Hillary didn’t mention emails. But Bill made sure to talk about foreign donors.
When it came to addressing controversies embroiling their family, the Clintons were 1 for 2 during a Clinton Global Initiative University event Saturday at the University of Miami.
The Clintons appeared separately onstage – Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton first as they plugged an upcoming gender-equality report; Bill Clinton moments later in a Q&A with Larry Wilmore, host of Comedy Central’s “The Nightly Show.”
Where Hillary Clinton said nothing about her private use of email as Secretary of State or her likely bid for president, the former president first tackled the controversy over the foundation accepting foreign money.
“I believe we have done a lot more good than harm,” he said, adding that donors don’t dictate what the foundation does.
“For example, the UAE gave us money. Do we agree with everything we do? No. But they help us fight ISIS,” Bill Clinton said. “My theory about this is disclose everything, and then let people make their judgments.”
But that very issue of transparency – disclosure – has been haunting Hillary Clinton.
In a potential violation of the Federal Records Act, the former Secretary of State used a private email account at the State Department and stored the emails on a private server, The New York Times reported Monday. House Republicans investigating the Benghazi attacks of 2012 have subpoenaed the emails, leading to complaints from Democrats.
Meantime, the White House has played defense over the email issue. On Saturday, President Barack Obama told CBS News that he first heard about her private emails in news accounts.
“The policy of my administration is to encourage transparency, which is why my emails, the BlackBerry I carry around, all those records are available and archived,” Obama said. “I’m glad that Hillary’s instructed that those emails about official business need to be disclosed.”
While Obama and his spokespeople have now fielded questions from reporters about the issue, Hillary Clinton hasn’t at all. She has said almost nothing about it, save for a Wednesday posting on her Twitter account.
“I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible,” she tweeted, referring to 55,000 emails she selected and then turned over to the federal government.
Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account was silent until Saturday when, from Miami, she tweeted about the 50th anniversary of the march on Selma: “Watched @repjohnlewis & @BarackObama in #Selma. Let’s answer their call to keep fighting for voting rights, civil rights, & human rights.”
Onstage Saturday, Hillary Clinton spoke about Selma, not the emails. She said the Global Initiative’s work seeks to continue the legacy of Selma by advocating for social justice and positive change.
”President Obama,” she said, “gave a superb speech about the progress we’ve made but the imperative that we keep making more.”
The Republican National Committee issued a statement saying “Hillary Clinton has spent a week hiding from the press and voters who have serious questions about her commitment to transparency, ethics and national security. It’s clear that Hillary Clinton feels the rules that every other American lives by don’t apply to her, and today’s failure to answer these questions did nothing to allay any of these concerns.”
The two-day event at the University of Miami wasn’t an overt political forum as much as public-policy forum concerning climate change, public health, poverty, human rights and education. After his initial Q&A with Wilmore, Bill Clinton was joined by the persecuted Russian rock group Pussy Riot. One of the rockers said the f-word onstage; Clinton’s face expressed a measure of discomfort.
Hillary Clinton’s speech was more of an onstage dialogue with her daughter, during which they plugged an upcoming report on gender equality at the website noceilings.org.
Hillary Clinton said the report, to be released Monday, will have “mounds and mounds” of data to show the progress women have made and the challenges they still face around the globe.
“We have seen progress everywhere,” Hillary Clinton said. “But we’ve also seen concerted efforts to try to stall that progress or even turn the clock back in too many places.”
Chelsea Clinton, citing a Washington Post report, noted that there are more men in corporate leadership named Robert, William or James than there are women at that level of leadership.
“So change your names,” Hillary Clinton joked.
“Change the system. Keep your names,” Chelsea Clinton then added.
The two said they would change their social-media profiles to blank photos of themselves as part of a “not-there” initiative to highlight the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles. Because Hillary Clinton’s Twitter avatar has a picture of her holding a smartphone – and presumably reading her emails – conservatives like commentator Kristinn Taylor were quick to Tweet about a potential ulterior motive.
“Clever way for Hillary Clinton to disappear that politically inconvenient, now not so cool photo of her holding Blackberry,” he said.
Original article here.