This is sleazy and stupid. Just as Hillary Clinton is getting ready to run for president again, her family's charitable foundation secretly lifted a ban on accepting money from foreign governments.
The Wall Street Journal discovered the ethical breach during a search of donations of more than $50,000 posted on the foundation's online database. "Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany, and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL Pipline," reported James V. Grimaldi and Rebecca Ballhaus.
This is sleazy because of the clear conflicts of interest. What do these foreign countries expect in exchange for their donations? What pressure would Clinton face as president to return financial favors?
Even if you give her the benefit of the doubt (having covered the Clinton since the 1980s, I'm still willing to do that), you can't deny that this flip-flop creates a perception of foreign favoritism in a political system that most Americans already think is corrupted by money.
The Clinton Foundation stopped raising money from foreign governments in 2009 at the urging of the Obama administration. To their credit, the Obama team was worried about the perception of the secretary of State's husband, Bill Clinton, raising money while she represented U.S. interests overseas. After leaving the State Department, she officially joined the foundation, which changed its name to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.