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Clinton Chairman Podesta - donations are for "currying favour" with the Administration

Emails show Clinton strategy to conceal foreign government donations, including Australia's

This series of emails proves that the Clinton Foundation, Hillary Clinton, Podesta, their PR companies and various other professionals and interested parties had the details of foreign government donations (including Australia's) available to them - but did not disclose them.   That failure to disclose contravenes US law.  It also breaks trust with the American people.  

More importantly for Australia it's allowed the precise nature of Australian Government donations to go unaggregated and under reported, particularly during the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd years.   That under reporting has allowed the Clintons to do what they want with our money.  

Investigators will be interested in who may have been a party to any arrangements, winks, nods, episodic blindness or combinations that led to the under reporting and who was advantaged or disadvantaged by the deception.


Secrecy has been a key enabler of the Clinton frauds.  So has media management

On 17 February 2015 The Wall Street Journal published an article "Foreign Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise" based on the scant details the Foundation had published about donations covering the period 1999-2014.  In part it said, 

A previous donor, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has given between $10 million and $25 million since the foundation was created in 1999. Part of that came in 2014, although the database doesn’t specify how much.

The Australian government has given between $5 million and $10 million, at least part of which came in 2014. It also gave in 2013, when its donations fell in the same range.

That's a reported total for Australia of between $5-10M from the Foundation's commencement to 31 December 2014. 

On 22 September 2014 Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop released a media statement in New York as she signed a replacement MOU with the CHAI#2 finishing with this sentence:

"Since 2006, Australia has contributed $88 million to CHAI and its sister organisation, the Clinton Foundation".

Bishop had held office for just 12 months after her party won the September 2013 general election in Australia.  Tony Abbott became Prime Minister, ending just on 6 years of Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Labor Government.  Abbott was not given to deals with the Clintons, nor to arrangements to conceal information about Australian Government spending.


What the emails disclose

When the WSJ published James Grimaldi's story (below) the reporter was working on what was to be a much larger story about the "overlap" between Hillary Clinton's job as Secretary of State and the Clinton Foundation's activities.

Nick Merrill is Clinton's closest media aide.  Politico Magazine says he's "the affable traveling press secretary who joined Clinton-world as a lowly advance staffer on the 2008 campaign, gained Clinton’s trust at the State Department and was one of a few staffers who remained with her between Foggy Bottom and the 2016 campaign, serving as a one-man press team in her personal office".

As the WSJ's first story was hitting the presses, Merrill sought advice from a large group of Clinton PR and campaign people, Podesta, Clinton Foundation addressess and others.

Nick Merrill wrote:

James Grimaldi, the same investigative reporter writing this larger piece about Foundation/State Department overlap with corporate money (which is still TBD in terms of when/whether it will run) is writing a piece for tomorrow about the Foundation's acceptance of foreign money.

The increase shows up on last year's disclosure for a number of reasons, some of it related to ongoing programs, some because there was an uptick in foreign money after she left State and the MOU no longer applied.

Craig and his team have been working with them all day to separate fact from fiction where they can, and have given them a strong statement about donors’ contributions to the Foundation being a result of the good work it does, but wanted everyone to have a heads up. Nick

A flurry of activity followed from a group apparently defaulting to cover up, avoiding further probing, putting the WSJ off the scent and a "look over there" strategy with data on other Presidential Foundations.  

Only one senior strategist clearly saw the problem.   He tipped in a salutary but unheeded warning about  "a much larger strategic question that we need to resolve and stop this from spreading beyond today and probably tomorrow. And that is how quickly foundation stops (sic)".

Here are some excerpts from that day.

 Jim Margolis - social change PR/marketing agency wrote:

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Nick, So virtually all of these donations were to the endowment and were not for specific projects, correct? And are there examples of projects that are currently supported/funded through the endowment, or is the Foundation just building the endowment at this point (no disbursements)?

It would be nice to paint a picture of how this money is being put to work — even anecdotally.

Joel Benenson - strategy guy from wrote

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If it has raised 48MM from overseas, what % of the total raised is that?

Dennis Cheng - HRC finance chief, former "development" exec for CF - Fox News calls him the bagman

Most of the recent government grants were directed to a Clinton Foundation program/project. For example (and we should verify with the Foundation if we are sharing this publicly): Germany’s donation was to support CF’s agricultural initiative in Africa Norway I believe was to support CF’s climate work Canada was for the Foundation’s work in Haiti, I believe

John Podesta Campaign Chair

Subject: Re: WSJ | Foreign Government Donations I think Carter went on an endowment drive with similar results. Not sure who was currying favor with him. Might have been a few years ago. Don't know whether they report. Bruce Lindsey would know

Nick Merrill - HRC's PR chief

John to your question about the uptick relative to other philanthropies, I’m sure there was an overall increase post-recesssion, but particularly given the endowment campaign our uptick will far exceed that of others’ increases.

Mandy Grunwald Grunwald Communications (contractor on PR)

How much money have each of the Bush libraries (or philanthropies) raised from overseas? 

Cheryl Mills - lawyer and HRC chief of staff

alot and we have that data - we can pull it. cdm

Heather Samuelson - the lawyer who looked through Hillary Clinton's emails on Clinton's privileged behalf- she has since disappeared - try checking out her website

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...we looked into foreign govt donations to former presidential libraries and foundations a while back. See memo attached. Will update to include Bush 43. Bush 41 received funds from Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Oman, UAE for his library, including while his son was in office. Carter Center has received funds from Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Netherlands, etc. Unclear if they publicly designate anywhere whether it goes to endowment v. specific programming. Looking into that now.

