Tags: Hillary Clinton | bill clinton | clinton foundation | foreign donors | accountant

Bill Clinton: Accountant at Fault for Not Revealing Foreign Donors

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:44 AM

The Clinton Foundation's failure to disclose 1,100 foreign donations is the fault of the accountant who prepared the nonprofit's taxes, President Bill Clinton told NBC News this week during an interview from Africa.

"The guy that filled out the forms made an error," he told NBC correspondent Cynthia McFadden. "Now that is a bigger problem, according to the press, than the other people running for president willing to take dark money, secret money, secret from beginning to end."

The foundation did not list any contributions from governments in a series of tax forms, instead rolling the sum into overall revenue, NBC reported, something Clinton characterized as "an innocent mistake."

Watch the video below.

The Clintons have been under the microscope since revelations that their charitable foundation accepted foreign donations during Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state and allegations of quid pro quo agreements, specifically the sale of U.S. uranium interests to Russia.

The Washington Post's fact checker column gave the Clintons three Pinocchios, out of four, for their explanation about not disclosing individual donors to a Canadian affiliate of the Clinton Foundation and Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra, who sits on the Clinton Foundation board and has donated millions to the organization.

Giustra's company secured a lucrative uranium-mining deal in Kazakhstan, a deal that put the Russians in control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States, according to The New York Times.

President Clinton told NBC News that going forward the foundation will only accept contributions from six Western governments, though he insisted that the policy change is in no way an acknowledgment that it was wrong to accept the myriad foreign donations, including between $10 million and $25 million from Saudi Arabia.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we have never done anything knowingly inappropriate in terms of taking money to influence any kind of American government policy," he told NBC News. "That just hasn't happened."

The managing director of PricewaterhouseCoopers exempt organization tax services division signed off as the Clinton Foundation's paid preparer on its most recent tax returns, according to the Washington Free Beacon, which reports that the firm also conducted an independent audit of the 2013 information.

The foundation's chief financial officer, Andrew Kessel, also signed off on the tax returns.

"The auditor's note, however, says it is the foundation's management that is responsible for presenting financial statements that are 'free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error,' " the Beacon reports.

Citing company policy, PricewaterhouseCoopers declined to comment on Clinton's allegation that one of its employees made an error, as well as whether they would be the firm conducting the external review of the foundation's financial reports.

Clinton insisted to NBC's McFadden that his foundation did nothing wrong and the scandal is just another example of his family being held to a higher standard than everybody else.

"People should draw their own conclusions. I'm not in politics," he said. "All I'm saying is the idea that there's one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true."

Fox News' Howard Kurtz described Clinton's performance as a slick "virtuoso" with a "clever bit of choreography."

"Rather than defend the Clinton Foundation in a climate-controlled Manhattan studio, he did it with NBC's Cynthia McFadden in Nairobi, where his organization's efforts to help poor black children would form a compelling backdrop," said Kurtz.

"But when you stripped away the visuals, and discounted the soothing words, Clinton gave no ground. He did nothing wrong, his foundation did nothing wrong, he's just trying to help the world."

Kurtz characterized as "demonstrably untrue" Clinton's contention that the scandal is another attempt to destroy his foundation and that there's "almost no new fact that wasn't known" the first time Hillary Clinton sought the White House.

"We are awash in new facts about the foundation: Undisclosed donors, including situations that violated its agreement with the Obama administration," Kurtz says.

"Revisiting five years' worth of tax returns. Tangled deals involving Haiti and India and Russian uranium interests. Huge speaking fees for Bill that overlapped with the foundation business he was drumming up. Questions about Hillary's role as secretary of state with some of these donors seeking to influence U.S. policy."

Watch the video below.

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The Clinton Foundation's failure to disclose 1,100 foreign donations is the fault of the accountant who prepared the nonprofit's taxes, President Bill Clinton told NBC News this week during an interview from Africa.
bill clinton, clinton foundation, foreign donors, accountant
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2015-44-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 08:44 AM
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