NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton’s family foundation will no longer accept foreign and corporate donations if she is elected president, and will bring an end to its annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting regardless of the outcome of the November election.
Former President Bill Clinton made the announcement at an afternoon meeting with foundation staff members, according to participants who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement.
Bill Clinton said the foundation plans to continue its work, but intends to refocus its efforts in a process that will take up to a year to complete. The former president, who turns 70 on Friday, said he will resign from the board, and the foundation will only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and independent charities.
It will no longer take money from any foreign entity, government, foreign or domestic corporations, or corporate charities. A Clinton spokesman said the former president will also refrain from delivering paid speeches until the November election and will no longer give paid speeches if Hillary Clinton is elected president.
At the staff meeting, Bill Clinton said he and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, did not face any pressure to make the changes, but wanted to avoid any potential issues for Hillary Clinton should she move into the White House.
The future of the Clinton Foundation has been one of the overarching questions shadowing Clinton’s campaign.
The sprawling charitable network, founded after Bill Clinton left office in 2001, has raised more than $2 billion for initiatives focused on global health, climate change, economic development and increasing opportunities for women and girls.
While Hillary Clinton stepped down from its board after launching her 2016 campaign, her husband and daughter have remained in leadership roles.
Some of the group’s funding has come from foreign donations and political donors to the Clinton family. Money accepted from countries such as Saudi Arabia drew scrutiny early in Clinton’s presidential bid.
Republicans said the changes fell short and urged the Clinton Foundation to immediately stop receiving foreign donations. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said the announcement was “too little, too late,” adding, “if everything was above board while Hillary Clinton ran the State Department as the Clintons have said, then why change a thing?”
Priebus said the foundation “should immediately cease accepting foreign donations and return every penny ever taken from other countries, several of which have atrocious human rights records and ties to terrorism.” He said the foundation’s continued acceptance of foreign donations during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was a “massive, ongoing conflict of interest that gets bigger by the day.”
Members of the Clinton Foundation board met earlier in the day to ratify the changes.
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