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Bernie Sanders says Hillary Clinton should cut ties to her family foundation if elected

Donald Trump's campaign used Sanders' comments to attack Clinton

Washington CNN  — 

Donald Trump’s campaign seized on Bernie Sanders’ comments Sunday about Hillary Clinton’s relations to her family foundation, taking license to make them sound more critical of her than he said in a television interview.

In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Sanders downplayed the importance of the controversies surrounding the Clinton Foundation, but said he thinks Hillary Clinton should cut ties to it if she beats Trump in November.

“I would certainly suggest that as president of the United States she should cease all operations, all contact, with the Clinton Foundation,” Sanders said.

Citing the “good things with AIDS and so forth” the Clinton Foundation has done, the Vermont senator who challenged Clinton in the Democratic primary, said he “can’t definitively answer” if it should be shut down, or the former secretary of state just shouldn’t be involved.

“At the very least she should not be involved. At the very least,” Sanders said.

The Clintons have already said the foundation would stop accepting foreign and corporate contributions if Hillary Clinton is elected president, and that former President Bill Clinton would step down from its board.

A Trump campaign statement Sunday afternoon cited Sanders’ comments in criticizing her over the foundation, characterizing them in a way he didn’t actually say.

“When Bernie Sanders and the New York Times say the Clinton Foundation presents an unacceptable conflict of interest, it shows just how badly compromised a Hillary Clinton presidency would be,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said in the statement.

“It’s time for Clinton to end her 274-day streak without a press conference and explain why she thinks it is appropriate for the Clinton Foundation and its offshoots to continue accepting foreign contributions while she runs for the White House,” Miller said.