Yesterday, the CEO of the Clinton Foundation, Donna Shalala, went on MSNBC and openly admitted to engaging in "pay-for-play" activities saying there is "no question" that Foundation donors received "courtesy appointments" during Hillary's tenure as Secretary of State. Somehow, Shalala would like for us to believe that so long as appointees weren't put in a position to impact policy decisions then there is no real issue. I guess we should just ignore that taxpayers are funding the salaries of those appointees and paying for their government-related travel all over the world while Hillary gets to accrue "political capital" and her Foundation gets to continue raking in the donations?
Shalala also seems to invoke the Donna Brazile (new DNC Chair) defense who previously told ABC that "someone who is a donor..saying I want access" isn't an issue and anyone who suggests otherwise is just attempting to "criminalize behavior that is normal" (see out previous post "New DNC Chair Says Outrage Over Clinton's Pay-To-Play Is Attempt To 'Criminalize Normal Behavior'").
"First of all there is no question there were phone calls made to get appointments for people."
"There were also business people. There is no question about that."
"I don't see evidence that there was policy decisions made as a result of that other than courtesy appointments. And people in public life are used to doing that kind of — that is, making courtesy appointments for people. I certainly did it as secretary [of Health and Human Services] with requests from Republicans in Congress so I don't find it unusual. We have to be careful that it's not linked to policy decisions as opposed to simply seeing prominent people that ask for appointments."
Of course, according to LifeZette, the Trump camp took issue with the statements with Jason Miller, Trump's communications adviser, releasing the following statement:
“It speaks volumes that the Clinton Foundation’s CEO would casually admit on national television that its donors received access and ‘courtesy appointments’ at Hillary Clinton’s State Department. This is emblematic of the corrupt pay-to-play culture Hillary Clinton and those in her orbit bring to the table, where it so pervasive it is actually uncontroversial to those involved.”
“This is why a special prosecutor needs to be appointed to independently investigate the growing evidence of corruption between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state,”
But the following morning, Shalala went on CNN and seemingly walked back her previous statements made on MSNBC saying that a "courtesy meeting" request made by Doug Band of Huma Abedin "never happened."
“Guess what. That never happened. Never happened. I don’t care who asked for what. It never happened. It just did not happen.”
When asked whether she was comfortable with Clinton Foundation staff requesting favors, even if they were never fulfilled, Shalala stopped short of a blatant confirmation, which she offered on earlier on MSNBC, saying instead that "no one should cross any line."
“Well, you know, no one should cross any line."
And, just for good measure, here is the clip of Donna Brazile from back in August where she assures us that "someone who is a donor..saying I want access" isn't an issue and anyone who suggests otherwise is just attempting to "criminalize behavior that is normal."
Fast forward to the 3:45 mark for the relevant exchange:
Well, we guess there is nothing to see here then. Just some more smoke people...move along.