Why Generous Foreign Sponsors Suddenly Turn Their Back on the Clinton Foundation

© REUTERS / Brian SnyderDemocratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives at the airport following a campaign Voter Registration Rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States, September 6, 2016.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrives at the airport following a campaign Voter Registration Rally at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, United States, September 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The Clintons are shutting down the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), a crucial part of the famous Clinton Foundation. The question arises what lies at the root of the decision and why the Foundation's numerous foreign sponsors are turning their back on the former Democratic presidential candidate.

President Obama greets President-elect Donald Trump as former president Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, and former President George W Bush and his wife Laura look on at the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017 - Sputnik International
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There is more to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) shutting down than meets the eye, according to RT's correspondent Caleb Maupin.

The CGI, a crucial part of the Clinton Foundation, was established to "convene global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges," according to the official site.

However, on January 12, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor published a WARN (The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act) notice over the CGI's main office closing.

Why did the Clintons decide to halt the initiative? Did the "pressing challenges" the Foundation used to cope with suddenly cease to exist?

Maupin believes that Hillary Clinton's defeat in the 2016 presidential election lies at the root of the CGI closing its doors.

He has called attention to the fact that after the election foreign sponsors dramatically reduced their donations.

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Citing the federal government, Rohan Smith of News.com.au reported on November 28, that Australia had "ceased pouring millions of dollars" into the Clinton Foundation. The journalist underscored that over the past decade the Foundation has received more than $88 million in contributions from Canberra.

For its part, Norway slashed its donations to the Clinton Foundation by almost 87 percent.

Citing the Norwegian newspaper Hegnar, Zero Hedge pointed out that after contributing about $15 million and $21 million in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the Norwegian government suddenly decided to cut their donations in late 2016.

It is hardly a coincidence, the media outlet highlighted: the government had boosted its donations after Hillary Clinton decided to run for President in 2016; however, after Donald Trump came out on top, Oslo has scaled their contributions back.

© REUTERS / Rick WilkingSupporters of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react as they watch election returns at the election night rally in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react as they watch election returns at the election night rally in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016 - Sputnik International
Supporters of Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react as they watch election returns at the election night rally in New York, U.S., November 8, 2016

Speaking to Maupin, Lew Rockwell, an American libertarian author and editor, stressed that it would be naïve to think that the Foundation's numerous foreign sponsors were guided solely by philanthropic ideas when they transferred money to the Clintons.

Rockwell pointed out that the government of Australia as well as its Norwegian counterparts was seeking to strengthen its position in the international arena with the Clintons' assistance. What they were guided by was the quid pro quo ("something for something") principle, according to the libertarian author.

Maupin echoes Jim Geraghty of the National Review, a US conservative semi-monthly magazine. 

"Why would foreign governments suddenly lose interest in the charitable work the Clinton Foundation purported to do?" Geraghty asked rhetorically.

"They wouldn't, unless the Clinton Foundation and the CGI had existed to give foreign governments and businessmen a way to curry favor with a future president from the beginning," the journalist stressed.

In this context it is quite logical that the Clintons decided to shut the CGI down, he argues, "Why keep operating if there's no influence left to peddle?"

Michael Sainato of the New York Observer shares a similar stance. Sainato pointed out that the Clinton Foundation's long list of wealthy donors has repeatedly provoked criticism over alleged "conflicts of interest."

"But as soon as Clinton lost the election, many of the criticisms directed toward the Clinton Foundation were reaffirmed. Foreign governments began pulling out of annual donations, signaling the organization's clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work," the journalist suggested.

© Twitter: RT_AmericaWikiLeaks Logo and Hillary Clinton
WikiLeaks Logo and Hillary Clinton - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks Logo and Hillary Clinton

To add more fuel to the fire Wikileaks' disclosures shed light on the Foundation's controversial and murky payment schemes.

Speaking to Sputnik in late November, Dr. Dady Chery, a Haitian-born journalist, revealed how the Clinton Foundation benefitted from the Haitian earthquake recovery project back in 2010, citing classified cables published by Wikileaks.

"Immediately after the earthquake, the Clintons… collected about $30 million for Haiti through the Clinton Foundation. From the foundation's taxes, we know that only about 10 percent of funds were spent on charity, so only about $3 million were spent on Haiti, and it is unclear how. There were also about $54 million from the Bush-Clinton Fund, but most of that money was spent on mortgages, microfinance, and on refurbishing and building luxury hotels," Chery told Sputnik.

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However, it appears that all of the above is unlikely to discourage Hillary Clinton from returning to politics.

In his latest op-ed Gabriel Debenedetti of Politico.com suggested that the former Democratic presidential nominee and her husband Bill Clinton are planning their comeback.

"Despite the grave disappointment, resilience is in the Clintons' DNA," Mack McLarty, Bill Clinton's first White House chief of staff, told the journalist.

"So, while I certainly don't expect to see them trying to assert their authority, I think there will be natural and welcome opportunities for them to engage… If someone they knew was running for the Senate or the Statehouse or City Hall, it would be out of character for them not to be supportive," McLarty stressed.

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