Much fuss has been made over the Clinton Foundation due to its largely unusual structure and the uncharted terrain of a former First Lady turned major party nominee. Critics have leveled “pay for play” allegations that accuse Hillary Clinton of trading meetings while she was secretary of state to large donors. There’s also the difficult question of what will happen if Hillary Clinton rises from nominee to president. While the foundation began as a way to transition Bill Clinton from presidency to philanthropy, there’s no delicate way to dodge the inherent conflict of interest between foreign donations and the prospective leader of the United States.
However, all of these criticisms must juxtapose one unavoidable truth — the Clinton Foundation has done plenty of good. The organization has provided health care and AIDS/HIV treatment throughout the world, focused on climate initiatives including deforestation, and supported entrepreneurs who close gaps in developing countries. The foundation’s impact runs across the globe, but Hillary has stated that if she is elected president, she and Bill will largely distance themselves. As for her competitor, Donald Trump’s shown no intent to close down shop for his various business ventures. A recent expose from Newsweek signals plenty of trouble (of the national security variety) from the many companies housed under the Trump Organization’s umbrella.
Then there are Trump’s claims to philanthropy, which are questionable at best. The Donald J. Trump Foundation has been plagued with revelations of phantom donations, bizarre purchases, its own “pay for play” allegations (which are well supported by a timeline of evidence) and, quite recently, investigations into its propriety.