Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign criticized an AP report as outrageous and "distorted," which claims more than half the people outside the government who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money to the Clinton Foundation, the Washington Examiner reported Wednesday.
The report cited this as an extremely high percentage, which illustrates the connection between access and donations and gives the impression the price of getting attention from Clinton for official business was based on donations to the Clinton Foundation.
The report indicated this impression was made even worse, because of the 154 non-governmental officials who were provided access to Clinton, at least 85 were donors to the Clinton Foundation, contributing a combined total of $156 million.
"This story relies on utterly flawed data," Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon said Tuesday, per the Examiner. "It cherry-picked a limited subset of Secretary Clinton's schedule to give a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to the charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation. The data does not account for more than half of her tenure as Secretary.
"And it omits more than 1,700 meetings she took with world leaders, let alone countless others she took with other U.S. government officials, while serving as Secretary of State," his statement added.
The Clinton campaign was especially outraged the report included as donors such individuals as Muhammad Yunus, an economist who ran a Bangladeshi nonprofit bank.
"President Obama awarded Yunus the Presidential [Medal of] Freedom, and Republicans and Democrats voted to unanimously award him the Congressional Gold Medal," Fallon said.
"Nevertheless, this story reduces Yunus to a charitable donation once made by an organization he chaired. That is grossly unfair, inaccurate and just goes to show how faulty this analysis truly is."
Many in the philanthropic world have also come to the defense of the Clinton Foundation, CNN reports.
"It's unfortunate that it's become this punching bag, this political punching bag," Daniel Borochoff of Charity Watch told CNN. "There's a lot of things that are said that are false. If Hillary Clinton wasn't running for president, the Clinton Foundation would be seen as one of the great humanitarian charities of our generation."
Charity Watch is just one of the watchdog groups that judges charities on how well they are run, how transparent they are, and it has given the Clinton Foundation its highest mark
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