Former U.S. President Bill Clinton defended his charitable foundation’s acceptance of large foreign donations on Monday, thrusting himself into a controversy that is weighing on the presidential candidacy of his wife, Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t think there’s anything sinister in trying to get wealthy people in countries that are seriously involved in development to spend their money wisely in a way that helps poor people and lifts them up,” Clinton told NBC News from Kenya, in an interview taped over the weekend.

His decision to emerge from the sidelines and speak out about the Clinton Foundation reflects concerns about getting Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination back on a sound footing after it took a pounding in recent weeks.

The former first lady, also a previous secretary of state and former senator from New York, has attempted to present herself as a candidate who would fight for everyday Americans.

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