Remember in the last debate when Hillary was finally asked about “pay-to-play” allegations surrounding the Clinton Foundation? Of course, anytime she’s asked about those allegations, she quickly pivots to what great work the Foundation has done for HIV/AIDS victims around the world. Here’s what she said:
“I’m thrilled to talk about the Clinton Foundation…the Clinton Foundation made it possible for 11mm people around the world with HIV/AIDS to afford treatment.“
There’s just one small problem with her statement about all the great work the “Clinton Foundation” does for HIV/AIDS victims around the world, namely it happens to be completely untrue.
As it turns out, all of the charity work related to HIV/AIDS victims that Hillary referenced above is actually carried out by the independent “Clinton Health Access Initiative” (CHAI). Moreover, efforts on the part of the Clintons to falsely attribute the HIV/AIDS work to the Clinton Foundation ruffled some feathers among the management team at CHAI who wrote a memo to Bill Clinton expressing concerns about the “serious conflicts of interest” between the Clinton Foundation and CHAI.
Within the memo, the management of CHAI expresses great concern about “cases where we meet Clinton Foundation donors who believe that they have given money to support CHAI’s work because they have donated to the Clinton Foundation, when in reality CHAI does not receive the funds”…in other words, donors contribute money to the Clinton Foundation thinking it will be used to fund HIV/AIDS efforts when, in reality, none of it is actually used for that purpose…which is odd because that is exactly what Hillary said above at the 3rd Presidential debate.
Further, the line between CHAI and the Clinton Foundation is often blurred by the Foundation, creating ambiguity about our independence as an organization that is separately funded. CHAI is often portrayed by the Clinton Foundation as an initiative of the Foundation. The Clinton Foundation uses CHAI accomplishments in its publicity and fundraising events even though CHAI does not receive funds from these efforts. One example includes the Clinton Foundation Annual Trip, which is coordinated by Clinton Foundation personnel and includes stops to visit CHAI sites and CHAI programmatic work, which is publicized and promoted for Clinton Foundation fundraising purposes. We are very concerned about cases where we meet Clinton Foundation donors who believe that they have given money to support CHAI’s work because they have donated to the Clinton Foundation, when in reality CHAI does not receive the funds.
The memo from CHAI management goes on to express that as “a separate legal entity from the Clinton Foundation” they have concerns about “serious conflicts of interest” surrounding “Clinton Foundation appointed members who currently serve on the CHAI Board.” Among other things, CHAI management was apparently concerned their board members’ “allegiance to the Clinton Foundation takes precedence over their fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of CHAI.”
CHAI has grown significantly and been successful over the past five years since we became an independent legal entity, thanks in large part to the sustainable relationships CHAI has built with our government partners and donors. We firmly believe that to continue this success CHAI needs a Board of Directors entirely independent of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation (“Clinton Foundation”). We believe this to be in the best interest of CHAI because of the underlying conflict of interest for the Clinton Foundation appointed members who currently serve on the CHAP Board, the significant risks to CHAI associated with a possible run for the US Presidency by Secretary Clinton, and the fundamental difference in culture and approach between the two organizations.
We are a separate legal entity from the Clinton Foundation but there continues to be ambiguity about the relationship. There are not only fundamental differences in culture and approach between the Clinton Foundation and CHAI, but more importantly, there are serious conflicts of interest in the way that the relationship is currently structured. In particular, there is a recognizable conflict of interest with the Clinton Foundation appointed members who currently serve on the CHAI Board.
Since becoming a separate legal entity from the Clinton Foundation in 2010, CHAI has proven to be successful operating autonomously. Despite this, we see increasing evidence that the Clinton Foundation plans to exert more control over CHAI. We fear that there is an agenda to ultimately fold CHAI into the Clinton Foundation. Recent communications that talk about the Clinton Foundation as the controlling entity of CHAI would imply a possible consolidation.
We are very concerned with the current conflict of interest among Clinton Foundation appointees to the CHAI board, where we see evidence that their allegiance to the Clinton Foundation takes precedence over their fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of CHAI.
So you’re saying the Clintons established a phony “independent” board of directors filled with their political cronies who were only concerned with enriching their friends and not their fiduciary obligations to the underlying charity? Well, we just don’t see how that could possibly be true.