Hillary Clinton dismisses questions surrounding funding at her family foundation
Published 21/04/2015 | 07:18
Hillary Clinton has dismissed swirling questions about her family foundation as little more than political attacks from Republicans eager to gain an early advantage in the 2016 US presidential contest.
Mrs Clinton, campaigning for the Democratic nomination in the liberal bastion of Keene, New Hampshire, hit back against accusations that foreign governments that made donations to the Clintons' charity received preferential treatment from the State Department while she served in Barack Obama's administration.
"We will be subjected to all kinds of distractions and attacks," she said after a round-table event at a wood furniture factory. "I'm ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory."
She is making her first campaign visit this year to New Hampshire, the first-in-nation primary state beloved by the Clinton family for giving both her faltering 2008 effort and her husband Bill's struggling 1992 presidential campaign a second wind.
She also took issue with economic views expressed by members of her own party, offering a dark assessment of a "stalled out" US recovery, a judgment at odds with President Obama's brighter view of what the nation has achieved on his watch.
Mrs Clinton was asked by reporters about Peter Schweizer's coming book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story Of How And Why Foreign Governments And Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.
The book argues that the Clinton family received speaking fees and donations in return for favours to various foreign interests doled out while she was US secretary of state. Senator Rand Paul, a 2016 Republican candidate, said that would make people "question whether she ought to run for president".
Republicans have spent months talking about financial dealings of the Clinton Foundation to raise questions about Hillary Clinton's character. She stepped down from the organisation's board within hours of announcing her campaign.
The foundation has come under scrutiny for accepting foreign contributions, including from Middle Eastern nations that deny equal rights for women. Some also are on the front lines in the fight against terrorism.
Last week, the foundation revised its policy to permit donations from six US allies in Europe, Australia, and North America but to bar giving from other nations. The charity supports public health, climate change and anti-poverty programmes.
Clinton campaign aides and supporters moved quickly to discredit Mr Schweizer after word of his book emerged, casting him as a Republican operative working to defeat her.