An Associated Press investigation found Tuesday that more than half of the private individuals who met with Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State were also donors to the Clinton Foundation in some capacity.
“At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press,” they report. “Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million.”
That number doesn’t include the representatives of 16 foreign governments that donated $170 million to the Clinton Foundation and later met with the Secretary. AP notes that many of those individuals arguably would have met with Clinton in the course of her official duties anyway.
Many of the donors who met with Clinton sought specific favors. Wall Street executive Stephen Schwarzman, for example, donated between $250,000 and $500,000 and later met with Clinton in a 2009 breakfast meeting. The next day, emails show the State Department was working on a visa issue at Schwarzman’s request.
The exact relation between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation has been a source of controversy ever since the 2015 book Clinton Cash alleged that many major Foundation donors received favorable treatment from Clinton’s State Department. The Clinton campaign denies those allegations, but the scandal reemerged recently when newly released emails showed closer ties between the Foundation and Clinton’s chief of staff than previously disclosed.
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