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Politics & Policy

The Clinton Family’s Proud Tradition of Shamelessly Lying

From the Thursday Morning Jolt:

The Clinton Family’s Proud Tradition of Shamelessly Lying

Everybody has a particular figure in the news who drives them a little bonkers. You may recall that for some reason, media hosannas for Chelsea Clinton stick in my craw. I’m perfectly happy to see Chelsea Clinton go off and live a happy life as a mom or doing whatever she likes away from the public spotlight. But I’m tired of the media telling us she’s remarkably accomplished in her own right, her keynote addresses to conferences like SXSW, treating her like she’s an A-list celebrity and fascinating figure, the “Woman of the Year” and “Mom of the Year” awards, her widely panned $600,000-per-year, part-time work as an increasingly infrequent NBC News correspondent, and her assistant vice provost position at New York University, taken at age 30, before finishing her dissertation.

Now there’s a new angle to Chelsea Clinton’s public profile. She’s as shameless a liar as both of her parents:

“What the Clinton foundation has said is that we will be kind of even more transparent,” said the former first daughter, now vice chairman of the foundation, at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Even though Transparency International and others have said we’re among the most transparent foundations, we’ll disclose donors on a quarterly basis, not just an annual basis.”

The problem with that, though, is Transparency International never cited the Clinton foundation. It did award Hillary Clinton its 2012 TI-USA Integrity Award when Clinton was secretary of state for “recognizing her contributions as secretary of state in raising the importance of transparency and anticorruption as elements of U.S. policy,” Claudia Dumas, president of Transparency International, told NPR. (The organization put out a fuller statement Monday.)

It’s a false statement, but it also looks like Freudian slip. Transparency International gives the U.S. State Department an award, and Chelsea thinks it went to the Clinton Foundation. It’s hard to shake the feeling that for the Clintons, the U.S. State Department and the Clinton Foundation were intertwined and interchangeable.

NPR’s report continues: “The Clinton foundation discloses all of its donors . . . ”

No, it doesn’t. Bloomberg reported yesterday that the Clinton Foundation did not disclose 1,100 foreign donors, and when they filed their taxes for the years Hillary was running the State Department, they just happened to forget to mention tens of millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments.

Wait, there’s more!

Loopholes and legalistic explanations about what new foreign donations should be excluded from disclosure were not publicly discussed in the initial deal. In 2009, the incoming Obama administration, Clinton, and then-Senator John F. Kerry all publicly touted the Clinton charities’ “memorandum of understanding’’ as a guarantee that transparency and public scrutiny would be brought to bear on activities that posed any potential conflicts of interest with State Department business.

“Transparency is critically important here, obviously, because it allows the American people, the media, and those of us here in Congress . . . to be able to judge for ourselves that no conflicts — real or apparent — exist,’’ Kerry said during a Senate floor speech on Jan. 21, 2009.

The memorandum, which did not outline a penalty for failing to comply, was signed in December 2008 by Valerie Jarrett, co-chairwoman of the Obama transition team, and Bruce Lindsey, a longtime Clinton aide who at the time was CEO of the Clinton Foundation and sits on the board of the [Clinton Health Access Initiative].

Jarrett and Lindsey declined to be interviewed about CHAI’s repeated failures to disclose major increases in foreign grants.

This is the way the Clintons operate: Make the grand promise, even sign on the dotted line to make the promise official, then ignore it. A great quality in a president, huh?

NPR continues, “ . . . and, as Chelsea Clinton noted, it is now doing so more frequently as Hillary Clinton is running for president. That’s more than other presidential libraries and foundations.”

Yes, but other presidential libraries and foundations aren’t a way to put money at the disposal of a future presidential candidate. When Clinton defenders trot out the “but Hillary doesn’t make a salary from the Foundation” claim, remind them that the family’s travel — by charter or first class, “due to extraordinary security and other requirements” — is paid for by the Foundation.

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