Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and its pay-for-play relationship with the Clinton-run Department of State was a major issue.
And while President-elect Donald Trump's charitable foundation has had its own issues in the past, selling government influence has never been one. Still, the president-elect has decided to shut down the foundation in an effort to avoid any appearance of conflicts of interest.
He made the following announcement over the Christmas holiday weekend:
The foundation has done enormous good works over the years in contributing millions of dollars to countless worthy groups, including supporting veterans, law enforcement officers and children. However, to avoid even the appearance of any conflict with my role as president, I have decided to continue to pursue my strong interest in philanthropy in other ways.
I am very proud of the money that has been raised for many organizations in need, and I am also very proud of the fact that the foundation has operated at essentially no cost for decades, with 100 percent of the money going to charity, but because I will be devoting so much time and energy to the presidency and solving the many problems facing our country and the world, I don't want to allow good work to be associated with a possible conflict of interest.
In a statement, the presidential transition team announced Trump has directed his legal counsel to take the necessary steps to dissolve the foundation immediately. Earlier in the weekend, Trump lashed out on Twitter about the steps that have been deemed necessary to avoid conflicts of interest.
His son Eric, who has been a longtime supporter of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, must stop actively fundraising for the childhood cancer research facility that provides treatment at no cost.
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