Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation, Says No Wrongdoings

Lalit K Jha/Washington
Bill Clinton Defends His Foundation, Says No Wrongdoings

Former US President Bill Clinton today defended his not-for-profit charity foundation, arguing that it has not done anything "knowingly inappropriate" by taking money to influence any American government policy.

The assertion comes in the wake of recent allegations, mainly from Republican Party, that the foundation received foreign funding while his wife Hillary Clinton was a Senator and the Secretary of State.

The allegations include that the Clinton Foundation received money from Indian politician Amar Singh when Hillary was the New York Senator when the Senate discussed and passed the landmark India-US Civil Nuclear Bill in 2008.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy," Clinton told the NBC's Today's Show in an interview.

"That just hasn't happened," Clinton said, responding to charges that the Bill, Hillary and Chelsey Clinton Foundation received foreign funding to influence the positions held by Hillary.

The allegations are not new, but have surfaced afresh, courtesy the Republican Party, after Hillary Clinton announced her second presidential bid last month.

A book on these allegations is scheduled to be released tomorrow.

According to excerpts released by the publisher, the author of the book "Clinton's Cash" alleges that donations made by Indian politicians influenced Clinton's voting during the nuclear deal.

Clinton, who was also the co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus, had voted in favour of the bill.

The allegations have been denied by Hillary's office.

"'Clinton's Cash' is attempting to rewrite history to fit a pre-determined partisan narrative. It only takes a quick look at Hillary's actual voting record and statements to see that this conspiracy theory doesn't even come close to passing the smell test," Josh Schwerin, spokesperson of the Hillary's presidential campaign, told PTI.

Bill Clinton during the interview claimed there has been a "very concerted effort to bring the foundation down", and said he might even step down as its head if his wife is elected.

"I might if I were asked to do something in the public interest that I had an obligation to do. Or I might take less of an executive role," he said.

"But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.

In his first interview after the allegations resurfaced, the former president said he has no regrets about taking millions in foreign cash for his foundation -— even though the donations have caused a political headache for his wife as she tries to follow him into the Oval Office.

The Clinton Foundation's recent announced that it will only accept contributions from six Western governments in future.

Clinton said "that's no acknowledgment the old policy -— under which Saudi Arabia gave between USD 10 million and USD 25 million, for instance — was a mistake," NBC said.

Clinton said he is proud of the work of the foundation.

There has never been anything like the Clinton Global Initiative," he said, "where you've raised over USD 100 billion worth of stuff that helped 43 million people in 180 countries.

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