Hillary Clinton should “cut all ties” with her foundation if she wins the election, Bernie Sanders has warned. It follows revelations suggesting that US taxpayers helped fund the foundation, and that big donors received favors from the State Department.
Speaking to NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sanders said that “at the very least, she should not be involved. At the very least.”
When pressed on whether the foundation should be shut down entirely, Sanders said he didn’t “know enough” to answer that question. He also noted that the organization does “a lot of good things with AIDS, and so forth.”
Sanders’ comments follow a trail of controversial revelations which show that business surrounding the Clinton Foundation has not always been on the up-and-up.
On Sunday, an investigation carried out by Politico found that US taxpayers funded the Clinton Foundation and its business associates through the Former Presidents Act.
Passed in 1958, the Act was intended to operate as an assistance fund for former presidents as they transitioned from the White House to civilian life.
However, Bill Clinton has requested $16 million under the Act, more than any other US president. Some of that money was used to buy IT equipment, including servers, housed at the Clinton Foundation.
Last week, newly released emails revealed more ties between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, showing that major donors received special perks, including lunch with the Chinese president.
Despite calls for Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state to be released immediately, the State Department has said it will only do so after the November election. It comes after AP revealed that more than half of Clinton’s meetings with people outside the government were with donors to her private foundation.
Trump’s campaign has called the scheduled release “unacceptable,” adding that “voters deserve to know the truth before they cast their ballots.”
But despite his feelings on the Clinton Foundation, Sanders continues to endorse his former opponent in the 2016 presidential race, despite a trove of leaked Democratic National Convention (DNC) emails which showed the establishment’s bias against him, and exposed a plot aimed at ensuring Clinton’s name would be on the ballot in November.
However, Sanders continues to believe that candidates with less access to mainstream media or support of the two-party establishment should be given more of a chance to reach the White House.
When asked about whether such candidates should be able to participate in the debates, he said people should be included if they “reach a certain level,” adding that the current 15 percent standard is “probably too high” and “probably should be lower.”
Although the US has a long way to go in the “political revolution,” Sanders remains optimistic that change is happening.
“The political revolution is about transforming America, is getting millions of people involved in the political process,” Sanders said. “That’s not going to happen overnight… but I think it is happening.”