The White House Thursday indicated that incredibly – or maybe not so incredibly – it is not the least bit concerned that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have been influenced by foreign officials and businessmen donating to the Clinton Foundation and paying her husband for speeches, and that it doesn’t care that she apparently broke her agreement with President Obama to disclose Foundation donations.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama had no reason to question Clinton’s performance as Secretary of State, even though she had to sign off on a deal involving Canadians and Russians who had provided significant sums to Bill Clinton – and by extension, to Hillary as well – and the Clinton Foundation.
According to a blockbuster New York Times story, Canadian businessmen with uranium mining stakes in the United States donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation even as they created a company called Uranium One and sold it to Russian government officials, giving Russian President Putin control over a fifth of America’s uranium production capacity.
Given the national security implications, the deal had to be approved by U.S. agencies, including Clinton’s State Department, which signed off on it.
What’s more, the Times reports, “shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock.”
Clinton, according to the Times, broke her agreement with the White House to disclose the contributions to the Clinton Foundation. But Earnest today dodged questions about whether Obama was unhappy that the deal had been broken, directing reporters to ask Clinton about it. And he suggested that despite the heavy money trail, Obama had no concerns that Clinton might have been influenced.
Can you imagine what Senator Obama would have said if someone in the Bush administration was making decisions about policies affecting people funnelng hundreds of thousands of dollars their way?
Here’s ABC’ Jonathan Karl trying to get an answer out of Earnest today.