Charles Krauthammer: The Clinton Foundation is Organized Crime-Truth! & Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
An essay attributed to Charles Krauthammer calls the Clinton Foundation “organized crime at its finest.”
Charles Krauthammer didn’t write this essay about the Clinton Foundation, but some of the essay’s claims are on point.
The name of Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and FOX News contributor, was first attached to an essay that accused the Clinton Foundation of money laundering, tax evasion and organized crime in early November 2015. The essay was widely forwarded in emails and posted at online discussion forums under Krauthammer’s name.
One of the earliest versions of the essay appeared on a blog site called True News U.S.A on October 28, 2015, under the headline “Charles Krauthammer on Hillary Clinton.” In that version, Charles Krauthammer’s name is briefly mentioned in the opening, but the article was not attributed to him:
Recently, Charles Krauthammer alluded that he had no doubt some of the 30k emails Hillary deleted from her private email server very likely had references to the Clinton Foundation, which would be illegal and a conflict of interest.
The opening reference to Krauthammer refers to remarks that he made on FOX News in July 2015 about Hilary Clinton’s use of private email servers while secretary of state, and allegations that she erased some of them. Krauthammer said, “The real crime, so to speak — at least the political crime — is the fact that she unilaterally erased 30,000 of these (emails).”
Charles Krauthammer didn’t make any reference to the Clinton Foundation or conflicts of interest, as the essay claims, but he did say that the most damaging emails had likely already been deleted.
Krauthammer’s name may have been added to the byline to lend the essay credibility, he is a Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, after all. Or Krauthammer’s name may have been added by mistake, too. His name was in the original headline, and it’s not immediately clear where the essay transitions from Krauthammer’s views on the Clinton email scandal to the (unknown) author’s views on the Clinton Foundation.
But regardless of how it happened, this essay on the Clinton Foundation has been incorrectly attributed to Charles Krauthammer.
Still, because there’s been plenty of reader interest, we’ll take a look at the money laundering and “organized crime” allegations that the essay makes about the Clinton Foundation.
The essay claims that individual donors or foreign governments can set up a charitable organization in a country, like Canada. Then, they can bundle anonymous individual donations into one “massive donation” that is given to the Clinton Foundation through the charitable organization.
This allegation is mostly true.
The Clinton Foundation stopped accepting donations from foreign governments while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state. But the Wall Street Journal reported in March 2015 that individual donors with direct ties to foreign governments had made millions in donations while Clinton was in office:
All told, more than a dozen foreign individuals and their foundations and companies were large donors to the Clinton Foundation in the years after Mrs. Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, collectively giving between $34 million and $68 million, foundation records show. Some donors also provided funding directly to charitable projects sponsored by the foundation, valued by the organization at $60 million.
In April 2015, the Washington Post and Reuters revealed that a Canadian charity affiliated with the Clinton Foundation had failed to reveal the identities of 1,100 donors, the claim directly referenced in the essay:
The number of undisclosed contributors to the charity, the Canada-based Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, signals a larger zone of secrecy around foundation donors than was previously known.
Details of the organization’s fundraising were disclosed this week by a spokeswoman for the Canadian group’s founder, mining magnate Frank Giustra.
The Canadian group has received attention in recent days as a potential avenue for anonymous Clinton Foundation donations from foreign business executives, including some who had interests before the U.S. government while Hillary Rodham Clinton was secretary of state.
So, it’s true that the Clinton Foundation has come under fire for the disclosure of foreign donors while Clinton served as secretary of state.
But then the essay goes on to claim that the Clinton Foundation gives “no more than 15% of the donations to charitable causes” and spent $8 million on travel in one year alone. This is misleading, and borderline false.
For example, it’s true that the Clinton Foundation spent $8.4 million on travel in 2013. But, according to tax filings, 77% of those travel expenses were directed toward program services, and about 20% toward fundraising. So, just because expenditures are itemized as “travel” or “conferences” doesn’t mean they don’t directly support programming.