Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) is trying to turn the controversy over donations to Hillary Clinton’s foundation into a wedge issue in the 2016 White House race.
According to multiple reports, Paul plans to use a Friday evening speech in New Hampshire to call on the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation to return the millions of dollars it received from Saudi Arabia. Paul, an expected presidential candidate, is set to point out that Saudi Arabia and other countries that gave to Clinton’s foundation have a horrible record on women’s rights.
“There has been much talk of a ‘war on women.’ There is indeed a war on women …. in Saudi Arabia. When Hillary Clinton claims she will support women’s rights, ask her why she accepted millions of dollars from” countries that undermine them, Paul will say, according to his prepared remarks.
Bloomberg News’ Dave Weigel reported Paul told members of the media in New Hampshire that the Clinton foundation should return the Saudi money.
Paul’s line of attack echoes a recent New York Times article that suggested the Clinton foundation’s donor list could undermine her record on women’s rights, which is one of her key themes as she prepares to launch a campaign for the White House in 2016.
“Even her most strident critics could not have predicted that Mrs. Clinton would prove vulnerable on the subject,” The Times’ Amy Chozick wrote earlier this month. “But the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation has accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Algeria and Brunei — all of which the State Department has faulted over their records on sex discrimination and other human-rights issues.”
A foundation spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Paul’s criticism. However, Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, dismissed these concerns in The Times article.
“Do we agree with everything they do? No, ” the former president said. “You’ve got to decide when you do this work whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country.”
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