Charisma Caucus

Donald Trump: Follow the Money

Donald Trump
Donald Trump's campaign had a single message on the trail Wednesday: Follow the money. (Reuters photo)

For the past 24 hours, the Donald Trump presidential campaign has hammered the Republican nominee's Democratic counterpart with a simple, three-word attack:

Follow the money.

"Follow the money" also was the theme of speeches given in both Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Waukesha, Wis., earlier in the day.

"Everything you need to know about Hillary Clinton can be understood with this simple phrase: Follow the money," he said during his Council Bluffs speech. "In her campaign for president, Hillary Clinton has received $100 million dollars in contributions from Wall Street and the hedge funds.

"She received $4.1 million in speaking fees from financial firms. The same groups paying Bill and Hillary for their speeches were lobbying the federal government. Twenty-two groups paying Bill Clinton for speeches lobbied the State Department while Hillary was secretary of state.

"And don't forget the Clinton contributors were appointed to advisory boards by Secretary Clinton—or all the favors and access granted to those who wrote checks. She even gave up 20 percent of American uranium to Russia.

"She disgraced the office of secretary of state by putting it up for sale—and if she ever got the chance, she'd put the Oval Office up for sale too. We can't let that happen. That's why you have to go out and vote on November 8, and early voting in Iowa starts tomorrow."

Then, in a span of 14 hours, Trump's communications team unloaded nearly a dozen press releases that hammered away on that theme. Here's a summary:

Inconvenient Truths

The Trump campaign launched its attack with "10 inconvenient truths" about the Clinton Foundation. They were:

  1. There are "major overlaps" between Hillary Clinton's campaign donors and Clinton Foundation donors, raising ethical red flags—according to The Washington Post, "nearly half of the major donors who are backing Ready for Hillary, a group promoting her 2016 presidential bid, as well as nearly half of the bundlers from her 2008 campaign, have given at least $10,000 to the foundation, either on their own or through foundations or companies they run."
  2. Several major Clinton Foundation donations came from companies lobbying the federal government—according to The Wall Street Journal, "at least 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure donated a total of more than $26 million to the Clinton Foundation" and "at least 44 of those 60 companies also participated in philanthropic projects valued at $3.2 billion that were set up though a wing of the foundation called the Clinton Global Initiative."
  3. The Clinton Foundation accepted millions from foreign governments—according to The Washington Post, "rarely, if ever, has a potential commander in chief been so closely associated with an organization that has solicited financial support from foreign governments."
  4. The Clinton Foundation accepted millions from other foreign sources while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state. According to an analysis by McClatchy, "more than 40 percent of the top donors to the Clinton Foundation are based in foreign countries," while The Wall Street Journal reported "the Clinton Foundation swore off donations from foreign governments when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. That didn't stop the foundation from raising millions of dollars from foreigners with connections to their home governments."
  5. The Clinton Foundation announced it wouldn't take foreign or corporate money if Hillary Clinton is elected, but other charities still will be allowed to do so—according to The Boston Globe, "big chunks of the Clinton family's charitable network would be exempt from a self-imposed ban on foreign and corporate donations if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, loopholes that highlight the complexity of disentangling her from the former first family's myriad potential conflicts of interest."
  6. The FBI wanted to open an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, but the effort was scuttled by the Obama Administration—according to CNN, "the Department of Justice had looked into allegations surrounding the foundation a year earlier after the release of the controversial book Clinton Cash, but found them to be unsubstantiated and there was insufficient evidence to open a case."
  7. Clinton's Chief Of Staff at the State Department had a deep and simultaneous involvement in the Clinton Foundation—according to CNN, "on a trip to New York in 2012, Mills interviewed two executives for a top position at the Clinton foundation. The State Department said she was on personal time. Mills' attorney says she was doing 'volunteer work for a charitable foundation.'"
  8. Sidney Blumenthal collected $10,000 a month from the Clinton Foundation while providing Libyan intelligence to Clinton—according to Politico, Blumenthal "was a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation while he was providing unsolicited intelligence on Libya to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton" and he "was added to the payroll of the Clintons' global philanthropy in 2009—not long after advising Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign—at the behest of former President Bill Clinton."
  9. The Clinton Foundation failed to disclose $26.4 million in speaking honoraria while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state—according to The Washington Post, "the disclosure came as the foundation faced questions over whether it fully complied with a 2008 ethics agreement to reveal its donors and whether any of its funding sources present conflicts of interest for Hillary Rodham Clinton as she begins her presidential campaign."
  10. Since 2003, the Clinton Foundation has spent more than $50 million on travel—according to The New York Post, "the web of foundations run by the former president spent an eye-opening $12.1 million on travel in 2011 alone, according to an internal audit conducted by foundation accountants. That's enough to buy 12,000 air tickets costing $1,000 each, or 33 air tickets each day of the year."

Uranium One

Hillary Clinton signed off on a deal allowing a company with ties to the Russian government—and in particular, President Vladimir Putin—to buy into a uranium company after accepting millions of dollars in donations to the Clinton Foundation. President Bill Clinton was also paid for speeches by people who were affiliated with that company.

Click here to read the entire file.

The Reviled 'Cell Phone Tycoon'

Cell phone tycoon Denis O'Brien runs and owns 94 percent of Digicel, a mobile phone network provider that operates in Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands. The company was supposed to hold its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015 but pulled it in October due to "volatility" in the markets. In recent years, O'Brien has been on a deal-making binge in Ireland, snapping up distressed assets on the cheap and turning them around. He is the chair of the Clinton Global Initiative Haiti Action Network.

Click here to read the entire file.

Six-Figure Paid Speeches

President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton have, combined, earned in excess of $125 million in speech income since leaving the White House, one-fifth of it in the last two years. Most of that came from banks, hedge funds and asset managers. She still refuses to release the transcripts of those speeches.

Click here to read the entire file.

The Swiss Bank and the IRS

Months after she became secretary of state, Hillary Clinton was summoned by her Swiss counterpart to deal with an issue where the bank UBS AG was being sued by the IRS to turn over the identities of 52,000 account holders. The bank faced violating its own national laws, or a U.S. criminal penalty. Clinton quickly put together a deal where UBS only turned over 4,450 account holders' identities without facing prosecution. Shortly thereafter, UBS announced it was increasing its "engagement" with the Clinton Foundation from less than $60,000 through 2008 to nearly $600,000 by the end of 2014.

Click here to read the entire file.

The Candidate of Wall Street

The Trump campaign has been relentlessly pushing the story that Wall Street is bankrolling Clinton's presidential campaign. And, the numbers seem to back that claim up. From May to July, 85 percent of all campaign donations from Wall Street went to Clinton's campaign. Over the course of four political campaigns, Clinton has amassed $44.1 million in Wall Street donations.

Click here to read the entire file.

More than half—85 of 154—of people with private interests who met with or talked with Hillary Clinton over the phone during her tenure as secretary of state contributed as much as $156 million to the Clinton Foundation. The frequency of those meetings, according to liberal mainstream media reports, demonstrate an "intermingling of access and donations," fueling the perception that "giving the Foundation money was the price of admission for face time" with Clinton.

Click here to read the entire file.

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller in his daily "Question of the Day" for Clinton, asked:

"Secretary Clinton, how can you claim to not be influenced by donations to the Clinton Foundation when at least 60 companies that gave a combined $26 million to the foundation lobbied the State Department while you were Secretary of State?"

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