Washington, Aug 23 (IANS) US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday called for the immediate closure of the Clinton Foundation, which he said is “the most corrupt enterprise in political history”.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “is the defender of the corrupt and rigged status quo”, declared Trump in a communique released by his campaign.
She and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, “have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people”, Efe news quoted Trump as saying in the statement.
“It is now clear that the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history. What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately,” the magnate added.
The institution, the full name of which is the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, has collected about $2 billion in donations over the past two decades, Efe news reported.
Although she has denied it, several journalistic investigations have found that the former first lady could have made decisions that were influenced by foreign donations to the Foundation when she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013.
Last week, The Washington Post published an editorial in which it criticised the close connections between the Foundation and the State Department when Clinton was the top US diplomat.
Last Friday, the Foundation announced it will make several key operational changes if Clinton wins the presidency in November, including refusing to accept donations from abroad or from corporations.
In addition, whether she wins or loses in November, the Foundation will stop organising the Clinton Global Initiative, the annual conference attracting heads of government, top businessmen, donors and celebrities.
The Boston Globe said on its editorial page last week that the Foundation should shut down if Clinton is elected president.
Since its 1997 founding by Bill Clinton, the Foundation has expanded to a $2 billion charity funding healthcare, education and environmental initiatives around the world, but critics have claimed that it provided corporations and foreign interests with the chance to gain favour and influence with the Secretary of State, who many have expected might one day become president.