Since the end of her book tour for her memoir, What Happened, Hillary Clinton has been delivering speeches and continuing her anti-Trump rhetoric. A recent report just delivered some bad news leaving some wondering who she’ll blame next.
Support for the Clintons appears to be plummeting. The New York Post reported that The Clinton Foundation donations succumbed to a sharp decline for the second year in a row — a staggering 42 percent decrease.
After a 37 percent decline in donations in 2015 attributed to allegations of pay-to-play schemes and Mrs. Clinton’s withdrawal from the foundation due to her presidential campaign run, donations dropped to $108 million from a $172 million total in 2014. An executive and friend of Chelsea Clinton, Eric Braverman, also left the foundation in 2015 after only 18 months of employment, which left the board in shambles.
The latest 42 percent decline saw donations fall from $108 million to $63 million in 2016. The news emerged after the latest Clinton Foundation federal tax filing details were released just last week. This time, some are blaming declines on donation shifts to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, in addition to negative perception caused by speculation that the Justice Department could probe the foundation for allegedly illegal activities.
Last week, the Justice Department released a letter saying that Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered prosecutors to address concerns made by Republican members of Congress and determine whether or not a Special Counsel is necessary to investigate misdeeds of Hillary Clinton and The Clinton Foundation. This would include the millions of dollars in donations collected by The Clinton Foundation during the time of the Obama-era Uranium One deal, which included then-Secretary of State Clinton’s approval.
In August, it was revealed that Mrs. Clinton would return to The Clinton Foundation in a “limited capacity” to help with fundraising efforts, which appears to be a dire need of the organization.
Donna Shalala, former President of the Clinton Foundation who stepped down to a board position last April, called 2016 “a very challenging” time for fundraising efforts following the foundation’s restructuring efforts and diverted attention to Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Kevin Thurm, CEO of The Clinton Foundation, stated, “Starting in 2015 when Secretary Clinton launched her presidential campaign, we voluntarily adopted restrictions on fundraising.” He added that in spite of the decreased donations, the foundation’s charitable efforts were unaffected, citing programs to aid 150,000 small-scale African farmers, and programs to combat the opioid epidemic in the US.
Thurm scrutinized allegations of the foundation’s involvement in the Uranium One deal, claiming they “have been debunked again and again.” He said, “Regardless of the noise, the foundation will continue our work to improve people’s lives and tackle the major challenges of our time, such as the opioid epidemic, climate change, and empowering the next generation of leaders.”
But some aren’t buying the excuses of restructuring and diverted attention. Investment analysts have said that donors are nervous and slowing their contributions to the Clinton Foundation.
For years, it appears, donations to The Clinton Foundation translated to government favors. Has The Clinton Foundation’s influence deteriorated since the Clinton scandals?
Wall Street analyst, Charles Ortel, said, “A lot of questions have been raised, and I think donors are understandably cautious about getting involved with this deeply troubled charity.”
It’s unclear whether or not Hillary Clinton’s return to the foundation and shifted focus to fundraising will be able to save The Clinton Foundation’s plummeting contributions. The Clinton legacy is rocked by scandal and numerous misdeeds from both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Their foundation may not be able to weather the storm of their own making.