President Donald Trump, who as a candidate used the Clinton Foundation to slam his opponent Hillary Clinton, heralded an opioid program backed by the Clinton family foundation on Monday in New Hampshire.
It is unclear whether Trump was aware that he was praising a program backed by an organization he routinely labeled as nothing more than a corrupt scheme to enrich the Clintons during the 2016 election. Trump’s Justice Department launched an investigation last year into allegations of corruption related to the Clinton Foundation.
The President touted the work of Adapt Pharma, a program that makes Narcan – a type of drug that can save someone who is overdosing on opioids – more available in colleges and universities.
“Adapt Pharma makes an overdose-reversing drug for opioids, which I’ve watched and seen work. It’s called Narcan. It’s actually incredible. Today, we applaud Adapt Pharma’s decision to provide free – free Narcan to all high schools, colleges and universities in America,” Trump said.
He then brought Mike Kelly, the president of Adapt Pharma, on stage and heralded him for his “amazing and generous offer.”
The program was made possible in 2017 because of a partnership with the Clinton Foundation, according to releases from the pharmaceutical company and the foundation. It was announced at the 2017 meeting of the Clinton Health Matters Activation Summit.
The program “is part of an ongoing collaboration between the Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) and Adapt Pharma,” the 2017 release from Adapt Pharma said. “As of today, all Title IV-eligible, degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States can apply to receive up to four free cartons (eight 4mg doses) of NARCAN® Nasal Spray.”
Gillian Sealy, CEO of the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, said at the time the fact that the foundation was partnering with “Adapt Pharma to help put an end to this epidemic is an important step.”
Adapt Pharma announced an “expansion of its program” on Monday. The company will increase the availability of Narcan in college and universities and double the allocation of the product in high schools.
Thom Duddy, a spokesman for Adapt Pharma, responded to CNN’s story on the connection between the company and the Clinton Foundation by saying Monday’s announcement “has nothing to do with the Clinton Foundation.”
“This is not a political issue,” he said, but he did not deny the past relationship between the company and the foundation.
Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s daughter and someone who has been critical of Trump throughout his administration, thanked the President for mentioning the effort.
“Mr. President, thank you for recognizing the @ClintonFdn’s work with Adapt Pharma to prevent opioid overdose deaths and save lives,” she wrote, linking to an article from Mic, which reported Trump’s reference Monday.
Brian Fallon, the national secretary on Clinton’s 2016 campaign, was less charitable.
“It’s almost like the attacks made on the Clinton Foundation in 2016 were all in bad faith,” he wrote.
And Angel Urena, Bill Clinton’s personal spokesman, wrote that it was “bemusing that the same president who is forcing his Justice Department to investigate the Clinton Foundation stood at a podium today to highlight a Clinton Foundation partnership as a model of success. I suppose it’s gratifying to see donors touting the work, though.”
Trump, before he was a critic of the Clinton Foundation, was actually a donor. His foundation donated over $100,000 to the organization in 2009 and 2010.