Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Canadian Grant Turns into a Political Weapon against Hillary Clinton

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

A Canadian Grant Turns into a Political Weapon against Hillary Clinton

Article excerpt

Canadian grant becomes anti-Clinton weapon


WASHINGTON - Hillary Clinton's political opponents are jumping upon a grant from the Canadian government and holding it aloft as evidence of her alleged conflicts of interest.

At issue is a $600,000 grant to her family's charitable foundation.

It was a donation for youth employment programs in Colombia and it didn't cause any controversy last year when it was announced by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development as a contribution to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

But it's found new life in an American political story.

An early knock against Clinton's still-unannounced presidential bid is the notion that she'll be in a quasi-permanent state of conflict of interest, thanks to the almost US$2 billion pumped into the family foundation by deep-pocketed philanthropists around the world -- many of whom have business concerns before the U.S. government.

This week, U.S. media started noting all the donations by foreign governments -- which had been mostly suspended while she was secretary of state but have resumed since she left government.

That's where the Canadian donation comes in.

The Wall Street Journal pointed out cash from the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a certain Canadian "government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline." Clinton had previously worked on the Keystone file as Secretary of State, and could oversee it in the future if she becomes president.

Other news reports led specifically with the Canadian angle.

One example was the congressional newspaper, the Hill. Its story began: "A Canadian government agency promoting the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Bill and Hillary Clinton's nonprofit."

Clinton's opponents pummeled her with conflict-of-interest attacks when she initially ran in 2008 -- and that's without her even making it out of the primaries to face the Republicans.

In anticipation that she'll become the nominee this time, the other party is already levelling the attack against her. …

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