Joel Benenson the strategy guy again - with a sensible comment no one wanted to hear.


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Yes indeed Joel.  They should have stopped way back then in February 2015.  That might have saved the Australian Government further embarrassment, partnering up with the Clinton Giustra Operation.  But by all accounts, the hubris overcame their hearing.  The siren song of the $$$$$$ signs was too alluring.

And the belief in their own invincibility held sway.

Here's the memo about the other Foundations.  Some governments just love to make gestures supporting Foundations and Libraries and Institutions overseas.  The Australian people aren't much into that showy stuff.  That's why we've never tipped in to a Presidential Library or Foundation before.

Oh, there's another reason we've only given money to one Foundation.   About $100M.  To the Clinton Foundation.

That's because Bill and Hillary are the only ones who give back.  

To corrupt politicians like Rudd and Gillard who made them rich.

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The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions asHillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency.

Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2009, the Clinton Foundation stopped raising money from foreign governments after Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state. Former President Bill Clinton,who ran the foundation while his wife was at the State Department, agreed to the gift ban at the behest of the Obama administration, which worried about a secretary of state’s husband raising millions while she represented U.S. interests abroad.

The ban wasn’t absolute; some foreign government donations were permitted for ongoing programs approved by State Department ethics officials.

The donations come as Mrs. Clinton prepares for an expected run for the Democratic nomination for president, and they raise many of the same ethical quandaries. Since leaving the State Department in early 2013, Mrs. Clinton officially joined the foundation, which changed its name to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and has become a prodigious fundraiser as the foundation launched a $250 million endowment campaign, officials said.

A representative for Hillary Clinton referred all questions to the Clinton Foundation.

A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation said the charity has a need to raise money for its many projects, which aim to do such things as improve education, health care and the environment around the world. He also said that donors go through a vigorous vetting process.

One of the 2014 donations comes from a Canadian agency promoting the proposed Keystone pipeline, which is favored by Republicans and under review by the Obama administration. The Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development agency of Canada, a first-time donor, gave between $250,000 and $500,000. The donations, which are disclosed voluntarily by the foundation, are given only in ranges.

One of the agency’s priorities for 2014-2015 was to promote Keystone XL “as a stable and secure source of energy and energy technology,” according to the agency’s website. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department was involved in approving the U.S. government’s initial environmental-impact statement. Since leaving State, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly declined to comment on Keystone.

The Canadian donation originated from an agency office separate from the one that advocates for Keystone XL, a Foundation spokesman said.

While the Canadian donation didn’t appear in a Clinton Foundation online database of donors until recently, the donation of about $480,000 was announced in June in Cartagena, Colombia, where the program provides job training for youths.

Kirk Hanson, director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California, said the Clintons should immediately reimpose the ban, for the same reasons it was in place while Mrs. Clinton led U.S. foreign policy.

“Now that she is gearing up to run for president, the same potential exists for foreign governments to curry favor with her as a potential president of the United States,” he said.

If she becomes president and deals with these nations, “she can’t recuse herself,” added James Thurber, director of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. “Whether it influences her decision making is questionable, but it is a legitimate thing to focus on by her political opposition.”

The donations weren’t announced by the foundation and were discovered by The Wall Street Journal during a search of donations of more than $50,000 posted on the foundation’s online database. Exactly when the website was updated isn’t clear. The foundation typically updates its website with the previous year’s donations near the beginning of the year. All 2014 donations were noted with asterisks.

At least four foreign countries gave to the foundation in 2013—Norway, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands—a fact that has garnered little attention. The number of governments contributing in 2014 appears to have doubled from the previous year. Since its founding, the foundation has raised at least $48 million from overseas governments, according to a Journal tally.

United Arab Emirates, a first-time donor, gave between $1 million and $5 million in 2014, and the German government—which also hadn’t previously given—contributed between $100,000 and $250,000.

A previous donor, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has given between $10 million and $25 million since the foundation was created in 1999. Part of that came in 2014, although the database doesn’t specify how much.

The Australian government has given between $5 million and $10 million, at least part of which came in 2014. It also gave in 2013, when its donations fell in the same range.

Qatar’s government committee preparing for the 2022 soccer World Cup gave between $250,000 and $500,000 in 2014. Qatar’s government had previously donated between $1 million and $5 million.

Oman, which had made a donation previously, gave an undisclosed amount in 2014. Over time, Oman has given the foundation between $1 million and $5 million. Prior to last year, its donations fell in the same range.

The Clinton Foundation has set a goal of creating a $250 million endowment, an official said. One purpose was secure the future of the foundation’s programs without having to rely so much on the former president’s personal fundraising efforts, the official said.

The Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman donations went to the endowment drive.

Write to James V. Grimaldi at



From campaign chief Robby Mook on this issue - clearly shows state of mind 

Daily Caller News Foundation

Hillary’s Two Official Favors To Morocco Resulted In $28 Million For Clinton Foundation

Photo of Richard Pollock

Hillary Clinton did two huge favors for Morocco during her tenure as secretary of state while the Clinton Foundation accepted up to $28 million in donations from the country’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, according to new information obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group.

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