Kaine bungles Clinton Foundation policy on foreign donations

Story highlights

  • The Clinton Foundation is continuing to accept foreign and corporate money
  • Kaine's office said the Virginia senator simply "misspoke"

Washington (CNN)Sen. Tim Kaine mischaracterized the Clinton Foundation's donation policy during a recent interview, saying it no longer accepts foreign and corporate money when, in fact, it has only pledged to renounce these sources of funding if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

"She is taking one step forward right now, the foundation is taking one step forward right now by saying there's no corporations, no foreign-connected contributions taking right now," Kaine told Newsnet5, an Ohio television station Monday. "And then, if we are successful and are elected, President [Bill] Clinton will sever the tie with the foundation [he] created."
    Kaine's comments are incorrect. CNN confirmed with the Clinton campaign that the Clinton Foundation is continuing to accept foreign and corporate money. The foundation would only give up these sources of funding if Clinton and Kaine are elected on November 8.
    The Clinton Foundation's policy of continuing to accept foreign money through the election has raised concerns from some good government groups and newspaper editorial boards because it is seen as a legally permissible way to curry favor with the Clintons that would not be permitted through direct political giving.
    Foreign entities are barred from making direct contributions to political candidates in the US but have given hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, a charity that fights HIV/AIDS, climate change, malaria and childhood obesity.
    Forty percent of the foundation's top donors, those giving more than $1 million, are foreign.
    Kaine's answer was prompted by a television reporter asking if the Clinton Foundation's decision to continue to accept foreign money through the election was akin to someone shouting "last call" at a wedding and everyone running for the bar.
    Kaine's office said the Virginia senator simply "misspoke."
    "Senator Kaine knows what the policy is but misspoke at the end of a long day," said Kaine senior adviser and national spokesperson Amy Dudley.
    The Republican National Committee pounced on Kaine's bungled answer.
    "Team Clinton has resorted to doing what they do best: not telling the truth," said RNC research director Raj Shah.
    When asked why the Clinton Foundation is not immediately renouncing foreign sources of funding, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook told CNN's "State of the Union" last month that "there were some foreign governments, like Australia and Norway, that had existing donations to the foundation, and the foundation wanted them to be able to follow through on their commitment, so that this work could be protected."
    "This is important, life-saving work," Mook said.