Tags: Hillary Clinton | Robby Mook | AP Report | Cherry Picked | Clinton | Donors

Clinton Spokesman: AP Report 'Cherry Picked' Donors to Focus on

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Wednesday, 24 August 2016 09:11 AM

The Associated Press "cherry picked" a small number of Clinton Foundation donors to focus its attention on in its explosive article concerning Hillary Clinton's State Department guests, and many of the meetings she held were "perfectly reasonable," her campaign spokesman, Robby Mook, said Wednesday.

"By our count, there were over 1,700 other meetings that she had," Mook told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "She was secretary of state. She was meeting with foreign officials and government officials constantly. So, to pull all of them out of the equation and cherry pick a very small number of meetings is pretty outrageous."

According to the Associated Press's report, more than half of the people outside the government who met with Clinton had donated either personally or through other entities. According to State Department calendars released to the AP, 85 of 154 donors with private interests, contributing as much as $156 million, met with Clinton or spoke with her on the phone.

"Let's also look at some of the people involved here," Mook told the MSNBC program, giving Melinda Gates, the wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates as an example.

"She and Bill Gates were donors to the Clinton Foundation and also recognized around the world as experts at public health issues, reducing malaria," said Mook.

Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering low-interest "microcredit" for poor business owners, also met with Clinton three times, while authorities in his nation's government were investigating his oversight of a nonprofit bank, but Mook said their meetings were also not unusual.

"He is a world-renowned Nobel prize winning economist who is an expert on microfinancing," said Mook. "That makes perfect sense."

Mook also discounted concerns about Clinton's connections with the family foundation, especially given the likelihood that she would repeat her 2008 run for the presidency.

"At every juncture, they set up the highest possible standards and the State Department itself has said that there was no conflict of interest," said Mook. "But I think it is really important. Humor me for a second. I think we have to step back and take a look at what voters are examining here.

"Hillary Clinton and her family had a foundation. It is charitable. They don't receive a salary from it."

But GOP nominee Donald Trump, he continued, has a bottom line and net worth "directly connected to all kinds of international entities," including the Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, and a large number of Russian companies.

"He is indebted or reliant for income on a number of these entities, and nobody is asking him to disclose or divest," said Mook. "Hillary Clinton doesn't have a conflict of interest with charitable work. That's all it is. So, I think we need to look a lot more closely at Donald Trump if we're going to drill down this deep on Hillary Clinton."

Mook also dismissed a question from Nicolle Wallace, a frequent show panelist and former communications director for President George W. Bush, about Clinton not holding press conferences.

"Hillary has done over 300 interviews this year," he told her. "She is out there answering questions. She takes questions in a variety of formats and we'll keep looking at that."

Meanwhile, it would be deadly for the Clinton Foundation to immediately cut off everything it does at this point, said Mook.

"There are literally over 10 million people around the world who have gotten life-saving HIV and AIDS drugs from the foundation's work," said Mook. "To cut that off in a day, could hurt people's lives.

"It could literally take away life-saving drugs. So, there needs to be a transition time to make sure that the important life-saving work continues to happen."

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The Associated Press "cherry picked" a small number of Clinton Foundation donors to focus its attention on in its explosive article concerning Hillary Clinton's State Department guests, and many of the meetings she held were "perfectly reasonable"...
Robby Mook, AP Report, Cherry Picked, Clinton, Donors
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 09:11 AM
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