“That Money's Already Been Spent” – Clinton Foundation Won't Return $250,000 Weinstein Donation
After the Clinton Foundation’s chief spokesman suggested as much in a tweet on Saturday, the Clinton Foundation has confirmed that it will not be returning a $250,000 donation from disgraced Hollywood studio chief Harvey Weinstein, Fox news reported.
The foundation said Sunday that donations, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, have already been spent on projects.
On Friday, Hillary Clinton said during an interview Friday with the UK’s Channel Four that her campaign has yet to rreturn Weinstein’s campaign contributions. After issuing a statement denouncing her one-time friend issued five days after the scandal broke, Clinton promised during an interview with CNN that she personally would donate to charity an amount equal to Weinstein’s contributions over the course of her political career.
She blamed the delay on the complexities of withdrawing money from a campaign account, and reiterated that the money would be turned over soon. Weinstein was also a prominent Democratic fundraiser who hosted fundraising events for Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
The move to keep the money was expected following tweets from the foundation’s spokesman Craig Minassian.
“Suggesting @ClintonFdn return funds from our 330,000+ donors ignores the fact that donations have been used to help people across the world,” Minassian wrote on Twitter.
— Craig Minassian (@MinassianMedia) October 14, 2017
A Clinton Foundation spokesman told the Daily Mail that Weinstein’s money was used to fund programs to help lower the cost of HIV medication and supporting women and girls in developing countries. Weinstein’s most recent donation was made in 2014.
In an interview with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria on Thursday Clinton said she was “sick” and “shocked” when she found out about the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein, which were first revealed in a bombshell report by The New York Times and then further reported in a detailed report by The New Yorker and subsequent reports in the Times. Since then, more than 30 women have publicly accused Weinstein of harassment, assault or groping.
“I was appalled. It was something that was just intolerable in every way,” she said. “And, you know, like so many people who’ve come forward and spoken out, this was a different side of a person who I and many others had known in the past.”
When asked about Weinstein’s campaign donations, she told CNN that it wasn’t possible to give the money back but that she would donate an equivalent amount to charity.
“What other people are saying, what my former colleagues are saying, is they’re going to donate it to charity, and of course I will do that,” she said on CNN. “I give 10% of my income to charity every year, this will be part of that.
There’s no – there’s no doubt about it.”
A Clinton aide later told CNN that Clinton would donate $13,000 to a women’s organization, but refused to provide a name. The donation will cover Weinstein’s contributions to her 2000 Senate primary race, the 2006 Senate primary and general election, the 2007 presidential primary and the 2015 and 2016 presidential primary and general election, the aide said.
Dozens Democratic Party politicians – including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker – have pledged to donate their Weinstein’s contributions to charities focused on women’s rights.
But will Clinton – who has repeatedly insisted that she was unaware of Weinstein’s predatory behavior despite considering him a friend – cough up an additional $250,000 to cover Weinstein’s donations to the Clinton Foundation? That remains to be seen.