Tina Brown Punts On Clinton Foundation’s Controversial Donations

During an appearance on Monday’s CBS This Morning to promote her annual Women in the World summit, former Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown did her best to sidestep questions about the Clinton Foundation’s practice of taking money from foreign countries with abysmal women’s rights records.

After fill-in host Jeff Glor asked Brown if the foundation should return such donations, the former Daily Beast editor dodged and merely argued that "the foundation is the foundation and, you know, they're going to have to sort whatever it is they do out."

Brown continued to spin for Clinton over the foundation’s donation practices and said that "we’ll see how she handles all of this" before she launched into a full-on endorsement of her candidacy: "[y]ou know, it's her second time. I do think she's ready for this this time, and there's a lot of energy there."

The CBS host continued to press Brown to give an actual answer surrounding the Clinton Foundation and wondered "[h]ow long does this story go for? Do you think it’s a big issue for the campaign? Do you think it will continue to be an issue?"

Given that Hillary Clinton has attended every single one of Brown’s Women in the World summits, it should come as no surprise that she repeatedly deflected questions about the foundation. Instead of truly addressing the issue at hand, Brown instead chose to tout how "powerful and connective" Hillary’s campaign will be for millions of Americans:

You never know in a campaign. I mean, every campaign is an explosion of happenstance. We'll see what happens. I do think that it's a very long time, you know, before the actual election and who knows what kind of things are going to blow up. But I also think that there's a lot to focus on that she's done that is powerful and connective and people really like her. Many, many people do as well as those who don't. So we’ll see how she handles it.

While Glor did ask Brown about the Clinton Foundation’s source of funding, he never directly mentioned that a book entitled Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich which exposes the foundation’s funding is set to hit bookshelves May 5.

In a review by the New York Times, the book, written by Peter Schweizer, "asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return."

In fact, on Monday, ABC’s Good Morning America was the only "Big Three" (ABC, CBS, and NBC) network to directly reference the new Clinton book whereas NBC ignored the new book together during its coverage of Mrs. Clinton’s upcoming campaign visit to New Hampshire.

See relevant transcript below.

CBS This Morning

April 20, 2015

JEFF GLOR: One of the woman who’s attending your conference here is a woman who’s running for president.

TINA BROWN: Yes, indeed.

GLOR: For the second time.

BROWN: Hillary Rodham Clinton. She's been here every year which has really been so great.

GLOR: And she's been in the news just a decent amount over the past—

BROWN: She's certainly not a woman hiding her light under a bushel, let's put it that way.

GLOR: Few weeks here. Republican candidate Rand Paul heavily criticized the Clinton Foundation this morning for accepting these donations from some countries which have terrible records on women’s rights. Should they return that money?

BROWN: Look, the foundation is the foundation and, you know, they're going to have to sort whatever it is they do out. I mean, this woman is, you know, running for president now. We'll see how she handles all of this, but she's -- you know, it's her second time. I do think she's ready for this this time, and there's a lot of energy there.

GLOR: How long does this story go for? Do you think it’s a big issue for the campaign? Do you think it will continue to be an issue?

BROWN: You never know in a campaign. I mean, every campaign is an explosion of happenstance. We'll see what happens. I do think that it's a very long time, you know, before the actual election and who knows what kind of things are going to blow up. But I also think that there's a lot to focus on that she's done that is powerful and connective and people really like her. Many, many people do as well as those who don't. So we’ll see how she handles it.

NORAH O’DONNELL But you're an acute observer of the political scene. Do you think she needs a primary challenger? Do you think that--

BROWN: Well, I would like to see her with a challenger only because I think it helps to keep the attention of her in a sense. I mean, I think it's very difficult thing for Hillary to have the press attention this long. You know, to sustain that interest. The press get bored. The only thing to look for is holes. So I think it's actually quite good to have a challenger. But there are others who say that a challenger would simply just weaken her hold on the actual election.

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential CBS CBS This Morning Jeff Glor Tina Brown Hillary Clinton

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