As Hillary Clinton increasingly is mentioned as the top Democratic 2016 presidential candidate, a look into donations to her foundation by the Wall Street Journal has revealed gifts from foreign governments and a Canadian agency supporting the Keystone XL pipeline.
Mrs Clinton has yet to confirm that she will run for president in next year’s elections, but she is easily the most popular option in a limited field. Should she run, some donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation could raise ethical questions.
When Mrs Clinton began her service as US secretary of state in 2009, the foundation stopped accepting gifts from foreign governments. But Mrs Clinton has rejoined the foundation and it again has been accepting donations from overseas.
Among the nations that have donated money to the foundation are the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency that promotes the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
To be clear, the foreign donations to the foundation are not illegal or even imprudent, but they could be seen as unethical if they were to continue if Mrs Clinton announces a presidential bid. The foundation has a strong reputation in working to improve health care, education and the environment, according to its website.
A spokesman for the foundation told the Journal that all donors go through a strict vetting process and that all donations in questions were for a fund-raising effort that will go toward foundation projects.
The donation from the agency supporting Keystone XL could come into question, as it has been a hot-button political issue in the US. A bill that would allow construction of the pipeline – which would carry oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to the US Gulf Coast – has passed Congress and awaits the President Barack Obama’s signature. The president has promised to veto the bill.
The foundation spokesman said the donation from the Canadian agency was from an office separate from the one that advocates for Keystone XL.
Follow Payton Guion on Twitter @PaytonGuion.Reuse content