Clinton campaign manager: Foundation contributions will take 'time to adjust'

Story highlights

  • The foundation said it would not accept corporate or foreign donations were Hillary Clinton elected
  • Mook also questioned why the Clinton Foundation has been singled out

Washington (CNN)Foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation will take time to wind down, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager said Sunday when asked about its plan to forgo that money if she's elected president.

"It will take some time to adjust," Robby Mook told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union."
    Mook sought to defend the decision by the Clinton Foundation to separate itself from foreign money, but not before the election is decided.
    Mook repeatedly called the foundation's decisions on separating its work from the political careers of the Clintons "unprecedented." He sought to explain why the organization believes this move is necessary if Clinton were elected president -- but not before then, or during her time as secretary of state.
    "The foundation is doing an enormous amount of work, and it takes time when you're in a number of countries around the world to retool, refocus the mission, and adapt," Mook said, emphasizing the work the foundation does to combat AIDS and malaria around the world.
    "It will take some time to adjust," Mook added, saying that Clinton has been "transparent." In an attempt to turn the conversation Mook contrasted that to Republican nominee Donald Trump, who has refused to release his tax returns.
    Mook also questioned why the Clinton Foundation has been singled out compared with other past presidents' work.
    "There's all this scrutiny because Hillary Clinton has been transparent," Mook said. "I don't think you heard these questions when members of the Bush family continued to serve on boards for President Bush's foundation."
    The foundation said Thursday it would not accept corporate or foreign donations were Hillary Clinton elected, and former President Bill Clinton will also stop giving paid speeches. But the move hasn't alleviated intense scrutiny and criticism of the foundation and perceived overlap between the foreign and corporate donors to the firm and the work the State Department did under Hillary Clinton.
    Recently released emails from Clinton's top aides at the State Department have fueled the criticism, including one from Clinton aide Doug Band to her top aides at the State Department, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, asking for a "favor" to "take care" of someone at State.
    Mook defended that exchange, saying there was "no quid pro quo."
    "The email in question from Doug Band was coming from his private email account, or his Clinton.com email account, it was not related to the foundation, and the State Department at every step was following every appropriate protocol," Mook said. "This was someone who had a relationship with the Clintons long before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state."