More than half the private individuals with whom Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton met while serving as secretary of state were donors to the Clinton Foundation, the Associated Press reports.
Of 154 people from outside the U.S. or foreign governments listed on State Department calendars as getting face time or scheduled phone talks with Ms. Clinton, at least 85 were supporters of her family’s charity, collectively giving as much as $156 million personally or through companies and other groups.
The meetings do not appear to violate the ethics agreement Ms. Clinton signed before joining State in 2009 to avoid intermingling government and foundation business, but they add fuel to Republican charges that she used her office to grant access and favors to supporters of the charity headed by her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The foundation said last week that it would stop taking donations from foreign or corporate entities if Ms. Clinton is elected president.
Donna Shalala, the foundation’s president, told NPR the charity is working now to spin off its international programs into separate organizations or find outside partners to run them to avoid potential conflicts of interest if Ms. Clinton is in the White House. She said such an “unraveling” would take time to ensure “we just do not hurt people, and do not interrupt the very good work that's being done." The foundation spent $217 million on programs in 2014.