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The Clinton Foundation, created by Bill Clinton almost two decades ago, has been harshly criticized by Republicans. And now it is announcing three big changes. Two would happen if Hillary Clinton becomes president. The third will take place next month, well before Election Day. Here's NPR's Peter Overby.
PETER OVERBY, BYLINE: The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation has done good deeds, from organizing emergency relief efforts to promoting economic growth in developing countries. But it's also had some big controversies. Many of them involved wealthy donors, allegations of improper access or favors and a whiff of the networking that surrounds a political campaign, not a charity. That's what these changes are targeting.
The most dramatic change, Bill Clinton - who turns 70 today, by the way - would leave the foundation's board should Hillary Clinton be elected president. It's a way to put some distance between the foundation and the Oval Office. The foundation had no information about possible changes for Chelsea Clinton, who's vice chair of the board.
The second change, if Clinton wins in November, no more contributions from corporations or foreign sources. The loss of foreign money, especially, would hurt the foundation's budget. But giving it up would cut off a possible backdoor conduit for money that's illegal in American political campaigns. Hillary Clinton's opponents have often challenged the foreign contributions, especially from Middle Eastern countries that suppress women's rights.
The third change doesn't depend on the election returns. The foundation will close down the Clinton Global Initiative. The initiative is a network of politicos, business magnates and philanthropists who launch projects to improve everyday life in some part of the world. The initiative holds its last annual gathering in September.
Republicans didn't let these announcements go without comment. Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus issued a statement suggesting that since, quote, "they have admitted there was a problem," unquote, the foundation should return all the foreign contributions it had ever received. Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington.
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