While we eagerly await news of the Clinton Family Foundation being "unexpectedly" hacked (after today's Reuters prep piece), with a trove of documents revealing even more shocking crony kickbacks, "favors" and corruption, we are sad to report that should Hillary become president, said foundation will no longer accept foreign and corporate donations, and will bring an end to its annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting regardless of the outcome of the November election.
Well, of course: once Hillary is president, she will no longer need a backdoor way of legally receiving Saudi money: at that moment, billions in Saudi dollars will be perfectly acceptable for passage through the front door, mostly in exchange for weapons and ammo (fine, and the occasional favor), used to kill and maim innocent civilians and to supply the occasional Doctors Without Borders hospital bombing raid (which, oddly enough, has received zero coverage in the US media... how odd).
Bill Clinton made the announcement at an afternoon meeting with foundation staff members, according to participants who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement. Clinton said the foundation plans to continue its work, but intends to refocus its efforts in a process that will take up to a year to complete. The former president, who turns 70 on Friday, said he will resign from the board, and the foundation will only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and independent charities.
But why, Bill, if - as you and most of the media claim - there is nothing wrong with accepting bribes, pardon, donations from countries that have, in their own words, created ISIS?
Rhetorical questions aside, according to Clinton the foundation will no longer take money from any foreign entity, government, foreign or domestic corporations, or corporate charities.
Additionally, a Clinton spokesman said the former president will also refrain from delivering paid speeches until the November election and will no longer give paid speeches if Hillary Clinton is elected president. Again: we wonder - why? Is there some stigma associated with getting paid $250K-$500K bribes from corporations when your wife is in the White House? Granted we are confident that the $237 million the Clinton family has collected, mostly from speeches, since 2001 will help the pain.
At the staff meeting, AP adds, Clinton said he and his daughter, Chelsea Clinton, did not face any external pressure to make the changes, but wanted to avoid any potential issues or second guessing for Hillary Clinton should she move into the White House. The future of the Clinton Foundation has been one of the overarching questions shadowing Clinton's campaign.
While Hillary Clinton stepped down from its board after launching her 2016 campaign, her husband and daughter have remained in leadership roles, prompting questions about the ability of the organization to continue its work should Clinton win the White House.
To be sure, questions have persisted about the relationship between the Clintons and donors for years, mostly among Republicans. The Republican National Committee (RNC) on Thursday criticized the Clinton Foundation for stalling on changes to its donation guidelines. "This effort to shield Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation after more than a year of controversy is too little, too late," chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
Priebus added that the Clinton Foundation's activities had already raised red flags during Clinton's campaign. "The fact that the Clinton Foundation and its entities continue to accept foreign donations while Hillary Clinton runs for the White House is a massive, ongoing conflict of interest that gets bigger by the day," he said.
In the last week, prominent voices have called for the organization to be disbanded if Hillary Clinton won the presidency. Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.), a supporter of the Clintons, on Wednesday said the charitable organization should close up shop if Clinton wins.
“It’d be impossible to keep the foundation open without at least the appearance of a problem,” the former chairman of the Democratic National Chairman (DNC) told The New York Daily News.
Fair enough, but it wasn't a "problem" to keep it open for years heading into the election? After all, the concern is influence peddling, and much more influence goes to those who have money in the foundation's early days rather than now, when it is already a $2 billion behemoth.
The Boston Globe’s editorial board on Tuesday also called for disbanding the Clinton Foundation, saying that doing so would remove “a political — and actual — distraction.”
According to the AP, Bill Clinton denied that the changes were brought about by outside pressure, but said they were motivated by the need to eliminate any concerns if his wife wins the White House.
Finally, there was just one outstanding question:
And if she is not elected? https://t.co/xZci9TX5Qn— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 18, 2016
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Meanwhile, in tonight's other key political news, in what many have said is a first for Donald Trump, the presidential candidate expressed regret on Thursday afternoon during a rally in Charlotte, N.C. and apologized for any damage he inflicted with his blunt rhetoric on the campaign trail as the candidate and his revamped campaign staff look to recover from a rough few weeks.
“As you know, I am not a politician. I have worked in business, creating jobs and rebuilding neighborhoods my entire adult life. I’ve never wanted to learn the language of the insiders, and I’ve never been politically correct – it takes far too much time, and can often make it more difficult to achieve total victory."
“Sometimes, in the heat of the debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and I regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues."
The speech came less than two days after Trump shook up his campaign leadership, naming pollster and former adviser Kellyanne Conway as campaign manager and Breitbart executive Steve Bannon campaign CEO.
Trump's expression of regret has come as a shock to those - mostly liberal pundits - who expected Bannon to reject any efforts by other advisers to polish Trump's message in home stretch of the general election. Conway said she didn't want Trump to lose his "authenticity." Then again, ultimately Trump's biggest "advisor" has always been Trump, both with and without surprises, and the man behind today's stunning pivot, was most likely Trump himself.
In his Thursday speech, Trump attacked Clinton's honesty and promised to never lie and always put voters' interests first. "In this journey, I will never lie to you," he said. "I will never tell you something I do not believe myself. I will never put anyone's interests ahead of yours.
And then he pivoted once more, contrasting his brutish political correctness with Hillary's endless lies.
"Aren't you tired of the same old lies and the same old broken promises?" Trump asked. Trump said that Clinton "has proven to be one of the greatest liars of all time."
"So while sometimes I can be too honest, Hillary Clinton is the exact opposite: she never tells the truth. One lie after another, and getting worse each passing day," he said. Trump continued to criticize the media for focusing on his controversial remarks rather than the problems facing voters.
“The establishment media doesn’t cover what really matters in this country, or what’s really going on in peoples’ lives,” he said. “They will take words of mine out of context and spend a week obsessing over every single syllable, and then pretend to discover some hidden meaning in what I said,” Trump added.
“Just imagine if the media spent this much time investigating the poverty and joblessness in our inner cities. Just think about how much different things would be if the media in this country sent their cameras to our border, or to our closing factories, or to our failing schools.”
Trump added he would not stop ruffling establishment feathers, even if it means conflict with fellow Republicans. “I am glad I make the powerful a little uncomfortable now and again – including some powerful people in my own party. Because it means I am fighting for real change. I am fighting for you."
Who knows, maybe this particular expression of "regret" is all America wanted to hear to give Trump a second chance. After all, if there is one thing all Americans can agree on, is they love each and every underdog story...