Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees came under scrutiny last week after student leaders complained about a $US225,000 fee for one of her speeches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. However, an aide to Clinton pushed back against the “uproar” with emails to Business Insider late Friday wherein they noted “a few points” about her speaking engagements including the fact the fee from UNLV went to the charitable Clinton Foundation and the “dozens” of speeches Clinton has made for free.
“There was a lot of confusion about who received the payment from UNLV. That money went to the Clinton Foundation, which as you know does enormously important work to save the lives of AIDS patients in Africa, fight childhood obesity in the United States, address climate change, and much more. The fees from more than a dozen of her speeches have gone to fund the Clinton Foundation’s work around the world,” the aide wrote, underlining the final sentence for emphasis.
UNLV also noted the fee went to the foundation rather than Clinton in a statement issued Friday wherein they noted the school was “thrilled” to host an appearance from the former secretary of state. Clinton’s aide also argued the UNLV Foundation, a “a nonprofit organisation that raises and manages private funds for the benefit” of the school, would stand to gain from her speech.
“Remember that a lot of these organisations invite the Secretary to speak at their own fundraisers, the UNLV Foundation included, because they know a high-profile speaker will increase attendance and revenue,” wrote the aide. “So it’s remarkable that despite all the uproar over UNLV, not one but TWO important philanthropies are benefiting. And the fees generally come out of endowed funds or donations specifically reserved for this purpose, not tuition dollars or general school funds.”
Clinton’s aide went on to point out that, in addition to the many speeches where her fee has gone to the foundation, she has also given free speeches.
“She’s given dozens of speeches for free. From Helen Keller International to Save the Children to Conservation International, she’s continued to champion the same causes she has for years,” they wrote.
In addition to these organisations, the aide said Clinton made free speeches for CURE, Vital Voices, Women in the World, Women for Women, International Crisis Group, the Wildlife Conservation Society, CARE, Elton John’s AIDS foundation, the Chicago House, and the New America Foundation, among others.
“No one is arguing that she isn’t earning income from speeches, but she’s also giving many speeches for free, and more than a dozen of the speaking fees went to support the foundation,” wrote the aide.
Clinton’s aide also pointed out “delivering paid speeches is hardly a new phenomenon, or one that’s unique to Democrats.”
“In fact, the majority of the institutions or events where the Secretary has given speeches have also welcomed Republicans,” they wrote.
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