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October 20, 2016

Clinton and Trump Trade Foundation Jabs at Final Debate

The presidential candidates' philanthropy took a turn at center stage during the final debate of the 2016 election, with Donald Trump calling the Clinton Foundation a "criminal enterprise" and Hillary Clinton contrasting her family charity's work on issues such as AIDS with Mr. Trump's reported use his foundation's money for personal and business expenses.

The New York Daily News compiled a blow-by-blow of the charity-related exchange on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas stage, including Mr. Trump assailing the Clinton Foundation's record in Haiti and calling on it to return multimillion-dollar donations from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other countries with poor records on women's and gay rights.

Ms. Clinton defended her family's charity, saying it has delivered AIDS treatment to millions of people and puts 90 percent of its spending into mission programs, the Los Angeles Times writes. She contrasted its work with Mr. Trump's use of money from his charitable foundation to purchase a portrait of himself and his refusal to release tax returns that would detail his personal giving.

The Democratic nominee broadly denied allegations that the State Department under her leadership had a "pay to play" relationship with Clinton Foundation donors, but she sidestepped a question from moderator Chris Wallace about leaked emails suggesting the charity's backers may have gotten an inside track on Haiti aid contracts after the 2010 earthquake. Mr. Wallace also asked Mr. Trump about reports that he used Donald J. Trump Foundation funds to pay off legal settlements involving his for-profit businesses, reports CNBC.

The scrutiny on the candidates' charitable activities is unprecedented in presidential election history, and some worry it will do lasting damage to the public's perceptions of nonprofits, experts have told The Chronicle