Hillary Clinton’s campaign says a report showing many of the private individuals who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Mrs. Clinton while she was secretary of state also donated to the Clinton Foundation is a “massive” misrepresentation.
“This is a woman who met with over 17,000 world leaders, countless other government officials, public officials in the United States, and they’ve looked at 185 meetings and tried to draw a conclusion from that,” Clinton campaign chief strategist Joel Benenson said Wednesday on CNN’s “New Day.”
“I think it’s one of the most massive misrepresentations you [could] see from the data,” Mr. Benenson said. “And then they’re trying to malign and implicate that there was something nefarious going on when in fact, there wasn’t.”
The AP reported Tuesday that at least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state gave to the family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far.
“Is it wrong for a secretary of state to meet with people who are committed to causes of saving lives around the world when the department of state is doing that same work? I don’t think so,” Mr. Benenson said.
Republicans seized on the report, saying it’s further evidence of a “pay for play” arrangement between the foundation and the State Department while Mrs. Clinton was serving as the nation’s top diplomat.
Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, says the Republican presidential nominee was not guilty of paying to play when he gave at least $100,000 to the foundation.
“The Clinton Foundation does a lot of good work, and I also want to say that for the record - they do,” Ms. Conway said Tuesday on CNN. “He was not paying to play.”
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