Clinton On Foundation Attacks: ‘There’s A Lot Of Smoke’ But ‘No Fire’

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton gives a speech on the economy after touring Futuramic Tool & Engineering, in Warren, Mich., Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night defended the Clinton Foundation and responded to Donald Trump’s accusation that the foundation “sold access” to Clinton while she was secretary of state.

“What Trump has said is ridiculous,” Clinton said during a phone interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. “My work as secretary of state was not influenced by any outside forces. I made policy decisions based on what I thought was right to keep Americans safe and to protect U.S. interests abroad.”

The Clinton Foundation has come under increased scrutiny with emails showing that foundation representatives asked for Clinton to meet with prominent donors. And the Associated Press reported this week that many donors to the foundation met with Clinton while she was secretary of state.

Clinton on Wednesday told CNN that the AP excluded many of her meetings and only “looked at a small portion of my time.”

“It draws a conclusion and makes a suggestion that my meetings with people like the late, great Elie Wiesel or Melinda Gates or the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus were somehow due to connections with the foundation instead of their status as highly respected global leaders,” she said. “That is absurd. These are people I would be proud to meet with, who any secretary of state would have been proud to meet with, to hear about their work and their insights.”

Cooper asked Clinton why the foundation accepted foreign donations while she was secretary of state but will not if Clinton wins the presidency.

“Obviously, if I am president, there will be some unique circumstances,” Clinton replied.

“Didn’t those unique circumstances exist when you were secretary of state?” Cooper then asked.

“No, no, look — I know there’s a lot of smoke and there is no fire,” Clinton responded.

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