Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is calling on Hillary Clinton to shut down the Clinton Foundation and return its donations to countries he claims “influenced her totally” while serving as secretary of state.
“Well, number one, they should shut it down,” Trump said in a Monday interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.” “Number two, they should give the money back to a lot of countries that we shouldn’t be taking and they shouldn’t be taking money from. Countries that influenced her totally and also countries that discriminate against women and gays and everyone else. I mean, that money ― it should be given back. They should not take that money.”
The foundation, a nonprofit corporation established by former President Bill Clinton, focuses on fighting childhood obesity, addressing the effects of global climate change and creating economic growth.
The Clintons came under increased scrutiny over the weekend, after a New York Times examination highlighted how the foundation accepted millions of dollars in foreign money amid a deal to give American uranium holdings to a Russian state-owned company. Among the U.S. agencies that signed off on the deal were the State Department, which at the time was headed by Hillary Clinton.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook on Sunday pushed back against allegations of ethical impropriety.
“There are right-wing attacks out there against her based on the important work that the Clinton Foundation has done that are simply not true,” Mook said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday. “The Clinton Foundation does incredible charitable work around the world.”
Last week, as a sign of political pressure surrounding the foundation, Bill Clinton announced the charity would not accept corporate and foreign donations should Hillary Clinton win the White House in November. The former president also said he would step down from the board of the foundation.
Pressed in a separate interview on CNN why the foundation won’t stop accepting foreign money before the election, Mook said that “nobody wants to get ahead of themselves.”
“They receive a great deal of funding through these streams. And it will just take some time for them to readjust,” he added.
On Sunday, the conservative website Breitbart News published an article highlighting a banner front page headline on The Huffington Post over the weekend, which referenced the foundation and read “Just Shut It Down.” Steve Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News’ parent company, was tapped to lead Trump’s campaign last week.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta returned the favor by urging Trump to “commit to fully divesting himself from all of his business conflicts to ensure that he is not letting his own financial interests affect decisions made by his potential administration.”
This story has been updated with a statement from the Clinton campaign.