald Trump Jr. Bragged That Russian Investments Are “Pouring In.” The Washington Post reported that there was “strong evidence” that Trump’s businesses were significantly funded by Russian investors and that Trump’s foreign policy adviser and former campaign manager had extensive financial relationships with Russian interests. The most compelling evidence comes via claims made by Trump’s son in 2008 and Trump himself in 2013. From the Post’s July 29 article:

There is strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors. Most notably, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. made that very claim at a real estate conference in New York in 2008, saying “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.” Donald Trump Jr. added, “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Trump also made millions when he agreed to bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013, a deal financed in part by the development company of a Russian billionaire Aras Agalarov. Agalarov is a Putin ally who is sometimes called the “Trump of Russia” because of his tendency to put his own name on his buildings. At the time, Trump mingled with the Russian business elite at a swanky after-party. “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump bragged on returning home. [The Washington Post, 7/29/16]

Quartz: “Wealthy Muslims Helped Donald Trump Build His Empire,” Including Via Deals With Saudis And Qataris. A December 7 Quartz article detailed “some of the more prominent deals and partnerships with Muslim individuals, governments, and companies that have buoyed the Trump brand over the years.” These business ventures involve Qatar Airways, which has had a “‘corporate campus’ in the Trump Tower … since at least 2008;” two Saudi princes who live in Trump Tower; Saudi Prince Alwaleed, who took “majority control of New York’s Plaza hotel, [which gave] Trump ‘more breathing room with bank creditors’” and purchased Trump’s $18 million yacht; the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai; and Trump Home partnerships in “Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.” Quartz later reported that regional retailer Lifestyle stopped selling Trump Home products in its stores in Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other countries following Trump’s anti-Muslim comments. [Quartz, 12/7/15; 12/9/15]

Media Have Lauded Clinton Foundation For LGBT-Related Accomplishments

Washington Blade: Clinton And Clinton Foundation Accomplished Important Work Bettering LGBT Lives Abroad. Despite coming under intense media scrutiny during the presidential campaign, the Clinton Foundation has had a meaningful impact in improving the lives of LGBT people abroad, according to an August 31 article in the Washington Blade. The report goes on to assert that Clinton’s priorities and accomplishments as secretary of state prove her interest in and commitment to fighting injustices faced by the LGBT community. It specifically cites her “efforts to stop Uganda from enacting an ‘Anti-Homosexuality Law’” that would have made same-sex relationships punishable by life in prison or the death penalty. Conversely, Trump ally Tony Perkins spent $25,000 lobbying Congress in support of the law. [The Washington Blade, 8/31/16, Joe.My.God., 6/3/10]

HIV Plus Magazine: “If The Clinton Foundation Closes, People Will Die.” Kelsey Louie, the CEO of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, wrote a September 5 op-ed for HIV Plus Magazine highlighting the importance and success of the Clinton Foundation in combating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic: 

Thus it is crucial that we recognize the Clinton Foundation’s efforts toward eliminating HIV and AIDS around the world and acknowledge the dangers in discontinuing these initiatives.

The Clinton Foundation has been battling the epidemic since 2002, when it made HIV and AIDS a focal point of the newly formed Clinton Health Access Initiative. At that time, only 200,000 people were receiving treatment for HIV and AIDS in low- and middle-income countries, with medications priced at over $10,000 per person each year. Since then, the Clinton Health Access Initiative has worked to reduce HIV transmissions and provide treatment in 70 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. In 2015 alone, the Initiative provided extensive HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment to patients in Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, Ukraine and Mozambique, where they significantly reduced transmission rates. The initiative also coordinated fundraising and treatment programs in Uganda, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Zambia.

Due to the Clinton Foundation’s work, over 11.5 million people in the world now have access to HIV medication at 90 percent lower cost, amounting to more than half the adults and three-quarters of all children receiving treatment today. [HIV Plus Magazine, 9/5/16]

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