Facing increasing criticism over millions of dollars in foreign donations, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation acted swiftly on Friday to start cutting ties to Bill’s foundation, as Hillary prepared to announce her candidacy for president.
Yahoo News reports: As late as this week, Hillary Clinton was being touted on the foundation’s website as the “host”— along with former president Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton — of a Clinton Global Initiative event in Marrakech, Morocco, next month that is being funded with donations from a Moroccan oil and gas conglomerate and a government-owned phosphate mining firm that has been accused of extracting minerals in internationally disputed territory. (The Clinton Global Initiative is an arm of the foundation.)
But by Friday afternoon, Hillary Clinton was removed on the website as the host of that event. It is one of a number of steps that the foundation is expected to take in coming days to reduce Clinton’s ties to the foundation and address the controversy over donations by foreigners while she is preparing to run for president.
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The controversy heated up late Friday when two Republican congressmen called on the foundation to return a million-dollar contribution from OCP, the Moroccan-government-owned mining firm that is one of the sponsors of the upcoming event, which is focused on social and economic issues in Africa and the Middle East. The company has been sharply criticized by human rights groups and European wealth funds for its operations in Western Sahara.
“Out of respect for internationally recognized human rights norms, the Clinton Global Initiative should discontinue its coordination with OCP and return any accepted money from the enterprise, wrote Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-Pennsylvania) and Christopher Smith (R-New Jersey). A U.S. lawyer for OCP did not immediately return calls asking for a response. A spokesman for the foundation declined to comment.
Exactly what new policies the foundation will adopt is uncertain, but at a minimum it is expected to reinstate limits on the acceptance of foreign donations that was in effect while Clinton served as secretary of state. A spokesman said as much in a statement to Yahoo News this week. “Should Secretary Clinton declare for office, we will continue to ensure the Foundation’s policies and practices regarding support from international partners are appropriate, just as we did when she served as Secretary of State,” said Craig Minassian, chief communications officer for the foundation.