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October 21, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Clinton Aides Sparred Over Morocco Foundation Summit

Emails Show Morocco CGI Meeting Concerned Clinton Team: Top aides to Hillary Clinton raised red flags early last year over her plans to attend a May 2015 Clinton Global Initiative summit in Marrakesh, the Associated Press reports, citing emails stolen from the account of John Podesta, her now-campaign chairman. In one message, another top staffer, Huma Abedin, wrote that Morocco's King Mohammed VI had pledged $12 million to support the Clinton Foundation and subsidize the summit but that the "meeting was a nonstarter" if Ms. Clinton did not go. Foundation records do not show any direct donations from the king or his government. Ms. Clinton, who at the time of the emails had not announced her presidential candidacy, did not attend the Marrakesh meeting, which took place amid controversy over her family charity's fundraising from foreign interests.

In other Clinton Foundation coverage, another hacked email, written in November 2011 by top Bill Clinton aide and then-CGI board member Doug Band, makes reference to "500 different examples" of potential conflicts of interest involving the former president and other leaders of the charity, reports Bloomberg. The Atlantic magazine writes about how Hillary Clinton has largely managed to avoid directly addressing allegations that foundation backers received "pay-to-play" treatment when she headed the State Department.

Conservative Activist O'Keefe's Nonprofit Got Trump Gift: Donald Trump, who cited a guerrilla video by right-wing activist James O'Keefe this week in claiming that Hillary Clinton supporters were stoking violence at his rallies, donated $10,000 to Mr. O'Keefe's nonprofit last year through his foundation, reports NBC News. The Donald J. Trump Foundation made the gift to Project Veritas in May 2015, a month before Mr. Trump launched his White House run. Mr. O'Keefe gained prominence for sting-style videos targeting NPR, Democratic politicians, and progressive organizations. The new video purports to show Clinton backers discussing paying people to disrupt Trump rallies, according to Time.

Atlantic Philanthropies Steps Into Political Arena With $50 Million Fund: The charitable foundation built on retail billionaire Chuck Feeney's fortune formed a 501(c)(4) offshoot last year that is donating to pro-Democrat super PACs and a group mobilizing voters for Hillary Clinton, according to Bloomberg. The Civic Participation Action Fund was started last year with $50 million from Atlantic, which is in the process of spending down its assets. The foundation has backed causes and policies associated with Democrats and the left, such as the Affordable Care Act, but has largely stayed out of electoral politics. Christopher Oechsli, Atlantic's president, said Mr. Feeney is not involved with the new fund. Read a Chronicle column on Atlantic Philanthropies' big-bet grant making.

Couples Seeking to Conceive Turn to Online Fundraising: Fertility has become a growing category on crowdfunding sites as people hoping to have children look for news ways to cover the high costs of in-vitro fertilization, surrogacy, or adoption, Bloomberg writes. GoFundMe has hosted more than 3,700 IVF-related campaigns that attracted some $3.6 million, and fertilization and adoption are among the fastest-growing subjects on another crowdfunding site, GiveForward. Glow, a health-data company started by former PayPal and Google executives, has a nonprofit crowdfunding program for women trying to conceive.

MacArthur "Genius" Grantee to Use Stipend to Study Whiteness: African-American poet Claudia Rankine, one of this year's winners of a $625,000 MacArthur Fellowship, talks to The Guardian about her plan to donate the award to establish a cultural center focused on "conceptions and constructions of whiteness." Ms. Rankine said she is part of a group working on the Racial Imaginary Institute, a combination gallery and think tank that "allows us to show art, to curate dialogues, have readings, and talk about the ways in which the structure of white supremacy in American society influences our culture."