Surprise: CNN Spotlights Foreign, Corporate Donations to Clinton Foundation

CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on Wednesday refreshingly aired a full report on the questionable donations to the Clinton Foundation from foreign government and multi-national corporations. Drew Griffin noted that "there's no question the Clinton Foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments," and pointed out those from "Middle Eastern countries with poor human rights records." Griffin later underlined that "even with private companies, there's smoke," and cited Monsanto's donations to the foundation as an example. [video below]

Fill-in anchor John Berman led into the correspondent's report by highlighting Donald Trump's attack on Mrs. Clinton — that she "ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund." Berman stated that "this isn't the first time that Trump has accused Secretary Clinton of profiting personally from her position."

Griffin first listed all of the Middle Eastern countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation, and wondered, "Is there a common thread?" He answered with the detail about these countries' "poor human rights records," along with their "poor records when it comes to women's rights." The CNN journalist continued with his reporting on Monsanto's contributions to the foundation:

DREW GRIFFIN: And even with private companies, there's smoke. Monsanto is a U.S.-based global food giant that has been trying to increase its worldwide business in the biotech food industry. It's donated between one and five million to the Clinton Foundation. And while she was secretary of state, Secretary Clinton made general statements supporting biotech foods, as the company was asking for government help to open up new markets.

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The correspondent then played another soundbite from Trump, where the billionaire claimed that the former New York senator's "motivation lies among the more than 1,000 foreign donations Hillary failed to disclose while at the State Department." Griffin contended that "there's no evidence that is accurate," and explained that "the foundation said it did fail to disclose a funding source while Mrs. Clinton was at the State Department — that donation, the $500,000 from the government of Algeria. The foundation called the lack of disclosure an error; but again said there was no connection between the donations and the policies of the Clinton State Department."

Near the end of the segment, the journalist spotlighted that "to avoid potential conflicts, the Clinton Foundation did sign an agreement with the Obama administration before Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state. That agreement banned Bill Clinton from personally soliciting donations, and also banned donations from any government that hadn't been approved by an ethics committee at State." However, there was no investigation into whether the Clintons actually abided by the agreement or if they broke it.

The full transcript of Drew Griffin's report from CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 on June 22, 2016:

JOHN BERMAN: A blistering day on the campaign trail, with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trading a slew of attacks — including this one.

DONALD TRUMP, (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes and many others — and really, many, many others — in exchange for cash.

[CNN Graphic: "Trump: Clinton Ran State Dept. Like 'Personal Hedge Fund'"]

BERMAN: Now, this isn't the first time that Trump has accused Secretary Clinton of profiting personally from her position at the State Department.

Tonight, 360 investigates. Here's Drew Griffin.

[CNN Graphic: "Who Has Donated To The Clinton Foundation?"]

DREW GRIFFIN (voice-over): There's no question the Clinton Foundation has received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments. That includes Saudi Arabia ,which gave $14.5 million. Well, the foundation says none of that came while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. But you also have Kuwait, donating between five and ten million; Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar — all donating between one and $5 million over the years. Even the embassy of Algeria donated $500,000. Is there a common thread? All, of course, are Middle Eastern countries with poor human rights records; and poor records, when it comes to women's rights.

And even with private companies, there's smoke. Monsanto is a U.S.-based global food giant that has been trying to increase its worldwide business in the biotech food industry. It's donated between one and five million to the Clinton Foundation. And while she was secretary of state, Secretary Clinton made general statements supporting biotech foods, as the company was asking for government help to open up new markets.

For her critics, it's enough to cry foul.

TRUMP: Maybe, her motivation lies among the more than 1,000 foreign donations Hillary failed to disclose while at the State Department.

GRIFFIN: There's no evidence that is accurate. What we have learned is that the foundation said it did fail to disclose a funding source while Mrs. Clinton was at the State Department — that donation, the $500,000 from the government of Algeria. The foundation called the lack of disclosure an error; but again said there was no connection between the donations and the policies of the Clinton State Department.

Earlier this, year Hillary Clinton told CNN's Jake Tapper the foundation is an open book.

HILLARY CLINTON, (D), PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE (fron interview on CNN's The Lead With Jake Tapper): We have disclosed everything. You can see what we do. We have — we put out reports. We could find you millions of people who feel that their lives have been improved because of the work.

GRIFFIN: To avoid potential conflicts, the Clinton Foundation did sign an agreement with the Obama administration before Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state. That agreement banned Bill Clinton from personally soliciting donations, and also banned donations from any government that hadn't been approved by an ethics committee at State. Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Foreign Policy Middle East Bias by Omission Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Video Drew Griffin John Berman Hillary Clinton Bill Clinton Donald Trump
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